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Film screening and Q&A to supplement Washington march

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PARSIPPANY, N.J. – The film “Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine,” by three-time Academy Award-winning director Mark Jonathan Harris, is set for a screening and Q&A session beginning at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.) on May 20 at The Miracle Theater as part of the Ukraine Freedom March in Washington earlier that day.

Joining the Q&A session will be Mr. Harris, Peter Borisow, president of the Hollywood Trident Foundation and the film’s co-producer, as well as the film’s co-producer/writer Paul Wolansky. The event will be moderated by Ed Skibicki, a lead organizer of the Ukraine Freedom March.

The film is an intimate look at the war and revolution in Ukraine through the eyes of ordinary people who risked their lives to create a more democratic, equitable and independent country. The principal characters are a children’s theater director, a doctor, a rabbi, a TV journalist, an investigative reporter, and a lawyer turned medic and her soldier husband. When Russia annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine, the film’s subjects went to war to defend and remake their country.

This intense and ongoing military conflict has so far killed 10,000 people and has displaced 1.9 million refugees, and the film is the dramatic and inspiring portrait of people willing to give up their private, normal lives to unite in a collective effort to bring rule of law and democracy to their country.

Other members of the film team include Oles Sanin (renowned director/producer from Ukraine), Maxim Asadchiy (producer, owner of Pronto Film in Ukraine) and Jason Rosenfeld (editor).

Mr. Harris stated: “If I were to choose one image that captures the essence of ‘Breaking Point,’ it would be Eva Yanchenko illuminated by the fires on the Maidan, Kyiv’s Independence Square, embracing an anonymous figure in the midst of the February battles. A lawyer turned medic during the tumultuous events in Ukraine, who then joined her husband in the war against Russia in the east, Eva Yanchenko embodies the courage and commitment of thousands of ordinary people fighting for democracy in Ukraine.”

Sergei Loiko, Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, says in the film, “The war is the armed continuation of the Maidan revolution… the spirit of the Maidan at war.” Mr. Loiko came to Kyiv on assignment, planning to stay for only a few days, and was so impressed by what he witnessed that he ended up devoting two years of his life to covering the revolution and the war.

In his assessment of the film, Paul Roderick Gregory, who is professor of economics at the University of Houston and a regular contributor to Forbes magazine, stated: “’Breaking Point’ captures the spirit of Maidan and of Ukraine itself – a story that few in the West pay attention to, much less comprehend. Perhaps through this film, we can understand why the success or failure of Ukraine’s stubborn resistance to Vladimir Putin’s annexation and invasion will determine the future of Europe and the trans-Atlantic alliance. ‘Breaking Point’ comes at a crucial crossroads as Russia is counting on ‘Ukraine fatigue’ and Europe’s commercial class’s desire to return to ‘business as usual’ and to brush aside the 10,000 Ukrainian deaths, not counting the thousands of Russian soldiers lying in clandestine graves. The film rightly emphasizes the sad fact that the Ukrainian people have fought this battle on their own and on our behalf. Unsaid is how little NATO and the U.S. have contributed. ‘Breaking Point’s’ directors let the stunning images of Maidan, the siege of Donetsk airport, the Illovaisk massacre, the gruesome wreckage of MH17, and the touching testimonies of Ukrainian volunteers and their families tell the story.”

The film was named Best Documentary Feature at the Et Cultura Film Festival 2016 and the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival 2017, and won the audience award for Best Feature Documentary at the Annapolis Film Festival 2017.  It was an Official Selection at the American Documentary Film Festival 2017, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2017, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2016 and the International Academic Forum (IAFOR) Documentary Film Award 2016.

Readers may purchase tickets for the film screening online for $15 (+$1.75 processing fee) at http://breakingpointmovieoncapitolhill.itcketleap.com/. The Miracle Theater is located at 535 Eighth St. SE, Washington, DC 20003; telephone, 202-400-3210; website, www.themriacletheatre.com. Seating is limited to 350 persons.

For more information, readers may visit the film’s website, www.breakingpointfilm.com. Mr. Harris may be contacted via the website or at: 749 Basin Dr., Topanga, CA 90290; telephone, 310-455-3814; e-mail, mharris@cinema.usc.edu. The film has representation in Ukraine via Pronto Film, which can be contacted at Naberezhno-Khreshachatytska St. 10A, Kyiv, Ukraine 04070; telephone, 380-44-490-2231; e-mail, info@pronto.kiev.ua.

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