About UFCCU
There are many forms and ways in which you can participate in the exciting activities of the UFCCU:
  • join our mailing list and find out about the interesting programs we organize. To join our email list, please write to Yuri Shechuk;
  • attend our film screenings, bring along friends and participate in our post-screening discussions;
  • write a comment on this website's Forum;
  • take part in one of our projects on Ukrainian cinema;
  • be a contributing news-reporter, send us English language news items on Ukrainian films. These will be posted on this website;
  • act as an English language editor and help us prepare materials for this website and for our many events;
  • support us with a sponsor's donation. This will help us to continue to bring fascinating new Ukrainian films to you and to bring Ukrainian filmmakers to the United States.
Contact Yuri Shechuk
Polish film director and great friend of Ukraine Krzysztof Zanussi with Columbia students and faculty on February 18, 2009.
Columbia University's Ukrainian Film Club (UFCCU) is a forum for showcasing the best of Ukrainian cinema, both classic and new, to the Greater New York public and to film enthusiasts across the United States and Canada. Since its establishment in October 2004, the Club has become a unique international initiative connecting Ukrainian filmmakers with the world. Our strong sense of mission is nourished by our enthusiasm for cinema as the most modern form of human expression, and by our desire to promote Ukrainian cinema in the United States. We, at the Ukrainian Studies Program of Columbia University, feel that the Ukrainian Film Club can and should act as a much-needed conduit for international access to the best and most creative Ukrainian films. We hope to give Ukrainian filmmakers a sense of global perspective-something that has been missing for them as a result of the domination over Ukraine by imperial Russian culture. This domination persists even today. We seek to be the point wherein two creative streams meet and enrich one another, for there are those who are working at the cutting edge of Ukrainian film culture, developing exciting new ideas, and those in the American public who are searching for new sources of artistic inspiration.

In Ukraine, unlike other former parts of the now defunct Soviet empire, independence did not mark a gilded age of culture. Left without government support, private funding, and a national film distribution system, Ukrainian filmmakers have been faced with a choice - "commercialize" or perish. Many switch to making lucrative commercials, TV soap operas or to working at a pedestrian level of the broadcast medium. Others leave Ukraine in search of more rewarding creative outlets. Still others refuse to accept the new reality and fight on. Thanks to these dedicated people, Ukrainian cinema persists. Here and there, unexpected masterpieces surprise its countrymen, as well as the international film community.

It is a challenge to view a Ukrainian film in Ukraine today. The movie theaters show either Hollywood or Russian productions. Video rentals do not carry Ukrainian films. The likelihood of finding a Dovzhenko, Paradzhanov, Muratova or Illienko film in a video rental store in Boston or New York is much greater than in Odesa or Kharkiv. Even Ukrainian DVD pirates seem uninterested in Ukrainian films. Millions of Ukrainian viewers are in fact deprived of the opportunity to see a Ukrainian film in their own country.

Despite the adverse situation on the ground, Ukrainian cinema is actively seeking and experimenting with new media. A new generation of artists is redefining Ukrainian film and, through it, the entirety of Ukrainian culture. UFCCU is particularly interested in the works of these young artists. The Club's repertoire includes a veritable pantheon of the classic film-makers of Ukraine, from Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Ivan Kavaleridze, Ivan Mykolaichuk, and Leonid Osyka to the living, acclaimed filmmakers such as Yuri Illienko, Vyacheslav Kryshtofovych and Serhy Masloboishchikov. The work of filmmakers Kira Muratova, Sergey Paradzhanov, Roman Balayan and Viacheslav Krystofovych draw on more than one culture and the influence of these artists transcends borders. By far the greatest prominence in the activities of the UFCCU is given to the new generation of Ukrainian directors. It is not by chance that the first event of the club showcased the film "Mamay" by Oles Sanin a young and already acclaimed director from Kyiv, Ukraine's official entry for the Academy Awards nomination for the best foreign language film (2003).

Full-length theatrical features are but one of many formats and genres we showcase. Our events also include narrative shorts, short and full-length documentaries, animation, and films made for television. Our viewers have every reason to feel privileged, for every film we screen is either a New York, United States, or North American premiere.

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Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University© 2014. For more information please contact Yuri Shevchuk