Film Library
Self-Seeker, 1929.

Original title: Shkurnyk
Copyright: Oleksandr Dovzhenko Center of Cinematography, 1929.
Format: feature, full-length
Carrier: DVD
Color: black-and-white
Length:  79"
Original language: silent
English subtitles: no
Ukrainian inter-titles: yes

Film crew
Director: Mykola Shpykovskyi
Script writer: Vadym Okhremenko and Mykola Shpykovskyi
Cinematographer: Oleksiy Pankratyev
Assistant: L. Liashenko
Artistic designer: Solomon Zarytskyi
Assistant director: M. Zhoda

Film cast
I. Sadovskyi as the philistine (obyvatel)
L. Liashenko as the guerilla commander
Dora Feller as commandant,
Dmytro Kapka (Kapkunov) as the colonel,
S. Vlasenko as the director of the Anti-Moonshine Department

This is a comic, seven-part story about an average Ukrainian townsman caught between the Scilla of the revolutionary Red Army and the Charybdis of the counter-revolutionary Whites fighting each other. Afraid of his own shadow, the philistine is portrayed as a despicable social chameleon ready to assume any color necessary to survive in the unpredictable and ever-changing circumstances of a Ukraine engulfed in devastating war. The film is an interesting example of the early use of cinematography by the Bolsheviks as a powerful ideological tool to glorify their own cause and vilify not only their sworn foes but even politically neutral co-travelers. Among other riveting shots, this surprisingly well-preserved film features rare footage of Andriyivskyi Uzviz in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. This street has become a favorite location for Ukrainian film directors and viewers alike.

About the film director
Mykola Shpykovsky, a Ukrainian and Russian director and script writer, was born in Kyiv in 1897. He died in Moscow in 1977. Shpykovsky worked in Ukraine in 1928-1932 directing the feature films: Three Rooms with a Kitchen (1928), How Is Life and Familiar Face Tsybala and Spread the Romour, Little Town (1929),  Hegemon, Bread (1930), Avangard (1932). Shpykovsky later worked as a script writer for the Moscow Educational and Scientific Film Studio.

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, 1964.

Original title: Tini zabutykh predkiv
Copyright: Dovzhenko Film Studios, 1964
Format: feature, full-length
Carrier: VHS
Color: color
Length:            99"
Original language: Ukrainian
English subtitles: yes

Film crew
Director: Sergey Paradzhanov
Script writer: Sergey Paradzhanov, Ivan Chendey, based on the story by Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky
Cinematographer: Yuri Illienko
Composer: Myroslav Skoryk
Production designer: Heorhiy Yakotovych, Mykhailo Rakovskyi
Costume designer: Lidia Baikova

Film cast
Ivan Mykolaychuk as Ivanko
Larysa Kadochnikova as Marichka
Tetiana Bestayeva as Palagna
Mykola Hrynko as Batah
Nina Alisova as Paliychuk
Oleksander Hay as Paliychuk
Neonila Hnepovska as Huteniuk
A. Raidanov as Huteniuk

In a Carpathian village, Ivanko falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around him, marrying Palagna. She wants children but his mind stays on his lost love. To recapture his attention, Palagna tries sorcery, and in the process comes under the spell of the sorcerer, publicly humiliating Ivanko, who then fights the sorcerer. The lively rhythms of village life, the work and the holidays, the pageant and revelry of weddings and funerals, the change of seasons, and nature's beauty give proportion to Ivanko's tragedy. This is widely considered to be one of the most important films in Ukrainian cinema history which developed a cult following around the world. For four decades now, it has captivated the imagination of viewers and filmmakers alike.

The Shooting Gallery, 2001.
Original title: Tyr
Copyright: Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine, 2001
Format: feature, short
Carrier: DVD
Color: black-and-white
Length: 10"
Original language: Russian with admixture of Ukrainian
English subtitles: yes

Film crew
Director and screen writer: Taras Tomenko
Director of photography: Mykhailo Markov
Decoration: Kateryna Kalinina
Editing: Lidia Petrenko
Music: Piotr Chaikovsky
Producer: L. Korsunska
Sound: N. Dombruhova, M.Moyiseyev, A. Kuznetsov

Film cast
Pylyp Dobrianskyi as street kid (homeless in real life)
V. Polishchuk as the shooting gallery attendant
Ye. Honcharova as the ballerina

From the Berlinale's Jury synopsis: "The Shooting Gallery is a
portrait of a childhood in black and white. A raw poetic film whose
dramatic use of light and shadow gives a painfully intense picture
of its young hero. The Shooting Gallery becomes a symbolic site for
hopes and dreams and a street kid's desperate desire to escape his
dismal life".

- 51st Berlin International Film Festival, Grand Prix for Best
Short, 2001, Gran Prix for Best Short, and the Panorama Short Film
Award of the New York Film Academy;
- Venice International Film Festival, Arte-France Prize, 2001;
- The Open Night Film Festival, Kyiv, Ukraine, prizes for best film,
best director, best actor, special jury prize, 2001;
- The Proloh Film Festival, Kyiv, Ukraine, prizes for best film,
best director, viewers' prize, and special jury prize, 2001;
- The Message to Man International Film Festival, Saint-Petersburg,
Russia, diploma, 2001;
- Insk International Film Festival, Poland. Golden Fish Prize for
Best Foreign Film, 2001.

Snowblink, 2004.

Original title: also under Ukrainian title "Zymove vesillia"
Copyright: Aden Film, 2004
Format: feature, short
Carrier: DVD
Color: color
Length: 18"    
Original language: French and Russian
English subtitles: yes

Film crew
Director: Sophie Barthes and Andrij Parekh
Script writer: Sophie Barthes
Cinematographer: Andrij Parekh
Editors: Sophie Barthes and Andrij Parekh
Associate editor: Michal Shemesh
Music: Paul Bremner from «Wombsong»
Costumes: Mahwish Syed
Executive producers: John Hynansky, Galit and David Bensadoun, Frederic Vallat

Film cast

During a self-inflicted and somewhat masochistic honeymoon, a newly married French couple are driving from Kyiv to Lviv. The young bride suffers a trivial finger injury which turns into a Kafkaesque nightmare for the protagonists. For the viewer, the honeymoon trip exposes, at some length, the deeply rooted social and moral decay in a country once marked for a golden age renaissance, having secured independence from Russia.

About the film director
Andrij Parekh, named in 2006 one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Indie Film", is of Ukrainian and Indian descent. He studied cinematography at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (MFA, 2001) and the FAMU film school in Prague. He currently lives and works in New York, shooting features and music videos.

Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University© 2015. For more information please contact Yuri Shevchuk