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Home / Arts / The Toronto Ukrainian Film Festival is back with exciting 2024 Program

The Toronto Ukrainian Film Festival is back with exciting 2024 Program


Nine screenings include In the Rearview, I Work at the CemeteryLa Palisiada, a special screening of Mariupolis, and more at The Royal this April

TORONTO, March 6. 2024 — Roman Lysiak, founder of the Toronto Ukrainian Film Festival (TUFF), has announced the program for this year’s second annual festival, taking place at The Royal (608 College St.) from April 4 to 7. Featuring a lineup of eight captivating films and documentaries, plus a new screening of family-friendly animated shorts, this year’s festival showcases a full range of work by award-winning, contemporary filmmakers.Tickets are on sale now at tuff.film

“TUFF brings award-winning Ukrainian cinema to Canadian audiences. In our second year of programming, we are thrilled to build on last year’s success,” said Roman Lysiak. “With our newly established relationships in the Ukrainian film industry, we can present a larger slate of award-winning features including an exciting collection of animated shorts, an Oscar-shortlisted documentary, and even a steamy historical drama. Now, more than ever, it is important to celebrate Ukrainian culture by presenting powerful and captivating films from contemporary filmmakers and Eastern European-Canadian-Ukrainian collaborators. TUFF is proud to support Ukraine, and to provide a platform for its talented artists.” 

TUFF 2024

In the Rearview (Skąd dokąd) (2023) directed by Maciek Hamela. This year’s festival opener is a raw, minimalist, documentary that had its North American premiere last year at TIFF. Loved by film critics, it was shortlisted for Best Documentary at the 2024 Oscars. The film’s strength is in its simplicity: at the beginning of the Russian invasion, Polish director Maciek Hamela purchased a van to evacuate people seeking refuge from the violence. Filmed from the passenger seat of his van, this movie is a compilation of stories and experiences told by the passengers. Co-presented with the Odesa International Film Festival. 84 minutes. April 4, 6:30 p.m.

I Work at the Cemetery (2021) directed by Alexey Taranenko. A cynical, 35-year old Sasha manages tombstone installations at a local cemetery. This dark comedy follows Sasha as he interacts with eccentric customers, cemetery bandits, and his own daring teenage daughter. I Work at the Cemetery has received major awards and nominations, including Best Actor at the 2021 Ukrainian Film Critics Awards. 100 minutes. April 5, 6:30 p.m.

La Palisiada (2023) directed by Philip Sotnychenko. This captivating crime drama recently received 13 nominations and five awards, including Best Feature Film at the Torino Film Festival. The film centres around two friends, a police detective and a forensic psychiatrist, as they investigate a colleague’s murder in 1996 Ukraine. Not only a gripping story, it is a commentary on Ukraine’s first years of independence, the post-Soviet continuum, and its transition into the present. 100 minutes. April 5, 9 p.m.

A Collection of 10 Short Animated Films co-presented with the Linoleum Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival in Kyiv. A new addition for TUFF 2024, The Linoleum Festival celebrates Ukrainian contemporary animation and media artists, and is presently running its 11th annual competition. These films are quirky, funny, and contemplative, shedding light on unique Ukrainian talent. A wonderful collection of short films that is certain to delight children and adults alike! 70 minutes. April 6, 11 a.m.

Felix Austria (Віддана) (2020) directed by Khrystyna Syvolap. Welcome to the kitchen of Stefania Chornenko, a maid who excels in cooking while meddling in the marriage of her half-sister, Adele. This award-winning historical drama based on a best-selling novel, is set in the late 19th century, in the city of Stanislav within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The film follows the relationship between Stefania and Adele, as it shifts from close childhood friends to that of a maid and her employer. Director Syvolap, previously named one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Ukrainians Under 30, fled Ukraine shortly after Russia invaded and has lived in North Vancouver since spring 2022.103 minutes. April 6, 2:30 p.m.

Klondike (2022) directed by Maryna Er Gorbach. This film won awards at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival and was the official submission of Ukraine for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category of the 95th Academy Awards in 2023. Klondike is the story of a Ukrainian family trapped at the epicentre of the MH17 crash site which occurred July 17, 2014. Irka and Anatoly are expecting their first child when Russian forces brutally invade their lives. The juxtaposition of a soon-to-be-mother’s need to nest and an invading military force manifests in Irka’s stoic character. 100 minutes. April 6, 6 p.m.

Mariupolis (2016) directed by Mantas Kvedaravičius. Award-winning Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius’ documentary is a subtle and beautifully filmed montage of Mariupol. It documents the people, their livelihoods, their music, their culture through the carefully calculated lens of the filmmaker. Tragically, Mantas was killed in 2022 while attempting to evacuate civilians from Mariupol. This screening is an homage to both his bravery and his artistry. 90 minutes. April 6, 9 p.m.

Valeria Is Getting Married (Valeria Mithatenet) (2022) directed by Michal Vinik. This award-winning drama had its North American premiere at TIFF 2022. The story follows two Ukrainian sisters who decide to marry through online arranged marriages. The film opens a window into the nuances and complexity of such arrangements, as well as the precarity of the sisters’ positions as recent immigrants and the power dynamics within such relationships. Co-presented with the Odesa International Film Festival and the TJFF Toronto Jewish Film Festival. 76 minutes. April 7, 4 p.m.

We Will Not Fade Away (2023) directed by Alisa Kovalenko. This unforgettable documentary follows five teenagers living in the Donbas region. It’s a portrait of a generation that persists, of young people able to recognize and celebrate the fragile beauty of life. This documentary premiered at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival, and won Best Film at the 2023 Docudays UA International Documentary Human Rights Film Festival. 100 minutes. April 7, 7 p.m.

Individual screening tickets are $22, with Kids pricing of $18 available for the animated shorts. For tickets and more information visit tuff.film. #TUFF2024 | Facebook andInstagram

All proceeds from TUFF 2024 go to Second Front Ukraine Foundation and the humanitarian work of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation.

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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