A multimedia documentary project consisting of a series of fresh, colourful insider point-of-view short stories on the present-day life of young people, linked by animated episodes and directed by 15 young and talented filmmakers from the 15 republics formerly annexed by the USSR.
This is a film about children's jazz orchestra from a provincial town. The “main stars” of the band are leaving it – somebody is invited to study in Kiev, someone – to Germany. In order to fill in the empty places, the 79-year old teacher of the orchestra decides to teach the talented 9-year old Polina to play all the instruments together. In the Dixieland the children usually arrive “though the window” - they hear somebody play behind the open window of the cellar, they look inside and the brave ones go down the stairs and stay. But even those who decide on leaving the Rybkin's orchestra, they leave with new values, change their habits and friends. This film – the story about the 2 most important periods of human life – childhood, when if you believe in yourself is enough to become an orchestra, and maturity, when you have to hurry up to share, to give the world all the treasures of the soul and talent gathered during the years. This is also a story about the cost of freedom, success and fame in the contemporary Ukraine.
Poet on the Run
Igor (35) is a talented poet and musician. He grew up in the provincial town of Kherson on the coast of the Black Sea. He was 15 when the USSR ceased to exist and he suddenly found himself living in a new country, the independent Ukraine. It was a time of feverish artistic activity and freedom but it didn’t last for long. Igor’s rebellious, nonconformist ways and beliefs that made him a misfit in the Soviet system, proved to be an obstacle to a successful career in the independent but culturally provincial Ukraine as well. More than a year ago he moved to Moscow, and since then he has been restlessly searching for his true place as an artist in the complicated post-Soviet world. Today he lives between three cities. In Moscow he leads a truly bohemian life: performances, admirers, parties, expensive alcohol and soft drugs – all the usual ‘components of success’. When he gets tired of the hectic life in the capital, he goes back to his family in Kyiv, but his heart really belongs to his native Kherson. Having proclaimed itself independent, culturally Ukraine is still looking back at Moscow and unconditionally accepts only those artists who have won success in the capital of the former empire. His old buddies in Kherson have ‘surrendered’ – they have normal jobs, they have not abandoned the town, they have not become famous. At the same time, they have much more vitality, power and creativity than all his cronies in Kyiv and Moscow. They are creating art. Upon his leaving for Moscow, Igor was dreaming of returning to his homeland as a famous musician, of creating new, free art and of earning recognition for his country. But today the political situation in Ukraine is changing radically. The current administration has chosen to follow the lead of Moscow; many reforms are made under the dictate of Russia which is very far from being a democratic state. The word 'independence' itself for many Russia-oriented politicians sounds like a curse word. Professionals and artists in their masses are leaving the country in search for a better life abroad. Meanwhile, Ukraine is getting ready to host the European football championship this year, trying to project to the world a self-image of a country that is progressive and ‘European’ in every sense of the word. But the thin, deceptive makeup of superficial glamour can’t but betray Ukraine’s deep-rooted uncertainty of its own place and identity in the modern world. In this sense, Igor is just a mirror image of his home country. Will he succeed in finding the firm bedrock on which to build his artistic career as well as his private life? Will he succeed in winning recognition as an artist without losing his personal integrity?
Vlad started the war after his younger brother tried heroin and fell into a coma. Vlad sparked his fellow-athletes with the idea to punish the drug dealers. Six "Robinhoods" made a raid against their town's drug dealers. The dealers were beaten, the images recorded. Then it was discovered the dealers are shielded by the police.
Sheriffs of Stara Zburyevka
There is no district police officer in the village of Stara Zburyevka in southern Ukraine. He lives in a neighboring village more than 20 kilometres away. Whatever happens in Stara Zburyevka, there is no use waiting for the police – they just don't come if you call them. The villagers have chosen two men, the smartest and the strongest among their own midst, to take care of public order in the village. They have given them power, a car, shiny tokens and named them "Sheriffs". Their detective stories are sometimes wild, sometimes violent, sometimes funny, but, according to the village community, their actions are always fair. On the example of their story, we want to show how ordinary Ukrainians are creating their own self-help structures, separate from the state to ensure their own protection and security.