Our programme to support the development and distribution of Ukrainian short docs, delivered in 2015/16. Organized in partnership with the world-known UK media The Guardianand DocudaysUA festival.

In March 2016 six shortlisted teams (were selected among 92 open call applications) presented their projects at the open pitch session of the competition.

International jury awarded the Guardian prize and 5,000£ grant to Home Games project by Alisa Kovalenko. The award also included the opportunity to be featured at the Guardian Documentary platform and access millions of viewers worldwide. Home Games will be available at the Guardian Documentary expectedly in 2017.

The British Council in Ukraine awarded its prize - 3000£ to The Fall of Lenin (director Svitlana Shymko). DocudaysUA supported one more winner - Semen Mozgovyi and his History Of The Winter’s Garden with the equal 3000£ prize.

All three winning short docs premiered at DocudaysUA in March 2017 as part of the national competition programme. The Fall of Lenin was awarded with Jury’s special mention.

About the projects

Home Games by Alisa Kovalenko is a story of the life of Alina Shilova, a 20-year-old girl from Kyiv, whose passion for football has a chance of saving her from poverty. Alina is now a professional player, but her situation remains uncertain: her mother suddenly dies, leaving behind Alina’s beloved siblings, Renat & Regina, 6 and 7 years old. Alina becomes a substitute mother. Her career plans are on the verge of collapse. The whole dysfunctional family is living in a cramped one-room apartment. Alina wants to give her brother and sister a better life than the one she had. Will she find the strength to cope with everything? How can you win the match of your life when the odds are stacked against you?

The Winter Garden’s Tale by Semen Mozgovyi - the film’s story is based on the fate of the Floriculture Pavilion of the former Exhibition of Achievements of the People’s Economy, and its elderly employee Valentyna Voronina, who maintains this space, investing her own life into it, until suddenly changes come to her. After forty-five years of work, she is asked to retire. But Voronina does not agree with that, because she thinks that all the plants will die without her. Meanwhile, a group of mysterious radioesthesists find a channel of positive energy right in front of the entrance to the pavilion.

The Fall of Lenin by Svitlana Shymko is an ironic documentary film about the farewell to the phantoms of the USSR in Ukraine.The spiritual session with the ghost of Lenin guides us through our past, present and future. The film presents the dawn and the twilight of idols, and the curious afterlife of history’s ghosts.It is inspired by laws adopted in 2015 by the parliament of Ukraine which condemn the Soviet totalitarian regime and ban the use of Communist symbols.

The judging panel

We’re delighted to be working with the following leading film experts:

Christine Bardsley, Film Advisor, British Council UK

Charlie Phillips, Head, The Guardian Documentary

Serhiy Bukovsky, Documentary filmmaker, professor at Karpenko-Karyy Film, Theatre and TV University

Roman Bondarchuk, Artistic Director, Docudays UA  

What is the Guardian Documentary

Created by The Guardian in 2014 the Guardian Documentary platform supports film production and is always on the look-out for new stories to shape and expand people’s understanding of contemporary issues and places. It is a weekly slot for new short international documentary stories, produced by the best independent filmmakers from all around the world.

External links