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Screening ‘Fragile Memory’, February 21, IDFA Back

Screening ‘Fragile Memory’, February 21, IDFA

18 Jan 2024

Wednesday February 21 2024
19.15h – 21.15h CET
IDFA Vondelpark Pavilion, Amsterdam

As part of our ongoing partnership with the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam, IDFA, we co-host a screening of the documentary ‘Fragile Memory’ on February 21 2024. This screening, in the week of the second anniversary of Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine, will be followed by an aftertalk between Mariia Ponomarova and Olexii Kuchanskyi.

Mariia Ponomarova is a Ukrainian film director, screenwriter and creative producer based in Amsterdam. She studied film directing at Karpenko-Karyi Kyiv National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television and graduated from the Master of Film programme of the Netherlands Film Academy. She is an alumna of Go Short Student Campus and took part in IDFAcademy, Ex Oriente Film, EAVE, DokIncubator and B2Bdoc workshops.
Short fiction and documentary films written and directed by Mariia were selected for such festivals as DokLeipzig, Sheffield DocFest, Sarajevo FF, Vancouver IFF, VIS Vienna Shorts, Molodist IFF and more.
Her projects as a creative producer had a successful festival run as well: ‘Fragile Memory’ feature documentary received 7 Special Mentions internationally, a Special July Prize at Sarajevo FF, won One World Slovakia FF, Student Jury Prize at Docudays UA and was screened at the IDFA Best of Fest section, while the fiction short “The Diaper Cake” was selected, among others, to Palm Springs SFF & Chicago IFF.
Currently, Mariia is working on her first director’s feature documentary ‘Nice Ladies’ and is co-moderating a Story Room initiative within the Documentary Association of Europe.

Her experimental short documentary ‘Three windows on south west’ will be screened in EYE on February 20 & 25. Click here for more details.

Olexii Kuchanskyi is a researcher and independent film programmer. Her/his works have been published in Prostory, transversal, Theory on Demand, e-flux Notes and Criticism, and others.

S/he (co-)curated film programs and shows for Kyiv Biennial, Perverting The Power Vertical (PPV) (London), “Sunflower” Solidary Community Centre (Warsaw), e-flux Screening room (New York), among others.
Together with Oleksiy Radynski s/he conveyed the travelling exhibition To Watch The War: the moving image amidst the invasion of Ukraine (2014—2023), at Coalmine — Raum Für Fotografie (Winterthur, Switzerland) and BAK—basis voor actuele kunst (Utrecht, Netherlands).


Fragile Memory
Igor Ivanko – Ukraine, Slovakia – 2022 – 85 min.

Igor Ivanko discovers piles of old negatives at the dacha belonging to his grandfather Leonid Burlaka, a successful cameraman in the heyday of the Soviet studios. Igor, himself a Ukrainian filmmaker, gets this private collection printed and attempts to restore the images digitally. They form a document of the life of Burlaka, who from 1964 to 1999 made 30 features for Odesa Film Studio, a major producer in the glory years of Soviet cinema.

At the kitchen table, Ivanko puts questions to his now-retired grandfather: What was it like to make films in those days? How much freedom did he have, artistically and in his private life? In many cases, these and other questions remain unanswered, because Burlaka has Alzheimer’s and his memory is deteriorating quickly.

This prompts Ivanko to dive into the archives, search for his grandfather’s former colleagues, and talk with his grandmother about the past. He hopes that this blend of warm confrontation, clips of Burlaka’s work, and especially his now-decaying private archive will enable him, in the nick of time, to resurrect the personal stories from behind the Iron Curtain.

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