Cinema of Ukraine

Ukraine has had an influence on the history of the cinema. Prominent Ukrainian directors include Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Dziga Vertov and Serhiy Paradzhanov. Dovzhenko is often cited as one of the most important early Soviet filmmakers,[5][6] as well as being a pioneer of Soviet montage theory and founding Dovzhenko Film Studios. In 1927 Dziga Vertov moved from Moscow to Ukraine. At the film studio VUFKU he made several avant-garde documentaries, among them «The Eleventh Year», «Man with a Movie Camera» and first Ukrainian documentary sound film «Enthusiasm (Symphony of the Donbass)». Paradzhanov was an Armenian film director and artist who made significant contributions to Ukrainian, Armenian and Georgian cinema; he invented his own cinematic style, Ukrainian poetic cinema,[6] which was totally out of step with the guiding principles of socialist realism.

Cinema of Ukraine
No. of screens2,332 (2011)[1]
  Per capita5.6 per 100,000 (2011)[1]
Main distributorsB And H 20.0%
Gemini Film 11.0%
Kinomania 7.0%[2]
Produced feature films (2009)[3]
Number of admissions (2018)[4]
National films448,400 (3.0%)
Gross box office (2011)[4]
TotalUAH 345 million (~€10.6 million)
National filmsUAH 4.62 million (~€142,000) (1.3%)

Other important directors include Kira Muratova, Larysa Shepitko, Serhiy Bondarchuk, Leonid Bykov, Yuriy Illienko, Leonid Osyka, Vyacheslav Krishtofovich, Roman Balayan, Sergiy Masloboyschikov, Ihor Podolchak and Maryna Vroda. Many Ukrainian actors have achieved international fame and critical success, including Vira Kholodna, Bohdan Stupka, Sergei Makovetsky, Mike Mazurki, Natalie Wood, Danny Kaye, Jack Palance, Milla Jovovich, Olga Kurylenko and Mila Kunis. Immigrants from Ukraine were the parents of Serge Gainsbourg, Leonard Nimoy, Vira Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga, grandparents - Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman, Sylvester Stallone, Kirk Douglas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Winona Ryder, Whoopi Goldberg, Edward Dmytryk, Lenny Kravitz and Zoë Kravitz, illusionist David Copperfield, animator Bill Tytla.

Despite a history of important and successful productions, the industry has often been characterised by a debate about its identity and the level of Russian and European influence.[7] Ukrainian producers are active in international co-productions, while Ukrainian actors, directors and crew feature regularly in Russian (and formerly Soviet) films. Successful films have been based on Ukrainian people, stories or events, including Battleship Potemkin, Man with a Movie Camera, and Everything Is Illuminated.

The Ukrainian State Film Agency owns National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Centre, film copying laboratory and archive, and takes part in hosting of the Odessa International Film Festival. Another festival, Molodist in Kiev, is the only FIAPF accredited International Film Festival held in Ukraine; the competition program has sections for student films, first short film, and first full feature films from all over the world. It is held annually in October.

History of the cinema in Ukraine

On the territory of Odesa film studio, there is a Museum of the Cinema, in which you can find out about many interesting facts on the history of the cinema in general and history of Ukrainian cinema as a part. Here you can find historic materials, from the invention of cinema, to the postmodern, digital and avant garde.

Films of Ukrainian SSR by ticket sales

Ukrainian titleEnglish titleYearTickets sold (millions)
НП – Надзвичайна пригодаE.A. — Extraordinary Accident195947.5
У бій ідуть лише «старі»Only Old Men Are Going to Battle197344.3
Вдалечінь від батьківщиниFar from the Motherland196042.0
Доля МариниMarina's Destiny195437.9
Подвиг розвідникаSecret Agent194722.73

Government and civil bodies concerned

is administrated by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Association of Cinematographers.

Film studios

State owned

Privately owned

  • Animagrad (Kyiv)
  • Film Service Illuminator
  • Film.UA [9] (Kyiv)
  • Fresh Production
  • Halychyna-Film Film Studio (Lviv)
  • Interfilm Production Studio
  • Kinofabryka
  • Linked Films
  • Odessa Animation Studio (Odesa)
  • Panama Grand Prix (Kyiv)
  • Patriot Film
  • Pronto Film (Kyiv)
  • Star Media
  • Yalta-Film Film Studio[10] (Yalta)

Film distribution

B&H Film Distribution Company is a major Ukrainian film distributor; it is the local distributor of films by Walt Disney Pictures, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia Pictures).[11]

Ukrainian Film Distribution (formerly Gemini Ukraine) is the local distributor of films by 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight Pictures, Blue Sky Studios).[11]

Kinomania is the local distributor of films by Warner Brothers (New Line Cinema).[11]

Short films, festival winners and art house are mostly distributed by Arthouse traffic.[12]

The newest website dalabase system for the artists is the Ukrainian Film Industry Foundation


  • Molodist,[13] Kyiv International Film Festival, held in Kyiv (1970-)
  • Kyiv International Film Festival,[14] held in Kyiv (2009-)
  • Kyiv International Short Film Festival,[15] held in Kyiv (2012-)
  • Kinolev, held in Lviv (2006-)
  • Odessa International Film Festival,[16] held in Odesa (2010-)
  • Animation Film Festival "Krok",[17] (1987) organized by the Ukrainian Association of Cinematographers and takes place in Ukraine and Russia
  • Pokrov,[18] international festival of Christian Orthodox cinema, held in Kyiv (2003-)
  • Vidkryta Nich (Open Night),[19] festival of Ukrainian debut short films, held in Kyiv (1997-)
  • Kharkiv Siren Film Festival,[20] international festival of short feature films, held in Kharkiv (2008-)
  • Wiz-Art,[21] International Short Film Festival, held in Lviv (2008-)
  • VAU-Fest,[22] International Video Art and Short Film Festival, held in the town of Ukrainka in Kyiv oblast (2010-)
  • Kinofront,[23] festival of Ukrainian Z and indie movies (2008-)
  • Docudays UA,[24] international human rights documentary film festival, held in Kyiv with travelling program around Ukraine (2003-)
  • Contact, international documentary film festival, held in Kyiv (2005-2007)
  • Berdiansk International Film Festival "Golden Brigantine",[25] festival of cinema made in Commonwealth of Independent States and Baltic countries, held in the city of Berdiansk (2011)
  • Irpin Film Festival,[26] international noncommercial festival of alternative cinema, held in the town of Irpin (2003)
  • Golden Pektorale,[27] International Truskavets Film Festival, held in the town of Truskavets
  • Crown of Carpathians,[28] Another International Truskavets Film Festival, held in the town of Truskavets
  • Mute Nights, Odesa, International silent film festival which is held in Odesa on the third week on June.
  • Kino-Yalta, festival of producer's cinema[29] (2003) organized together with the Russian government
  • Stozhary,[30] held in Kiev (1995-2005)
  • Sebastopol International Film Festival,[31] held in Sevastopol, Crimea (2005-2009, 2011)


Current awards

  • Shevchenko National Prize, for the Performing Arts
  • Dovzhenko State Prize of Ukraine
  • Scythian deer, the main prize of the International Student Cinematography Festival Molodist[32]
  • Golden Duke, the main prize of the Odessa International Film Festival (OIFF)[33]
  • Sunny bunny of the international student cinematography festival Molodist
  • Ukrainian Panorama of the international student cinematography festival Molodist

In 1987 Ukrainian engineer and animator Eugene Mamut together with three colleagues won the «Oscar» (Scientific and Engineering Award) for the design and development of RGA / Oxberry Compu-Quad Special Effects Optical Printer for the movie «Predator»

In 2006 Ukrainian engineer and inventor Anatoliy Kokush was awarded two Oscars for the concept and development of the Ukrainian Arm gyro-stabilized camera crane and the Flight Head.

Former awards

Notable films

  • 1991 Голод-33 / Famine-33, directed by Oles Yanchuk
  • 1991 Чудо в краю забуття / Miracle in the Land of Oblivion, directed by Natalia Motuzko
  • 1992 Тарас Шевченко. Заповіт / Taras Shevchenko. Testament, directed by Stanislav Klymenko
  • 1993 Гетьманські клейноди / Hetman's Regalia, directed by Leonid Osyka
  • 1993 Сад Гетсиманський / Garden of Gethsemane, directed by Rostyslav Synko (by the novel of Ivan Bahriany)
  • 1994 Тигролови / Tiger Catchers, directed by Rostyslav Synko (by the novel of Ivan Bahriany)
  • 1995 Атентат - осіннє вбивство в Мюнхені / Assassination. An Autumn Murder in Munich, directed by Oles Yanchuk
  • 1995 Москаль-чарівник / Moskal-Charivnyk, directed by Mykola Zasieiev-Rudenko
  • 1997 Приятель небіжчика / A Friend of the Deceased, directed by Viacheslav Kryshtofovych
  • 1998 Тупик / Dead End, directed by Hryhoriy Kokhan
  • 1999 Як коваль щастя шукав / How the Blacksmith Looked for Happiness, directed by Radomyr Vasylevsky

Top awards

AwardCategoryFilm titleYearDirector
Palme d'OrShort FilmThe Cross (Cross-country)2011Maryna Vroda
Palme d'OrShort FilmPodorozhni (Wayfarers)2005Ihor Strembitskyi
Jury Prize Silver Bear at BerlinaleShort FilmIshov tramvai N°9 (The Tram N°9 Goes)2003Stepan Koval
Panorama Award of the NYFA at BerlinaleShort FilmTyr (Shooting Gallery)2001Taras Tomenko
FIPRESCI PrizeFIPRESCI AwardLebedyne Ozero - Zona (Swan Lake. The Zone)1990Yuriy Illienko
Award of the Youth at Cannes Film FestivalForeign FilmLebedyne Ozero - Zona (Swan Lake. The Zone)1990Yuriy Illienko

Top Ukrainian-language films by IMDb rating[34]

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors19658.1
The Guide20147.9
Brothers. The Final Confession20137.9
Unforgotten Shadows20136.7
Las Meninas20087.2


Ukrainian actors

Ukrainian diaspora actors


Ukrainian directors

Non-Ukrainian origin directors

See also

Part of a series on
Template:Ukrainian diaspora
Sub-national groups
Boikos · Hutsuls · Lemkos · Poleszuks
Closely-related peoples
East Slavs (parent group)
Rusyns · Poleszuks · Kuban Cossacks
Pannonian Rusyns
Architecture · Art · Cinema · Cuisine
Dance · Language · Literature · Music
Sport · Theater
Eastern Orthodox
(Moscow Patriarchate
Orthodox Church of Ukraine)
Greek Catholicism
Roman Catholicism
Judaism (among ethnic Jews)
Languages and dialects
Russian · Canadian Ukrainian ·
Rusyn · Pannonian Rusyn
Balachka · Surzhyk · Lemko
History · Rulers
List of Ukrainians


  1. "Table 8: Cinema Infrastructure - Capacity". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  2. "Table 6: Share of Top 3 distributors (Excel)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  3. "Table 1: Feature Film Production - Genre/Method of Shooting". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  4. "Table 11: Exhibition - Admissions & Gross Box Office (GBO)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  5. Ivan Katchanovski; Zenon E. Kohut; Bohdan Y. Nebesio; Myroslav Yurkevich (2013). "Film" entry in Historical Dictionary of Ukraine. Scarecrow Press. p. 174. ISBN 9780810878471.
  6. "Capturing the Marvelous: Ukrainian poetic cinema". Film Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  7. Shevchuk, Yuri (2014). Linguistic Strategies of Imperial Appropriation: Why Ukraine is absent from world film history. Ch. 22 of Contemporary Ukraine on the Cultural Map of Europe, ed. Larissa M. L. Zaleska Onyshkevych & Maria G. Rewakowicz. Routledge. pp. 359–374. ISBN 9781317473787.
  8. Website of Yalta Film Studio (in Russian)
  9. Website of Film.UA Archived 2011-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Website of Yalta-Film Archived 2010-08-03 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  11. Film distribution: who brings movies to Ukraine Archived 2011-08-29 at the Wayback Machine (in Ukrainian)
  12. About Arthouse Traffic
  13. Official website
  14. KIFF official website
  15. KISFF official website
  16. Official website
  17. Krok official website
  18. Pokrov film festival official website Archived 2011-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  19. Archived 2008-07-15 at the Wayback Machine
  20. Харьковская Сирень
  21. Wiz Art Archived 2011-09-05 at the Wayback Machine
  22. VAU-Fest
  23. Kinofront Archived 2011-12-14 at the Wayback Machine
  24. Docudays UA Archived 2011-11-25 at the Wayback Machine
  25. BMKF official page
  26. Irpin film festival official page
  27. Golden Pektorale Archived 2011-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  28. Crown of Carpathians
  29. Encyclopedia of Homeland Cinema Archived 2011-01-07 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  30. Stozhary film festival official page
  31. Sebastopol film festival official website Archived 2012-04-09 at the Wayback Machine
  32. Regulations for Molodist festival Archived 2010-08-24 at the Wayback Machine (in Ukrainian)
  33. Awards and Jury of OIFF (in English)
  34. IMDb - Data as for September 2015
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