Hollywood’s first-ever festival of Ukrainian film will open next week in Beverly Hills’s Laemmle Music Hall. The First Hollywood Festival of the Best Ukrainian Films was created by Ukrainian-born Los Angeles-based producer Anatoly Fradis, and will showcase 20 films ranging from Soviet classics to more recent releases.
The films chosen to feature in the festival were selected to provide insight into Ukraine’s cultural and cinematic heritage. Fradis told The Hollywood Reporter that “we are expecting some Hollywood celebrities and we are anticipating a pretty large crowd. The interest is great — my phone rings non-stop.” He added that actors including Mila Kunis and John Voight are invited, however their attendance is not yet confirmed.
The festival will open with Roman Balayan’s 1983 film Flights in Dreams and in Reality, about a man who reflects on the futility of his life on his 40th birthday. More recent films include Miroslav Slaboshpytsky’s sign-language drama The Tribe, which won the grand prize at Critics Week at Cannes Film Festival last year, and Mykhailo Illienko’s The Firecrosser, which was Ukraine’s best foreign-language nominee at the Oscars in 2012.
The festival is organised by European Film Services Corporation and the Ukrainian Union of Filmmakers and will take place from 8-14 May.