Ruslana – World Music Award and Eurovision Song Contest Winner
Ruslana Stepanivna Lyzhychko is recognized to be the most successful Ukrainian female solo artists internationally. A singer, dancer, producer, and social activist, she won a myriad of awards, including recognition as one of the top 10 most influential women of 2013 by Forbes magazine. She began her career as a winner of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, attaining a total score of 280 points – a record amount of points at the time – with a song “Wild Dances.” Besides her musical career, she also gained recognition as a “heroine of Ukraine” by the American press for her commitment to the Pro-EU movement, otherwise known as Euromaidan.
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk – Singer, composer and politician
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk is a lead singer for the Okean Elzy, the most successful rock band in Ukraine. Performing in countries across the world including Belarus, US, and Canada, the band also performed in December 2013 at the Euromaidan protests. Later in 2015 the band broke the record for the largest number of people attending a concert by a Ukrainian band when it performed at Kiev's Olympiyskiy’s Stadium and a crowd of over 75,000 people came out to listen to them. Besides his musical career he is also a political activist and on 16th May 2019 he has announced the creation of his personal political party “Voice.”
Pavlo Tabakov – Singer and Winner of project Chance and Voice of the Country-2
A singer, musician, and composer, Tabakov had attained recognition by winning the fifth season of the Ukrainian TV project Chance as well as the TV project The Voice of Ukraine in the team of Diana Arbenina. Alongside these accomplishments, he has also been a semi-finalist of the second season of Ukraine’s Got Talent. These accomplishments are all possible because of his incredible vocal range of three octaves.
Kvitka Cisyk – Soprano Singer
Cisyk is an American soprano singer of Ukrainian ethnicity who is famous as a singer of popular, classical opera, Ukrainian folk music, as well as a singer for radio and TV advertisements. Being a daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, she was inspired to record two albums of Ukrainian songs, which were both nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album award: Kvitka: Two Colors and Kvitka: Songs of Ukraine.
Solomiya Krushelnytska - Ukrainian soprano, opera singer
Solomiya is considered to be one of the brightest opera stars of the first half of the 20th century. Solomiya performed in Odessa (1896–1897), Warsaw (1898–1902), St Petersburg (1901–1902), the Paris Grand Opera (1902), Naples (1903–1904), Cairo and Alexandria (1904), and Rome (1904–1905). Krushelnytska is known as an active promoter of the works of her contemporaries, and of Richard Wagner. She also performed in other theatres across Europe, Egypt, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and others.
Renata Babak - Mezzo-soprano opera star
Renata was a Ukrainian mezzo-soprano who defected to America from the Bolshoi Opera. She made her U.S. debut at Carnegie Hall in 1975. Her last performance was in 1997 when she was in Tchaikovsky's "Iolanta" with Opera Camerata of Washington D.C. She was also acclaimed by audiences at Bolshoi, La Scala and Carnegie Hall.
Beverly Sills - American operatic soprano
Beverly, a daughter of Ukrainian immigrants from Odesa, was an America’s leading bel canto stylist. Although she sang a repertoire from Handel and Mozart to Puccini, Massenet and Verdi, she was known for her performances in coloratura soprano roles in live opera and recordings. Sills was largely associated with the operas of Donizetti, of which she performed and recorded many roles. The New York Times noted, "In her prime her technique was exemplary. She could dispatch coloratura roulades and embellishments, capped by radiant high Ds and E-flats, with seemingly effortless agility.”
Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travis - Peter, Paul and Mary music group
Peter, Paul and Mary is an American folk group popular in the 1960s. Attaining a Warner Bros. record label, they managed to distinguish themselves from other groups taking part in the folk revival of the time. The folk singer Peter Yarrow, whose parents were educated Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, in the later years went to Ukraine as part of the campaign against bullying and taught schoolchildren both respect and tolerance through music.
Mykola Leontovych - composer Carol of the Bells – Shchedryk
“Carol of the Bells” is an incredibly popular Christmas carol in which music comes from the notes written by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych. Moreover, the version of the lyrics which was written by Peter J. Wilhousky is not an original one. The actual song was based on the Ukrainian folk chant named “Shchedryk.” The original Ukrainian lyrics tell a story of a swallow flying over the sky and into a household to bring and pronounce a bountiful year for a family.
Sergei Prokofiev – Ukrainian-born composer, pianist and conductor
Sergei is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His works include such widely heard pieces as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet—from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken—and Peter and the Wolf. He performed in the US (New York and Chicago) and France (Paris). Today Prokofiev may well be the most popular composer of 20th-century music. His orchestral music alone is played more frequently in the United States than that of any other composer of the last hundred years save Richard Strauss, while his operas, ballets, chamber works, and piano music appear regularly throughout major concert halls worldwide.
Maxim Berezovsky - composer, opera singer, bassist and violinist
Berezovsky was one of the first Russian composers in the 18th century to be recognized throughout Europe and the first to compose an opera, symphony, and violin sonata. His most popular works are his sacred choral pieces written for the Orthodox Church. Much of his work has been lost; only three of the 18 known choral concertos have been found. Dmitry Bortniansky was thought to be the first Russian symphonic composer until the discovery in 2002 of Berezovsky's Symphony in C by Steven Fox in the Vatican archives, composed around 1770 to 1772.
Myroslav Shoryk - composer, pianist, art director of Kyiv Opera
Myroslav is a Ukrainian composer and teacher. His music is contemporary in style and contains stylistic traits from Ukrainian folk traditions. Many works by Skoryk have been performed by leading ensembles and soloists including Leontovych Quartet, Oleh Krysa, Volodymyr Vynnytsky, Mykola Suk and Alexander Slobodyanik. Victor Markiw has written the first English language book on the composer titled The Life and Solo Piano Works of the Ukrainian Composer Myroslav Skoryk, published in 2010 by the Edwin Mellen Press.
Dmitry Bortniansky - precursor of the 19th century “Russian” classical school in music
Dmitry was a Ukrainian and Russian composer, harpsichordist and conductor, who served at the court of Catherine the Great. Bortniansky is critical to the musical history of both Ukraine and Russia, with both nations claiming him as their own. Bortniansky is known today for his liturgical works and his prolific contributions to the genre of choral concertos. He was one of the "Golden Three" of his era, alongside Artemy Vedel and Maxim Berezovsky. Bortniansky was so popular in the Russian Empire that his figure was represented in 1862 in the bronze monument of the Millennium of Russia in the Novgorod Kremlin.
Bob Dylan - singer-songwriter
Bob Dylan has been the most influential pop music figure for over 50 years. He is also a recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature. His parental grandparents moved to the United States from Odessa, Ukraine. Bob Dylan’s most known songs are Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times They Are a-Changin,” both of which have later become recognized as anthems for the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement.
Vadym Kholodenko - pianist, 2013 Cliburn Gold Medalist
Vadym is a Ukrainian pianist, and winner of the gold medal at the Fourteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He had home prizes for best performance of the piano quintet and best performance of a commissioned work, Vadym highlighted the Final Round with two concerti with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. His cadenza in Mozart's Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467, which he wrote on the plane, was praised as "fascinatingly contrapuntal," showing "the guts of a true super artist.”
Vladimir Horowitz - composer and piano virtuoso
Horowitz, an incredibly talented and acclaimed pianist, was born in Kiev. After building his initial career in Ukraine, he moved to play in the West. Starting in Berlin, he also played in Paris, London, and New York City. His fame also made him be selected by the Soviet authorities to represent Ukraine at the inaugural International Chopin Piano Competition in Poland. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time who was able to transcend into a style of excitement filled with an unparalleled tone color.
Alexander Slobodyanik - virtuoso pianist
Alexander was a classical pianist from Ukraine. He enjoyed a prodigious international career spanning over five decades. He made his debut tour to the United States in 1968 which included a recital at Carnegie Hall, which was highly praised by critics, recognizing him as a leader of his generation. Slobodyanik appeared at the world’s major music centers and performed with such renowned orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Kirov Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and many others.
Valentyn Silvestrov - composer and pianist of contemporary classical music
Valentyn, Ukrainian composer and pianist in neoclassical trend, is acclaimed for “metaphorical” style of music.Using traditional tonal and modal techniques, Silvestrov creates a unique and delicate tapestry of dramatic and emotional textures, qualities which he suggests are otherwise sacrificed in much of contemporary music. "I do not write new music. My music is a response to and an echo of what already exists," Silvestrov has said.
Mykola Lysenko - composer, conductor and culturologist
Lysenko composed 133 art songs, many of which are lyrics by Taras Shevchenko as well as Lesia Ukrainka, Ivan Franko, Heinrich Heine, Oleksandr Oles, Adam Mickiewicz and others. He also arranged approximately 500 folk songs for voice and piano, choir and piano, or choir a cappella. Lysenko wrote a number of operatic works, including Natalka Poltavka, Utoplena and Taras Bulba. His collection of essays about Ukrainian folk instruments, makes him the founder of Ukrainian organology and one of the first organologist in the Russian Empire.
Hnat Khotkevych - founder of the modern bandura art
Hnat was a Ukrainian writer, ethnographer, playwright, composer, musicologist, and bandurist. Khotkevych was a renaissance man and was multi-talented. Although he was trained as a professional engineer, he is known more as a prolific Ukrainian literary figure, and also as a dramatist, composer and ethnographer, and father of the modern bandura. Khotkevych incorporated original folkloric and ethnographic material, in particular folks songs, tales, customs and even dialectical and lingual differences of the region or time which he was writing about. He included many aspects of the modernist style popular in Ukraine at the time.
Artemy Vedel - composer and choral conductor
Artemy was a military and monastic composer of Ukrainian origin. Together with Maxim Berezovsky and Dmitry Bortniansky, Vedel is recognized as one of the Golden Three composers of the period.The V.I. Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine holds the only existing music composition manuscript handwritten by Vedel, the "Score of Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom and Other Compositions". The piece comprises the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom and various choral works. The ink varies in color, which suggests that Vedel wrote on the manuscript at different times throughout the years.
Vasil Barvinsky - premier conductor, composer, professor
Vasil - was a Ukrainian composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, musicologist, and music related social figure. Barvinsky was one of the first Ukrainian composers to gain worldwide recognition. His pieces were published not only in the Soviet Union, but also in Vienna, Leipzig, New York (Universal Edition), and Japan. Barvinsky directed a post-secondary musical institution in the city of Lviv (1915-1948) the Lysenko Higher Institute of Music, and was considered to be the head of musical life at the time. Currently there is a College of Music named after Barvinsky in Drohobych city of Ukraine.
Hryhory Kytasty - composer and conductor of modern bandura music
Hryhory, a Ukrainian émigré, was an artistic director of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus in the US. In 2008 he was honored with the Hero of Ukraine state decoration. In 1949 H. Kytasty emigrated to the United States, settling initially with the rest of the Chorus in Detroit. In the United States the Shevchenko Bandurist Capella changed its name in English to the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus. Kytasty is known as a composer who captured the spirit of the Ukrainian emigration who were branded Displaced Persons from Eastern Europe, reflecting the aspirations of the Western Ukrainian Diaspora.
Alexander Koshetz - choral conductor with an all-time record for audience attendance
Alexander was a Ukrainian choral conductor, arranger, composer, ethnographer, writer, musicologist, and lecturer, who introduced carol of the bells to the world. He also helped popularize Ukrainian music around the world. Although Koshetz was mostly known as a conductor, he also did his share of composing and arranging music. In the 1920s, after the creation of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Koshetz composed his liturgy, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, as well as ten Ukrainian religious chants.
Virko Baley - composer, conductor and pianist
Virko is a Ukrainian-American composer, conductor, and pianist. Baley is the former conductor of the Nevada Symphony Orchestra and was the guest conductor of the Kiev Camerata in Ukraine. He also co-directs N.E.O.N., Nevada Encounters of New Music, and often collaborates with the New Juilliard Ensemble in New York. Baley composed the score to the 1991 Ukrainian film Swan Lake, The Zone. As a producer, and through his record label TNC, Virko Baley has released a series of CDs containing rare recordings of the pianist Sviatoslav Richter and of the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the latter earning him a GRAMMY® Award.
Ihor Sonevytsky - co-founder of the Ukrainian Musical Institute in America
Ihor was a Ukrainian-born composer, conductor, and pianist. He conducted five different Ukrainian choirs, organized and directed a Ukrainian string orchestra and opera ensemble, taught private students, lectured at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Rome, wrote over 500 music-related articles for various newspapers and periodicals, wrote several books, edited many others, and accompanied a variety of singers, recording several LPs of vocal music with them. He is the author of an opera, a ballet, some chamber music, a series of piano works and a catalogue of choral and vocal music.
Yakiv Yatsynevych - choral conductor and composer
Yakiv was a prominent Ukrainian composer, conductor, and folklorist, known for his eclectic works. He studied with Mykola Lysenko in Kiev. From 1903 to 1906, he conducted the men's choir at Kiev University and a mixed choir at Odessa (1925-30). His works include the Symphony "Year 1905," the Oratoria "Skorbna Maty" (with words by Pavlo Tychyna), church music ("Sluzhba Bozha," Cantatas on the Themes of St. George, Basil, Peter, and Paul), choral works, and about 200 songs.
Mila Kunis – Ukrainian-born American actress
Born in the Ukrainian SSR in the Soviet Union, Kunis, alongside her family, had immigrated to the United States at the age of 7. This Ukrainian-born actress had since then attained worldwide recognition by starring in famous movies, including Black Swan, Jupiter Ascending, and Bad Mums. Her career began with her playing a role in That 70s Show and voicing Meg in an animated show Family Guy. From then on, her popularity seems only to be growing, providing her with awards such as the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actress in her role of Odile in the Black Swan.
Olga Kurylenko – Actress
A French-Ukrainian actress and model, Kurylenko was first discovered as a model in Moscow when she was only 13 years old. After that, she began starring as an actress in 2005 with her first role being Nika Boronina in a video game adaptation movie, Hitman. Since then, she had starred in famous movies such as Quantum of Solace, Oblivion, and The November Man.
Mila Jovovich – Actress and Model
Born in Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Mila Bogdanovna Jovovich became a famous American actress starring in multiple action and sci-fi films. Moreover, in 2004, Forbes had pronounced her to be the highest-paid model in the world. Her filming industry breakthrough came with the role of Leeloo in the Fifth Element directed by Luc Besson. From then on she starred in the action horror science fiction film series, Resident Evil.
Hedy Lamaar - actress and inventor
Hedy Lamaar, whose father is originally from Lviv, is not only a woman with an impressive career in film, but also is an inductee to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Meeting Louis B. Mayer, head of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, she was offered a contract in Hollywood where she began building her career as an actress. At the beginning of WWI, however, she developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes which used frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology overcoming the jamming by the Axis powers. The same exact technology is now incorporated into Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies.
Silvester Stalone - actor, screenwriter and producer
Stalone, whose great-grandfather was Ukrainian, is one of the most renowned American actors, screenwriters, and producers. He achieved his greatest success as an actor in 1976, when he self-created the role of Rocky Balboa in the Rocky series. His film Rocky was actually inducted into the National Film registry and the movie’s props were placed in one of the Smithonian museums. In fact, this movie also gained him two nominations for the same film: Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor. He was only the third man in history to receive these two nominations for the same film. Besides that, he starred in a myriad of movies including Rambo, The Expendables, and others.
Leonard Nimoy - actor
Born to Jewish immigrants from Iziaslav, Ukraine, Nimoy had now gained great success, taking a risk and starting his career early in Hollywood. He is best known for his role of playing Spock in the Star Trek Franchise. For almost fifty years, he had dedicated himself to that role from the very first episode which came out in 1964. His character of Spock gained so much popularity that the actor wrote two autobiographies: I Am Spock and I Am Not Spock. Both of them portray Nimoy sharing his existence with the character of Spock in his life. Either way, his influence on the world of American cinema culture also led to an asteroid being named in his honour in 2015 - asteroid “4864 Nimoy.”
Dustin Hoffman - actor, director, producer
Known best for his portrayals of antiheroes and emotionally vulnerable characters, Dustin Hoffman is one of the actors who receives critical praise for almost all his roles. In total, he is a recipient of about two Academy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, four BAFTAs, three Drama Desk Awards, and two Emmy Awards. Most notably, he is also a recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honors Award as well. Hoffman comes from a Jewish family of immigrants from Kiev and Iași.
Bohdan Stupka - Actor and the minister of culture of Ukraine
Bohdan was the most popular actor in Ukraine. He was also a member of the jury at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival. At the 26th Moscow International Film Festival he won the award for Best Actor for his role in Our Own. Stupka has played more than a hundred roles in films and over fifty in theaters. He has been awarded the title Artist of Ukraine and People's Artist of the USSR. Hero of Ukraine (The Order of the State) (2011). In 1999-2001, Bohdan successfully served as Minister of Culture and Arts of Ukraine, but he still decided to go back to the theater. The dream of his life was that Ukrainian culture has become known throughout the world.
Vera Farmiga - actress
An American actress and producer, she made her debut on stage in the original Broadway production of Taking Sides. Going into the world of cinematography, she starred as Alex Goran in the movie, Up in the Air, for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award, and the Academy Award for best Supporting Actress amongst others. She is now incredibly famous for portraying the paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren in the movie series, Conjuring. Movies much like the Conjuring gained her the reputation of a contemporary scream queen. The actress considers herself to be 100% Ukrainian American, being raised in a Ukrainian American community in Irvington, New Jersey and growing up learning Ukrainian as her native language.
David Duchovny - actor, writer, producer, director, novelist, and singer-songwriter
David is a modern American actor of Ukrainian descent, best known for his parts in two TV series, The X-Files and Californication. Duchovny's grandfather emigrated to the USA from Berdychiv. In 2014, Duchovny wrote in his Twitter feed: "I grew up thinking I was Russian only to find recently I have been Ukrainian all along."
Steven Spielberg – American filmmaker
Steven Spielberg is renowned for his production of movies, including E.T., Jurassic Park, Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and a myriad more. Considered to be one of the pioneers of the New Hollywood era, he had grandparents who originally came from Ukraine. Because of this, besides film production, Spielberg had worked to undermine activists who try to deny that there was ever an attempt to eliminate the European Jewry. To accomplish this, he co-produced a documentary film alongside Viktor Pinchuk, “Spell Your Name.” This movie combines the accounts of Jews and Gentiles who saved them to better represent the reality and the events of the Holocaust in Ukraine.
Lee Strasberg - actor and acting teacher
Strasberg, alongside Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, is the founder of the Group Theatre - “America’s first true theatrical collective.” He also made himself a director of a nonprofit Actors Studio in NYC, one of the nation’s most prestigious acting schools where he taught several generations of theater and film notables, including Dustin Hoffman, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Anne Bancroft, and many others. He was originally born in Budaniv, a village in Ternopil Oblast of Ukraine.
Anatoliy Kokush - film engineer - fast and furious, mission impossible, x-men
Kokush is a famous film engineer who founded a Soviet film and television company Filmotechnic which was later involved in the production of major Hollywood pictures including Titanic, War of the Worlds, Transformers, Iron Man 2, Ocean’s Twelve, Fast and Furious, X-Men, Mission Impossible, and many more huge box office hits. He has been recognized too for his contributions to the world of Ukrianian cinema and the world by the then-First Lady Kateryna Yushchenko.
Eugene Mamut - special effects - predator, matrix, (grew up in Ukraine)
Growing up in Ukraine and after creating one of the first computer-animated shorts, Mamut eventually moved to America. There, he was hired by EFX Unlimited where he worked on creating visual effects for The Blue Lagoon and Xanadu. Working for R/Greenberg Associates he created special effects for DIrty Dancing, Predator, Predator 2 and others. Most notably, he created “the elastic effect” that led to the creation of “the camouflage effect” for which he later received a Clio Award and an Academy Award. IN his later career he also worked on the production of one of the most known blockbusters, The Matrix.
Bill Tytla - animator
Tytla is a Ukrianian American animator known for his incredible work for Walt Disney Animation Studios, Paramount’s Famous Studios, and Terrytoons. Most notably, he is known for his animation of the Seven Dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Stromboli in Pinocchio, and animations in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Fantasia and Dumbo.
Gene Stupnitsky – Producer and Writer
Stupnitsky is a Ukrainian-born American film writer and producer. Alongside Lee Eisenberg, he founded Quantity Entertainment. Besides writing screenplays and credits, in 2019, Stupinsky had achieved his personal and official directorial debut with the comedy movie, Good Boys. Good Boys is a coming-of-age story which follows the life of three six-graders and their series of misadventures. After receiving positive reviews from the critics, the film grossed $110 million worldwide with a $20 million budget.
Anatole Litvak - Lithuanian-American filmmaker
Anatole was Ukrainian-born, who wrote, directed, and produced films in various countries and languages. Litvak was notable for directing little-known foreign actors to early fame, often winning them Academy Awards. Litvak directed Confessions of a Nazi Spy in 1939 starring Edward G. Robinson, which used actual newsreel footage from U.S. Nazi rallies. As a refugee from Nazi Germany, Litvak was among the few directors who tried to open Hollywood's eyes to the threat Germany posed to Europe and the world. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Litvak has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6633 Hollywood Blvd.
Taras Lewyckyj - Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
Based in Philadelphia, this dance group has been preserving the culture of Ukraine through dance for over 40 years now. Because of its unique styles combining both the Ukrainian and American cultures, intertwining the classical, contemporary, and folkloric styles, it captures the attention of diverse audiences. Dedicated to promoting cultural exchanges between the Ukrainians and the global community at large, it serves among the leading cultural ambassadors of Ukraine within the United States.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Dancing with the Stars
A Ukrainian-American Latin-ballroom dance champion, Chmerkovsky is also a professional choreographer and instructor. Pairing with an Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis in 2014, he won the Dancing with the Stars title and went on to star in Burn the Floor and Forever Tango Broadway productions.
Chernobyl – Five-part miniseries that shook the world
Co-produced by HBO and Sky, Chernobyl describes the story of the April 26, 1986 nuclear disaster – one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history. The massive nuclear explosion sent a radioactive material cloud effecting Belarus, Russia, and Scandinavia. The executive producer Craig Mazin used books, government reports from inside and outside of the Soviet Union, interviews with nuclear scientists, as well as several personal accounts to reimagine the story of the Chernobyl disaster and make it appear as true to the story as possible for the international viewers. The magnitude of the story itself as well as an incredibly high level of production won this movie 2 Golden Globes awards and 10 Emmys and sponsored the creation of one of the Best Listens of 2019 podcasts.
Pride of Ukraine – Documentary about LGBT Pride Movement in Ukraine
This documentary reveals a dramatic story of KyivPride – an attempt of the LGBT community of Ukraine to make its voice heard by the community and the government alike. Inspired by four LGBT activists’ stories, Michelle Emson, the producer of the film, hoped to challenge official and unofficial homophobia present within Ukraine and establish more basic human rights than ever before with the release of the movie in 2015. Since the film’s release, the streets of Kyiv hosted largest ever gay pride parade in 2019 with thousands participating. This clearly showed the revolution in the area of society all starting with, amongst others, movies such as Pride of Ukraine.
Winter on Fire – a story about the 2014 Revolution / Euromaidan
Winter on Fire is a documentary depicting the events which unfolded in 2013 and 2014 which had commenced the civil rights movement of Ukraine and which had later on were followed by the beginning of the war in the Eastern region of the country as well as the annexation of Crimea. It depicts how a peaceful student demonstration supporting European integration transgressed into a violent protest and a mobilization of over a million citizens across the country which led to the loss of around 130 individuals and the resignation of Ukrainian president.
Breaking Point – Documentary unraveling the Ukrainian fight for Democracy
This documentary showcases how the turmoil in Ukraine from the Euromaidan revolution was followed by the Russian invasion and an eventual war which took lives of over 10,000 and displaced 1.9 million Ukrainians. It especially portrays the stories both tragic and heroic of individuals entangled by the events of the war who try to restructure their government and defend their land from Putin’s Russia.
Tribe (Plemya) – Drama movie performed entirely in sign language
A stunning movie by a Ukrainian filmmaker, Myroslav Slaboshpytsiy has no words but is nevertheless a masterpiece in the world of cinema. Tribe is a movie set within a boarding school which hosts inside its walls a cesspool of organized crime. Without a single syllable of dialogue due to the boarding school being entirely for deaf schoolkids, this movie is nevertheless riddles with multiple layers of meaning and is a rightful winner of three Cannes Critics’ Week prizes.
The Russian Woodpecker – A Reimagined Story about Chernobyl
The documentary movie portrays a story of an irradiated Ukrainian artist on a search for the person standing behind the Chernobyl tragedy. The Sundance of Grand Jury tells not only about a proposed theory of Chernobyl being an inside job, but also of the “deadly dance” between Russia and Ukraine. This movie is an incredible documentary and conspiracy thriller which takes its viewers into the depth of the Exclusion Zone. The fact that the daunting reality of Ukraine’s revolution and war delve in the background is only one of the myriad reasons why this film, after being screened across the world had gained dozens of awards and recognitions.
Fiddler on the Roof – American musical drama film
Released in 1971, Fiddler on the Roof was an adaptation of the 1964 Broadway musical production with the same name. The film depicts a story of Tevye, a father of five daughters who tries to maintain the Jewish religious traditions in the face of encroachment of outside influences. The scenes of the movie are set in the Ukrainian village of Anatevka within Imperial Russia. The original Broadway musical was based on the stories by Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known by his pen name, Stolem Aleichem, a Ukrainian Yiddish author.