Still from the film 'Don't Worry, The Doors Will Open'
Source: Docudays UA

A message to our colleagues in Ukraine

Dear Darya, Julia, Yuliia, Yevhen, Viktoriya, Marharyta, … and the entire team of Docudays UA,

Just two days ago, you sent us an email proudly announcing the 19th edition of your documentary festival under the theme Brand New World, a reference to the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. You wrote: “Like the author of dystopia, we were looking for an answer to the question of what our world will be like tomorrow.”

Your world looks entirely different today. And we’re all sitting here in shock, looking at the news from Ukraine. We hope you will all manage to stay somewhat safe.

Just like many of our peers in the documentary industry, I had the pleasure of getting to know you over the years and see your wonderful film festival grow into a well-recognised human rights festival and also more and more of an industry platform. 

While I never had the privilege of travelling to Kyiv, I really enjoyed advising you in 2020 and 2021 when you were designing and launching your virtual screening platform Docu/Space (more about that in this Tech Ukraine article). It was so inspiring to see how well you mastered the challenges posed by the pandemic, and to witness the emergence of brilliant Ukrainian voices through Docu/Space. (The still we used above is from the film Don't Worry, The Doors Will Open.) 

We’ll be watching those docs tonight, and we'll be thinking of you. 

Beyond this connection of ours, I think I can speak for all people in the documentary industry when I express our solidarity and support for you in this terrible situation. Those human rights that you’ve been defending are being trampled on as we speak.

We feel rather helpless, but if there is anything we can do to help, do let us know. As a symbolic gesture, I’ve made a small donation to Docudays – maybe other docu peeps would like to do the same?

Whatever happens, your work will continue to inspire us and outshine the present darkness.

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