The Ukrainian film and television industry puts words into action through “Ukrainian Content. Global Cooperation”, a joint initiative launched by leading local media companies (https://www.facebook.com/ukrainiancontent.globalcooperation) together with the Ukraine Content Club, a newly created global community and fund that aims to support the industry affected by the Russian invasion.
The latter, still in an early stage of development and mentioned during the booth with the Ukrainian media industry panel at Conecta Fiction in Toledo, will help fund the development and production of scripted fiction, animation and factual content. .
An independent board will allocate the money to productions based on predefined selection criteria. This content will then be made available to contributing partners on a non-exclusive basis for distribution on their channels or platforms.
“We want to talk about our industry’s reaction to the war, but not from a ‘how bad things are’ angle. We want [show] how we manage to adapt our activities and continue doing what we love,” said Kateryna Udut of Media Resources Management. Variety ahead of the in-person event, noting the continued support from various media and television and film markets.
“They help us spread our message and support Ukrainian businesses, which means a lot. It is invaluable in these trying times,” she added.
Emphasizing that the Ukrainian audiovisual industry is an integral part of the European and global market, participants observed that despite the struggles, they will continue to work – simply because it is important, noted Kateryna Vyshnevska of the Film.UA group.
Nataly Yakovleva from the production company Bank of Ideas pointed out that after a fierce struggle for survival, Ukrainian content creators are now “ready to work with double strength”.
“We really have to rise to this challenge and get stronger. We are inventing new formats and options for cooperation that can unite and create new meaning, not just for Ukrainians,” said Khrystyna Shkabar of 1+1 Media, also mentioning the United News program, another “unprecedented” example of former contestants joining forces. in order to provide verified information.
“We have a huge responsibility, especially at this time: it is our responsibility to provide truthful information,” she added. However, the mission is also to “support and inspire the public”, for example by broadcasting animated content for children, documentaries or by organizing charity TV marathons.
“The pandemic has taught us how to manage crises, in a way. In this sense, war is just another crisis, albeit bigger and worse, more tragic and traumatic,” Vyshnevska explained.
“The reality is simple: we need investment from other countries to ensure that we continue to produce content. But co-producing with Ukraine does make sense for Europe, as well as for the [rest of the] world, because the war has changed life, not just for us in Ukraine.
As Yakovleva noted, smaller production companies have already proven their flexibility by producing war-related content to distribute on social media. But in addition to experienced filmmakers and crews, “picturesque” locations or diverse content that enjoys international success, low production costs also work in favor of the country.
“It’s cheap to produce premium content in Ukraine,” Vyshnevska said, adding that initiatives such as the Ukraine Content Club will create jobs when needed and ensure the industry survives to tell stories whose the world “needs and wants to see”. ”
“We aim to raise funds to ensure Ukrainian voices are heard,” she explained.
“At the moment, Ukraine is very open to new ideas and new partnerships, like never before. We also ask you to support us in terms of promotion. We need maximum visibility for our businesses, projects and ideas,” said Kateryna Udut.
“We are not going to stop what we are doing, and we hope you will join us for the ride. Where there is a will, there is a way,” Vyshnevska summed up, citing examples from Israel and South Korea.
“I think we are next. All this adversity has strengthened our creativity.