Ukrainian Films of 2022: Brutal Post-Soviet Realities, Cult Comedy Sequels

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In 2022, UAH 1.687 billion ($62.5 million) is planned for film production in the budget of Ukraine.
Photo: frame from the film «I, «Pobieda» and Berlin» / press service of the film

Photo: frame from the film «I, «Pobieda» and Berlin» / press service of the film

Two dozen premieres of Ukrainian films are planned for this year, including «Dovbush», «Mavka», «Our Cats – 2», «I», «Victory» and Berlin», «Peace-21 «, «Egregor», «My thoughts are quiet – 2», «Rap kings», «Between us», «New Ukrainian Cinema» ​​reports.

In 2022, UAH 1.687 billion ($62.5 million) is planned for film production in the budget of Ukraine. We offer an overview of Ukrainian films to be released nationally in 2022.

Dovbush

Release date: May 12, 2022

Genre: Adventure-historical action

The film by director Oles Sanin and Pronto Film, Dovbush is one of the most expensive and large-scale film projects in Ukraine, which will be released in 2022.

The plot is played in the Carpathians, the beginning of the XVIII century. The brutal rule of the Polish nobility forces the Hutsuls to flee to the mountains. Two brothers, Oleksa and Ivan Dovbushs, find themselves outlawed and become opryshky [insurgents]. In search of revenge for the murder of Dovbush’s parents, the brothers become enemies to each other. One seeks money, the other seeks justice. The Hutsuls begin an uprising led by Oleksa. The nobility is doing everything possible to destroy Dovbush. But he outwitted them. And the legend of the Carpathian knight grew.

«Mavka. Forest Song»

Release date: December 29, 2022

Genre: Full-length animated

The project of directors Oleh Malamuzh, Alexander Ruban and the Ukrainian studio Animagrad (FILM.UA Group) «Mavka. Forest Song» is based on the drama extravaganza «Forest Song «by Lesya Ukrainka and adapted to the genre of family animation. The cartoon is based on images from Slavic myths and legends.

The cartoon characters spoke in the voices of famous Ukrainian stars Artem Pyvovarov (Lukash), Olena Kravets (Kylyna), Yulia Sanina (Mermaid Vodianytsia) and DZIDZIO (Shumnyk Huk). Animagrad Studio has not yet revealed whose voice Mavka and other heroes will speak.

Mavka falls in love with a man, a talented musician Lukash, and is faced with a difficult choice: love or duty as a forest ranger.

«Stop-Earth»

Release date: January 20, 2022

Genre: Drama

Sensual film «Stop-Earth» by director Kateryna Hornostay and film production «ESSE Production House», which had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the «Crystal Bear» award as «Best Feature Film» of the Generation 14+ competition for teenagers. The Ukrainian premiere took place within the framework of the National Competition of the Odesa International Film Festival, where the film was awarded the Grand Prix and the Golden Duke for «Best Feature Film».

According to the plot, 16-year-old Masha is studying in an ordinary Kyiv school in the 11th grade. Her close friends Yana and Senya help her not to feel strange and detached in the team, experiencing busy school life in her own way. In addition to future exams, Masha falls in love with her classmate Sasha for leaving her comfort zone.

«My thoughts are quiet 2»

Release date: 2022

Genre: Sequel, Comedy

Continuation of Antonio Lukic’s hit comedy «My Thoughts Are Quiet» is produced by Toy Pictures, starring Irma Vitovska and Andriy Lidahovsky. In the new film, the hero Vadym will finally find a girlfriend.

According to the plot, several years have passed from the main hero’s adventures with recording the animals’ sounds. Vadym lives a «normal life» – he found a job, a girlfriend and even an apartment. He is fine until his mother comes from Belgium to have her teeth treated. Who would have thought, but the mother’s dental tourism is not only a real test for a young couple but also a reason to reveal the terrible secrets of the family.

«Peace-21»

Release date: April 2022

Genre: Military drama

Akhtem Seitablaev’s film «Peace-21» and the production of Istmen Films based on real events in June 2014 in eastern Ukraine.

«Peace-21» is the story of the Luhansk border detachment, whose fighters separatists and Russian special services tried in vain to force to betray their country.

«I, ‘Pobieda’ and Berlin»

Release date: March 24, 2022

Genre: Adventure Road Movie

The film «I, ‘Pobieda’ and Berlin» directed by Olha Ryashyna and produced by Star Media is based on the autobiographical story of the same name by cult Ukrainian rock-musician Kuzma Scriabin sho died in a car crash in 2015.

The story will tell about an ordinary guy, a novice musician Kuzma. Three days before the planned concert, he drives the old «Pobieda» (‘Victory’, name of the Soviet car) with his friend Bard to Berlin. It is said that there is a collector ready to exchange this yellow beast for the 600th Mers. Kuzma promises his girlfriend Barbara to return home in a new car, and the guys from the band – to have time to perform. From the first minutes of the trip, of course, everything is not going according to plan.

«Rhino»

Release date: February 17, 2022

Genre: Crime Drama

The film «Rhino» directed by Oleh Sentsov, whose world premiere took place at the 78th Venice Film Festival in the official competition program «Horizons». The drama is a co-production of Ukraine, Poland and Germany, the Ukrainian side of the production is represented by producer Denys Ivanov (Arthouse Traffic) and Oleh Sentsov (Krai Kinema).

The history of the film is based on real events of the 90s in Ukraine. The protagonist, nicknamed Rhino, enters the criminal world and begins his bloody path, which will lead him not where he expected.

Klondike

Release date: 2022

Genre: Drama

The world premiere of the film «Klondike» by Maryna Er Horbach – about the events of the war in eastern Ukraine and the crash of flight MH17 – will take place as part of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition of the Sundance International Film Festival in January: the film will be the first Ukrainian feature film in the competition of major independent film festival in the United States. The European premiere of the drama will take place at the 72nd Berlin Film Festival in the competition section «Panorama» in February.

The drama tells the story of a local family who was at the epicentre of the crash of MH17 Malaysia Airlines on July 17, 2014 in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region. Irka and Tolik are expecting their first child; the war brutally invades their lives along with the wreckage of a downed Boeing. The woman refuses to evacuate, even when the village is occupied by armed groups.

«Censor»

Release date: 2022

Genre: Drama

The film «Censor» directed by Petro Kerekesh, co-produced in Ukraine (producer Denys Ivanov, Arthouse Traffic), Slovakia and the Czech Republic, is dedicated to the topic of motherhood in Ukrainian prisons. The world premiere of the film took place within the framework of the competition program «Horizons» of the Venice Film Festival, where the film was awarded the Best Screenplay Award (Ivan Ostrokhovskyi, Petro Kerekesh). The drama has also been nominated by Slovakia for an Oscar – the film will compete for a nomination in the category of «International Feature Film».

The picture tells the story of a young woman Lesya, who was sentenced to imprisonment in one of the penitentiaries in Odessa. She has just given birth to her first child and has entered a world inhabited only by women: prisoners, nurses and caretakers, women of all ages, wives and widows, daughters, sisters, pregnant women and women with children. If not for the colour of the uniform, it would sometimes be difficult to say who is who.

«Luxembourg, Luxembourg»

Release date: November 2022

Genre: Tragicomedy

«Luxembourg, Luxembourg» is a new work by the author of the film «My thoughts are quiet» Antonio Lukic and the film production Limelite / ForeFilms.

Opposing twin brothers learn that their father, who left them as a child, dies in distant Luxembourg. One of the brothers – Kolya – decides to go to him, while the other – Vasyl – does everything possible to prevent his brother from leaving the country. Kolya’s many obstacles are more like a test of courage: now he, who is used to running away from problems, does not give up even when there is no way out. Eventually, unexpectedly for themselves, the two brothers go to meet their father. However, will this journey live up to the brothers’ expectations?

«Between Us»

Release date: Winter 2022

Genre: Psychological thriller

In the film «Between Us», directed and written by Solomiya Tomashchuk, produced by Up Ua Studio, the main roles are played by Ukrainian actresses Anastasia Pustovit and Irma Vitovska. In one of the scenes, the musicians of the famous band «Vagonovazhatye» appeared in full force, and the soundtrack of the film included their songs «Cassette» and «Between Us».

The film tells about the choice that has to be made between loved ones and morality when there is no other option for development. The two main characters of the film – Sasha and Anya – are forced to make this choice: Sasha about her own husband, Anya – about her son. The drama of the situation is exacerbated when they become involved in the dark history of the crime.

«Pamfir»

Release date: 2022

Genre: Drama

Dmytro Sukholitka-Sobchuk’s Pamfir film project, co-produced by Ukraine (BosonFilm), France, Poland and Chile, has been selected to participate in the famous Venice Production Bridge 78th Venice Film Festival. The project was previously selected for the Cinefondation residence of the Cannes Film Festival and received funding from the Locarno and Rotterdam Film Festival Funds.

«Pamfir» is a story about a good family man, to whom fate gives a test, where he turns from an honest path for the sake of his family.

«Our cats – 2»

Release date: 2022

Genre: Comedy

In the politically incorrect comedy «Our Cats – 2, or the Secret of the Convent», directed by Volodymyr Tykhyi, and produced by the «Directory of Cinema» and «Babylon ‘13», four friends, in order to rescue Ukraine, plunge into the perilous nunnery of the Moscow Orthodox Church. 

According to the plot of the second part of the «cats», Kremlin agents are preparing a terrible crime against civilians. To win, friends will have to get used to completely new, unusual roles and several times to rise from the dead.

«House behind glass»

Release date: Autumn 2022

Genre: Drama, Thriller

«House Behind Glass» is a new film by the director and screenwriter of the sports drama «Blindfolded» Taras Dron and the film company «Directory of Cinema».

The story is about a modern business woman in whom everything in life is perfect: from the order at home to a clearly established status in society. Until one evening, her daughter disappears right during the graduation party. She disappears not alone, but together with her boyfriend, not much older than her. Victoria, the girl’s mother, begins a search, but how to do it so as not to tarnish her reputation when there is a suspicion that the girl was involved in the illegal distribution of drugs via the Internet? Victoria does not believe in the assumptions of the investigation, especially her ex-husband, whom she considers a loser and the real cause of the tragedy. Mom begins her investigation into the case, but wouldn’t it be right to deal with herself first? The story of shifting responsibility for what happened turns a balanced woman into a ruthless monster ready to go head over heels to save her own comfortable world.

«Demons» 

Release date: October 2022

Genre: Drama, Mystic

The new project «Demons» by the author of «Bad Roads» and «Catch Kaidash» Natalia Vorozhbyt and Kristi Films will be an adaptation of the play of the same name by the director.

According to the plot, a homeless man from Russia named Slavik gets to Gogol’s places near Sorochyntsi in the Poltava region of Ukraine. There he meets Ninka, who agrees to shelter him for the winter. In time, he will have to face the mystical features of this village and the mysterious personality of the hostess.

«Rap kings»

Release date: 2022

Genre: Musical drama in the style of gangsta rap

The film «Rap kings» directed by Myroslav Latyk and film production company Kristi Films is designed for an audience of 15+ and tells about young people without idealisation. This is a story about young people who «read» rap, whose roles were played by popular Ukrainian rappers. Irma Vitovska, the winner of many national film awards, including the Golden Whirlwind 2020, will play the episodic role of Ninka.

According to the plot, at 17 he dreamed of love. At 17, he dreamed of a music career. At 17 he was ready to risk everything for the sake of dreams. But after a fatal meeting with an old friend, the situation will get out of control and end in an unexpected ending.

«Best weekend» 

Release date: February 2, 2022

Genre: Comedy

The film «The Best Weekend» by the director of the highest-grossing film «Mad Wedding 1.2» Vlad Klimchuk and Film.UA Group and LLC «Your Best Festival» brought together international cast and star cameos, including Verka Serdyuchka, alyona alyona, Artem Pyvovarov, Onuka, The Hardkiss and blogger Oleksiy Durnev.

Four different stories, one Kyiv and the craziest trip. A guy from Germany volunteered for Atlas Weekend to fall in love with a girl-organizer, but instead loses the foreign headliner of the festival… Guys from Kryvyi Rih have a legendary bachelor party, but quarrel like children and fight like adults. A young woman from Odessa is looking for a rocker dad she hasn’t seen and idealized for 10 years. The careerist from Lviv comes for the most important interview in her life, but her younger brother thwarts all her plans. This will be the craziest trip of the heroes and their best weekend!

Egregor 

Release date: March 10, 2022

Genre: Mystical thriller

The film «Egregor» by the director of the film «Peak of Fear» Stanislav Kapralov was co-produced by Ukraine (Solar Media Entertainment), Poland, USA. The film has many action scenes. In 2021, Egregor became the closing film of the Kyiv International Youth Film Festival.

According to the plot, the New York detective receives an encrypted message and a ticket to Kyiv from a professor with whom he did not communicate for a long time. It turns out that the professor allegedly committed suicide, and his daughter is being hunted by unknown people.

«Neighbor» 

Release date: March 3, 2022

Genre: Romantic comedy

The comedy story «Neighbor» directed by Natalia Pasenytska and F FILMS was written by writer and musician Irena Karpa, with directors Artemii Yehorov and Ksenia Mishina. Also starring Jerry Heil and Anna Trincher.

The dream of all the girls, an ardent bachelor and reveller Petro bets the «Porsche» with his best friend Oleh, saying that he will be able to live for a month under one roof with a woman. So, Veronica appears in his loft – an elegant music teacher, Oleh’s younger sister, whom Petro has known since childhood. She left her husband, a tyrant, and for the next month, she was busy looking for work and a new home. But a surprise for Petro is the appearance in his house… of Veronica’s children, thugs, sophomores, who turn the life of a macho upside down.

«23 Images of Petryk Pyatochkin»

Release date: 2022

Genre: Full-length animated

The Ukrainian 3D cartoon «23 Images of Petryk Pyatochkin» directed by Rostyslav Harbar and produced by KAPI animation studio, based on the book of the same name by Natalia Huzeeva, is a continuation of the adventure cartoon «How Petryk Pyatochkin counted elephants» (1984). This story – about the adventures of a schoolboy Petryk and his friends in the world of the Barony – teaches a child to forgive, correct his own mistakes and believe in friendship.

According to the plot, when schoolboy Petryk only thought of taking revenge on his classmates and erased their names from the letter, the children disappeared from the real world and ended up in the rubber Barony – an unusual country that is literally built on children’s grievances and anger. Realizing what he has done, Petryk, together with his friend Katrusya and Bo-Bo’s teacher, goes in search of friends. Will the red-haired brawler be able to solve the secret of the Barony and save his classmates?

Translated by Vitalii Holich

You can read a Ukrainian language version of this story here.

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