ACMI: Ukrainian Masterpieces coming to Cinémathèque this winter

ACMI will host the screenings to raise funds for a film restoration group currently being threatened by Russian invasion.

The longest running film club in Melbourne, Melbourne Cinémathèque, has announced a program of Ukrainian films to screen this July at ACMI.

A portion of proceeds from the upcoming season will be donated to a fundraiser for the Dovzhenko Centre, a group focused on the restoration of Ukrainian films who are currently under threat from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

100 years ago, the All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema Administration (VUFKU/ВУФКУ) was founded. VUFKU became one of the most successful film studios of the 1920s, until it was forced to integrate into an all-Soviet film administration in 1930. Many of its leading figures were imprisoned or executed.

To mark this centenary, the Melbourne Cinémathèque will present six masterworks of Ukrainian cinema, all restored by the Dovzhenko Centre, including three landmark titles from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic era (1922–91), and three from the 21st century. Also included are ‘silent’ films from both eras.

Beginning from 20 July, the nightly screenings pair a production from the USSR era with a post-Maidan (2013–14) title. Essential works by Alexander Dovzhenko, Sergei Parajanov and Kira Muratova, produced respectively at VUFKU, Dovzhenko Film Studios and the Odesa Film Studio, precede a celebrated film from Ukraine’s remarkable present-day cohort of filmmakers, represented by Valentyn Vasyanovych, Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi and Roman Bondarchuk.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a non-profit film society screening programmes year-round, dedicated to presenting the history of world cinema on the big screen in carefully curated retrospectives. It started out as Melbourne University Film Society in 1948 and changed its name to Cinémathèque in 1984.

Read on for the full program.


Masterpieces of Ukrainian Cinema

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965) – Wed 20 Jul, 7pm
Atlantis (2019) – Wed 20 Jul, 8.55pm
Earth (1930) – Wed 27 Jul, 7pm
The Tribe (2014) – Wed 27 Jul, 8.35pm
Brief Encounters (1967) – Wed 3 Aug, 7pm
Volcano (2018) – Wed 3 Aug, 8.50pm

Masterpieces of Ukrainian Cinema will run at ACMI until 3 August. For tickets and more information, head to the ACMI website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports