The first of its kind, joint Ukrainian-British film festival 7+7: Prominent Women Filmmakers from the UK and Ukraine opens today with an exceptional line-up of films directed by women from both countries.
Running until 3 November, the project is a partnership between London Short Film Festival and Takflix, a Ukrainian video on demand platform, that aims to increase the visibility of emerging women directors, and honour the legacy of prominent 20th century female filmmakers.
Each week, two films — one Ukrainian, one British — will be screened online for free. The festival programme also includes discussions reflecting on the place of women in the industry.
Viewers can expect a wealth of cinema, from new releases to avant-garde classics, as well as both features and shorts. Highlights from the contemporary programme include Lilac, a short teenage drama by Berlinale Silver Bear winner Kateryna Gornostai that, with a touch of dreamlike fantasy, captures the conundrums of growing up; and Bond, by Zhanna Ozirna, a short, eye-opening documentary on coming out as a teenager in contemporary Ukraine. From the pick of British films — Alice Seabright’s End-O, which tackles the topic of sex with endometriosis — a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation — and Good Night, a short drama by Muriel d’Ansembourg on consent, both explore personal topics with an educational message.
The programme also includes masterpieces, such as Kira Muratova’s 1997 film Ophelia, a crime thriller excerpt from the director’s feature film Three Stories, loosely based on Shakespeare’s female protagonist fin Hamlet. Diving into earlier cinema history, 7+7 will also revisit Meshes of the Afternoon, a 1943 film by Maya Deren, a Ukrainian-born, American filmmaker who pioneered avant-garde cinema in the 40s and 50s.
The festival’s main organiser, Takflix, is a VOD-platform that makes Ukrainian films available to viewers worldwide, and grants 50% of ticket revenue to filmmakers, with the mission of giving a platform to Ukrainian films that wouldn’t otherwise reach mainstream streaming giants.
Find out more about the festival here.