Ukrainian Motion Picture Association (MPA) is a professional NGO presenting interests of filmmakers in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian film industry over the past few years received several powerful incentives for development, and today it is a promising partner in content production. One of the key improvements was the increase in state funding for the production of new modern Ukrainian cinema. For example, if in 2010 the state allocated only 24 mln. UAH (3 mln. USD as of 2010) in support of the film industry, in 2011, Ukrainian film production received a powerful boost in government funding compared to previous years, has grown threefold and amounted to 90 mln. UAH (11 mln. USD as of 2011), and the 2012 budget for film production has grown to 137 mln. UAH (17 mln. USD as of 2012). In 2016 it grew to about 260 mln. UAH, and in 2017 the funding is expected to amount to 500 mln. UAH (19 mln. USD as of 2016).
The increase in financial allocations for the film industry led to a noticeable increase in the number of Ukrainian national and joint film productions (feature, short, documentary and animation). For example, if in 2011 there was only one Ukrainian premiere and one premiere of a film co-produced in Ukraine, in 2012 four Ukrainian film productions and three co-productions were released in theatres. In 2013-2014, 14 and 13 Ukrainian films were released, respectively. 2015 saw a record in terms of the number of Ukrainian film premieres – 28 Ukrainian projects were released in theatres that year. It is predicted that by the end of this year the total number of Ukrainian premieres will be even bigger than last year.
In the context of infrastructure, it is important to remember that Ukraine has 4 large successful media holdings (1+1 media, Inter Media Group, Media Group Ukraine and StarLightMedia), which are actively involved in the production of their own audiovisual content, 3 large independent studios producing audiovisual content (FILM.UA, PRO-TV and Kvartal 95) and many specialized professional production studios. In total, Ukraine produces about 1,000 hours of audiovisual content in a year. Cinema box office in Ukraine in 2015 amounted to about 46 mln. USD, and 9 months of 2016 gathered about 50 mln. USD. Therefore, we believe our markets can work together and be useful and interesting to each other, bring financial benefits and cultural enrichment.
As of now, there are several examples of successful cooperation between Ukraine and the Republic of Korea. The studio FILM.UA finished shooting the series “Threads of Fate”, an adaptation of the Korean format “Glass Slippers”. The series will premiere on the TV channel “Inter”, which is also involved in the production of the project. This is not the only Ukrainian product based on a Korean format. In 2015, the TV channel “Ukraine” has run the series “Everlasting” – an adaptation of the Korean format “Ice Adonis” (production by Front Cinema). Earlier, the TV channel “Ukraine” successfully ran several localized versions of Korean TV series: “Protect the Boss”, an adaptation of the Korean format “Protect the Boss”, “Queen of the Game”, an adaptation of the Korean format “Queen of the Game”, and the “Stairway to Heaven”, an adaptation of the format “Stairway to Heaven”. All these projects had very high ratings. Moreover Ukrainian film industry has examples of cooperation with Canadian filmmakers. Canadian artists have repeatedly visited Ukraine and made their films here. For example, the geography of filming the full-length biographical drama, co-produced by Germany and Canada, “Eisenstein”, includes Ukraine. Director and writer, Canadian Renny Bartlett, in 2000 decided to film his piece in Kyiv and Odesa. The project was produced by a Canadian company Amérique Film and a German company TiMe Film- und TV-Produktions GmbH. Canadian director Larysa Kondracki in 2010 decided to film her criminal biographical drama “The Whistle Blower” in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv (among other places). The film was produced by the American company Samuel Goldwyn Films, Canadian company Whistleblower and German company Barry Films. Canadian directors of Ukrainian descent George Mendeluk and Ian Ihnatowycz in 2013 started filming the drama “Bitter Harvest” about the Holodomor in the Ukrainian SSR in 1932-1933. Much of production, which ended in late February 2014, also took place in Kyiv. Speaking of co-produced projects, the Ukrainian and Canadian filmmakers have worked together, for example, on the documentary “Between Hitler and Stalin – Ukraine in World War II”, which premiered in 2003. Another co-produced project between Canada, the UK and Ukraine was called “The Incredible Adventures of Marco Polo on His Journeys to the End of the Earth”, which was released in 1998. Generally, cinematographic co-production is an instrument of creating and expressing cultural diversity on an international scale, and, in view of its great potential, it deserves to be further developed between Ukraine and Canada.
In February 2015 at the European Film Market of the Berlin International Film Festival, the rights to distribute the animated film “Stolen Princess”, which was produced by a Ukrainian studio “Animagrad”, which is a part of FILM.UA Group, were sold to the territory of South Korea, among others. In addition, the Ukrainian 3D-animated series “Eskimoska” (also produced by “Animagrad”) in the spring of 2016 was sold for broadcast in South Korea.
Ukraine ratified 3 international regulatory acts in the field of joint film production: Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Cinematography (entry into force for Ukraine – 10.02.1995); European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (entry into force for Ukraine – 01.12.200.); Film Co-production Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of France (entry into force for Ukraine – 25.06.2012); Agreement on Film Co-production and Cooperation between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the State of Israel, which regulates bilateral relations in co-production of cinematographic content. The Agreement was signed on December 22, 2015 in the city of Jerusalem. Currently, the agreement is undergoing state procedures for its entry into force. Also, the State Film Agency of Ukraine is working on signing similar agreements with Italy, Georgia, China, India, Argentina and Canada.