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THE FORTRESS MARIUPOL

documentary projects


This documentary reveals the tragedy of Mariupol and the Azov Regiment fighters.


This film conveys a unique slice of time and a portrait of a whole generation of young Ukrainians who volunteered to fight in the war. Someone died, and someone gave their best years to the struggle for a free Ukraine. The filmmaker befriends the fighters in one of the Azov Regiment squadrons and follows the heroes from their first battles in 2015 to the defense of Mariupol in 2022, the battles in Azovstal, and unti their captivity.


Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, we java watched as Russian troops squeezed this front-line city, Mariupol, into a circle. The Russians completely destroyed the city and aimed at civilian targets causing an actual genocide. The city was held by Azov, marines, and several other units. Mariupol and its inhabitants slowly died, and the defenders of the city retreated to Azovstal in fierce battles, where they stayed for 82 days, and later agreed to surrender as technical prisoners with the condition of exchange. The director herself becomes the narrator of the story.


From the beginning of the siege of Mariupol, the director (Yuliia) recorded video calls with Azov Regiment fighters who were surrounded in the city and on Azovstal.


Wives of fighters also appear in the film. One buries a loved one, and the other starts a private investigation and searches for a husband taken from a pre-trial detention center. Most of the wives lost not only their husbands but also their hometowns in this war.


The film will include chronic materials – videos of one of the Azov Regiment squadrons shot filmed at the height of the war in the East of Ukraine in 2015-2017, unique, personal filming of the military in Azovstal and today.


The Fortress Mariupol reveals the tragedy of the city and those behind the symbol of “Azov – Steel”.

 

PROJECT TEAM

YULIIA HONTARUK, scriptwriter

In 2009, she graduated from the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Thermal Power Engineering. From 2007 to 2012, she studied film directing at the Karpenko-Kary National University of Theatre, Film, and TV, at the workshop of Mykhailo Pavlov.


Since 2013, Yuliia has been a member of the National Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine.

In 2015, she was nominated for the Shevchenko Award in the field of cinematography.

Since 2016, she has been a member of the Ukrainian Film Academy.

Yuliia is a co-founder of Babylon'13 – an association of independent filmmakers formed at the beginning of the Revolution of Dignity.


Filmography

Company of Steel (2022) – documentary feature film, in post-production. Ukrainian State Film Agency, Directory Films, Babylon’13.


Directed more than 40 documentary short films for Babylon’13 (2013-2022).


Ten Seconds (2016), documentary feature film. Babylon’13.

Stronger than Arms (2014), documentary feature film. Co-director.

Heavenly Hundred (2014), documentary feature film. Babylon’13 and 1+1 Production.

Alcoholic (2013), short film.

Kaleidoscope (2011), short film, screened at the Prologue International Student Film Festival.


IVANNA KHITSINSKA, producer

Graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (2010) and the Karpenko-Kary National University of Theatre, Film, and TV (2022).

She is a member of the Ukrainian Film Academy and a founder of the Quatros Group.

From February 2022 – producer at Babylon'13.

From January 2021 – coordinator at the Film Industry Office of the Odesa International Film Festival.

From 2019 – managing director of the Commercial Productions Association of Ukraine.

From 2017 – managing director of the Film Industry Association of Ukraine.

2015-2019 – PR director of the Open Night International Short Film Festival.

2014-2017 – head of promotion at the Dovzhenko Centre (Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre).

2010-2014 – manager at the Ukrainian State Film Agency.


Filmography

2017 – Red, dir. Zaza Buadze. Feature film. Promo tour coordinator.

2016 – Jamala.UA, dir. Anna Akulevych. Documentary feature film. PR manager.

2016 – Lobanovskiy Forever, dir. Anton Azarov. Documentary feature film. PR manager.

2022 – More than 30 videos about the war in Ukraine, 2022, created with Babylon'13. YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrJIIeADD45RsffK2yYgmSw


2022 – Beneficial for everyone (Корисно для кожного) реж. Olga Gibelinda. Psychotherapy video series.



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