Arts & CultureCampus & City

Kino Festival celebrates Ukrainians

Kino Film Festival

Friday, June 12 – Sunday, June 14

Cosmopolitan Music Society (8426 Gateway Boulevard)

$10 per film

The city of Edmonton is quickly becoming a multicultural hub in Canada. People are encouraged to embrace their heritage and share their traditions with the greater community to immerse everyone in each other’s cultures. One of the most convenient ways to get a glimpse of any particular culture is to attend the many festivals hosted by local heritage groups, which have contributed to Edmonton earning the title of “Canada’s Festival City.”

The Alberta Council for the Ukrainian Arts, which is known for hosting exhibitions and workshops throughout the city, is ready to join the ranks of the festival crowd by hosting their first film festival. The Kino Film Festival boasts four Ukrainian films and a series of cartoon shorts, which vary from true stories to parables that reveal Ukraine’s rich history and culture.

“We were mindful of our potential audience,” describes Rena Hanchuk, founding president and life-long member of the ACUA. “We wanted a variety of genres of current films from Ukraine that would speak to the more than 150,000 people who call their ethnicity Ukrainian in Edmonton.”

In order to accommodate people from all walks of life, the films are presented with subtitles so that anybody who does not speak or has lost the ability to speak Ukrainian can still get a fulfilling experience from the internationally-acclaimed movies. The venue, which is also home to choir ensembles and craft fairs, comfortably seats 250 and is entirely wheelchair accessible, allowing anybody and everybody to experience the films.

Keeping a culture alive requires a lot of community-run events, which the staff at the ACUA are equipped to run.

“Money that may be raised could either go to pay for other community programs that the ACUA has such as Easter or wedding workshops, or perhaps to jumpstart the next film festival,” Hanchuk explains.

Family films The Guide and Ivan Syla reveal some of Ukraine’s rich history through a powerful Holocaust parable and the true story of circus legend “Ivan the Powerful.” Braty. Ostannya Spovid tells of two feuding brothers who get caught in a bizarre love triangle.

Also featured at the festival is the award-winning feature The Tribe,  an experimental film that follows a new student as he tries to fit in at a school for the deaf. The film is entirely in sign language with no subtitles.

“There is some talk of this growing to become an annual festival.”

Whether or not you identify as Ukrainian, there is so much to gain from the Kino Film Festival. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge about different cultures or find comfort as a Ukrainian ex-pat, the festival will provide enrichment for our culturally diverse city.

Dates, times, and synopses of the films can be found on the ACUA’s website.

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