Anna Machuh about the work of the Ukrainian Film Academy and the significance of the "Gold of Dziґa" award for Ukrainian cinema

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On April 28, one of the most important events for the domestic film industry will take place – the fourth ceremony of awarding the "Gold of Jin" prize, which is awarded by members of the Ukrainian Film Academy. Its executive director Anna Machuh told L’Officiel-Ukraine about the work of the film academy and the significance of the award for Ukrainian cinema.

Anna, how did it happen that, having received the education of a political scientist and working in a large audit company, at some point you changed your course and found yourself in the film industry?

Yes, my specialization is "international relations", but cinema has always been my hobby: I followed the news, and went to the cinema at least once a week. In 2010, I organized the first conference of IT-technologies and innovations IDCEE, founded by Victoria Tigipko, and when she invited me to work at the Odessa Film Festival, I, of course, agreed. For several years I was engaged in marketing and brand development, and then the OMKF Film Market. In 2016, I was offered to head the Ukrainian Film Academy, which, in fact, brought together all the professionals of the country – now it consists of 405 film academics who vote for the Gold Jin Prize.

Red Valentino Cloak, Nanushka Shirt, Litkoskaya Shoes

The most famous example of such a professional association is the American Film Academy and the Academy Award. Have you been guided by this example?

Before prescribing the principles of the film academy, we studied all the world experience, including the work of the national academies, the European Academy and the British Academy of Television and Film Arts BAFTA, there are about 40 in all. Our film academy operates according to international standards, and if we compare, then our analogue it is rather the European Film Academy or the same Polish Film Academy.

In our country, unfortunately, the institute of stars is almost not developed, and the profession of agent of actors is practically absent on the market. Does the Academy help solve this problem?

This is one of the main objectives of the ceremony, it is very important that our actors and directors feel like stars. For this event you need to wear a tuxedo or evening dress according to the black tie dress code – we work a lot with this and send all guests letters with a clear brief in appearance. Your readers and moviegoers who follow the actors want to see them beautiful and smart, so they are taught this in preparation for the ceremony. And working with agents is a very complicated issue, because we really do not have agents as such. Most often, casting directors play this role, which is completely wrong. Therefore, now we are preparing a separate project that will train agents. We plan to conduct it at the end of the year. This is a profession that is in demand and important for the industry – the actor should not re-read the contracts and discuss the conditions himself, he should come to the casting and work well in the film, and not take care that his contract does not take into account some point.

Vince jacket and trousers, Nanushka shirt, glasses – property of the stylist

Just a few months ago, you launched an online platform that supports not only actors, but also representatives of all professions in the film industry.

Yes, the DzygaMDB resource is a continuation of our activities. Until the last moment, it was possible to contact the right person from the industry only through personal contacts and social networks, so on the platform profiles of actors, directors, costume designers with all the necessary information were created. The resource works in English and Ukrainian. In February, we presented him at the Berlinale, we will soon talk about him in Cannes and at other festivals so that casting directors and producers from different countries can easily find information about Ukrainian cinema and professionals in our market on one resource.

Often, awards increase viewers' interest in winning films. Do you plan to promote paintings awarded the Gold Ji дa?

All rights to the films are with the copyright holders, and it depends on them how they will promote the paintings. But you are right, the rewarding warms up the attention to the film, and all over the world, most winners go to the rental and get about 40% of the total fees. In Ukraine, some films have been doing this for the past 2 years, especially for documentaries and short films. We, in partnership with other organizations and festivals, are preparing special shows with a selection of our nominees and winners. Promoting films on online platforms is very difficult, because Ukrainian cinema is extremely rare on the Internet legally. But soon, a feature will appear on DzygaMDB with which copyright holders will be able to provide links to the official online screenings of their films.

Vince jacket and trousers, Nanushka shirt, McQ Alexander McQueen mule

This summer, you met with Netflix representatives. Do they have an interest in the Ukrainian product?

This meeting took place during the festival in Karlovy Vary. Unfortunately, there is no interest yet, since Netflix has 2 options for working with our market. The first is to go out as a platform showing Ukrainian films, but this does not happen primarily because of piracy. The second is to make films together with our market, but this will be possible only when the cash-rebate system starts working (returning to producers part of the funds spent on production. – Ed.).

The Gold Jin ceremony will take place very soon, can you open the veil and tell how it will be this year?

We conduct each ceremony so that it becomes a holiday for all industry participants. We try to surprise guests with a selection of musical numbers – for example, last year we had a bright debutante Alyona Alyona. This time there will be a completely different concept, we are preparing something special, but let this remain a surprise for guests and viewers of the online broadcast. Also this year we introduced 3 new nominations: "Best Visual Effect", "Best Full-length Animated Film" and "Discovery of the Year". The last award is very unusual, since anyone can be awarded – a film, an event, or a person. The decision will be made not by film academics, but by board members and the supervisory board in closed session. It is not long to wait – in a month we will find out who they will call the main discovery of 2019.

Worked on the shooting:

Photographer: Mikhail Vovk

Stylist: Jacob Kotlik

Hairstyles and makeup: Maria Owl

Producer: Diana Melnikova

Images provided by TSUM Kiev.

See also: Irina Tsilik about canceling at the festival "Sundance"

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