“Co-Pro Challenge – Local Stories, Global Appeal” panel moderated by Maria Chiara Duranti explores new stories told by Ukranian producers on Day 2 of NATPE Budapest 2023

“Co-Pro Challenge – Local Stories, Global Appeal” panel moderated by Maria Chiara Duranti explores new stories told by Ukranian producers on Day 2 of NATPE Budapest 2023
On the second day of NATPE Budapest 2023, Maria Chiara Duranti, Founder and Chief Editor of Formatbiz, hosted a panel titled "Co-Pro Challenge - Local Stories, Global Appeal" with a group of Ukrainian producers introduced by Daria Leygonie-Fialko, co-founder of OUP, the Organization of Ukrainian Producers.

Victoria Gorenstein, Founding Partner at Osnova Film Production, Kateryna Laskari, Founder and General Producer at SPACE PRODUCTION, Daria Leygonie-Fialko, Founder and General Producer at SPACE PRODUCTION, Gub Neal, Founder of Ringside Studios, Kateryna Sheveliuk, Head of Fiction Production at STB TV Channel, and Jevgeni Supin, Producer & Acquisitions Executive at Estonian Public Broadcasting, participated in the panel as speakers.

During the event, focused on the importance of Ukrainians producing high-quality content even at war, three projects were presented:

The first one is feature film Yurik, focusing on the journey of a 10-year-old boy trying to leave Mariupol and find his relatives in Estonia during the war. The movie is inspired by the shocking true story of a boy who actually traveled across the war-torn country alone to reach the border and escape the country. He tried to reach his grandmother in Europe, who could not get to the border because of her age and poor health, so Red Cross helped the boy find her.

Written and produced by Valentyna Rudenko, and supported by the Ukrainian TV channel STB and its Estonian partner ETV, the story unarguably has an international potential, as it explores the current life in Ukraine amidst the horrors of the war. The project has been completed, and is scheduled to premiere in Ukraine and Estonia in the fall.

The second project is Art at War, about the Ukrainian people’s attempt to save their cultural and artistic legacy from being destroyed. A co-production between Ukraine and Germany (ARTE, Broadview and SPACE PRODUCTION), the goal was to support the creators and artists who had to leave their job to join the army. It also focused on the destruction of the Ukrainian cultural heritage during these difficult times.

German producer Leopold Hosch found support in the German-French ARTE TV channel, where the movie premiered on the first anniversary of the war. In Ukraine, the premiere took place on STB TV channel.

Another interesting project focusing on culture and war in their next co-production, a documentary called Heritage, which centres on the destruction of Ukrainian cultural heritage in order to erase the country’s identity. The film's showrunner will be American-Canadian director and producer Tim Slade.

Lastly, the third project is a drama miniseries called Music Under the Bombs, which aims to compare the life in Ukraine and in the UK from the point of view of European youth during the war. Co-produced by SPACE PRODUCTION and Ringside Studios, the project centres on Ukraine’s underground culture, as Kiev has become “the place to be” for clubbers from the UK. The project is in search of a partner to go in production in 2024.

The story takes place against the background of two great political events: on the one hand, the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the fall of the empire in the United Kingdom; on the other hand, the self-identification of Ukraine against the backdrop of war. In the project, Lauren, a girl from London, and Sasha, a boy from Kiev, become the point of view on the war in Ukraine - they show how close and how distant Britain and Ukraine are, and how similar the interests of young people in these countries are. And, most of all, how shocking and barbaric this war has become.