Ukrainian Companies Band Together for MIPTV Presence


MIPTV attendees will be able to show their support for Ukraine next week in Cannes, with a host of content from the country on offer at a dedicated country pavilion.

“We in Ukraine have an old folk saying that can be interpreted as ‘many hands make light work,’” Kateryna Udut, CEO of Media Resources Management, which is coordinating the pavilion (R7.L19), tells World Screen. “The ability to instantly forget about all misunderstandings and unite against a common threat and for a common goal is what sets Ukrainians apart. The whole world saw this during the 2013-14 Revolution of Dignity. And now, once again, the world has the opportunity to witness the inviolability and unity of our people in the struggle for the freedom of Ukraine.”

On the third day of Russia’s shocking invasion, 1+1 Media, StarLight Media, Media Group Ukraine and Inter Media Group jointly launched a news program, United News, Udut says, with the channels Rada and UA: Pershyi soon coming on board as well. “The newscast is a relay race in which one TV channel team passes the broadcast to the other,” Udut explains. “Each newsroom works five hours a day; the order of the teams is assigned in advance so that everyone has time to rest and prepare. The unprecedented worldwide news marathon lasts 24/7 and is broadcast on all national TV channels of Ukraine, radio stations, OTT platforms and even on the public services app Diia (this way, Ukrainians can follow the news even without a TV signal). To spread truthful information about Russia’s war against Ukraine abroad, Ukrainian TV channels grant the right to retransmit their signal on providers’ networks of all types. In addition, the media groups are broadcasting international versions of their flagship channels on an open signal satellite.” Udut adds that if readers want to support these efforts, they can find out more here.

At MIPTV, that spirit of collaboration continues, with FILM.UA Group, Media Group Ukraine, StarLight Media and 1+1 Media joining forces for a Ukraine pavilion. “We are grateful to the organizers of MIP markets for supporting and providing the Ukrainian media industry with the opportunity to be widely represented at this event,” Udut says. 

In addition to the pavilion, there will be a Stand with Ukrainian Media Industry panel discussion on April 4. “We call on the MIP community to cooperate with Ukraine. Despite the war and difficult conditions, our industry has the creative potential, experience and talent, confirmed by numerous international sales, awards at world festivals and strong partnerships with key players around the world,” Udut says. “At the moment, we are trying to find the best solutions for the stability of the Ukrainian market and the fastest recovery after the victory—this is what we need help with.”

A joint catalog of Ukrainian content will be presented at the pavilion, covering films and scripted series, completed and in development, and a package of documentaries made for the local public broadcaster. Projects about the war Russia waged on Ukraine in 2014 are in high demand, Udut says, as well as shows about Ukrainian history. She references the feature films U311 Cherkasy (about the annexation of Crimea) and Call Sign “Banderas” (about the events of the first year of the war in Donbas); the series Mother (about a woman trying to find her son who disappeared during the war); and docs like Novorossiya: The Cost of the Project, MH17. Years of Lies and A Strong Woman.

Udut also highlights There Will Be People, Saga, Collapse: How Ukrainians Destroyed the Evil Empire and Ukraine: The Return of the Nation’s History.

Projects in development that will be showcased at the pavilion include the dramas Lion’s Heart, Tabun, Nest of Snakes and Our Halia. “And even projects of lighter genres—for example, costumed melodramas Love in Chains and Cardamom Coffee or the family full-length animation Roxelana—somehow demonstrate different periods of Ukrainian history.”

Udut says that the MIPTV pavilion also presents an opportunity to educate the global media industry about the Ukrainian content production and distribution sector. “The Ukrainian audiovisual industry was not born yesterday,” she says. “We have powerful companies with top-class professionals who are open to cooperation with international partners, even during the intense military phase. At the beginning of the war in Ukraine, there were more than 100 TV channels; a dozen OTT platforms; more than 100 production companies and studios working with feature and documentary films, animation, advertising, effects and graphics; and more than 70 modern filming pavilions (including FILM.UA—one of the largest film studios in Eastern Europe) operating at full capacity. Together, we have produced a lot of high-quality content in various areas and formats, which has long established itself in the world.”

Indeed, Udut references Ukrainian content that has already traveled the globe, including The Sniffer, the first show from the country to land on Netflix; the noir drama Hide and Seek, which counts ZDF Studios (formerly ZDF Enterprises) as a partner; The Stolen Princess, which has been sold in almost 50 territories; The Rising Hawk, which was filmed with an international cast and sold to several markets; and the animated co-pro Brave Bunnies. Plus, a range of celebrated films, among them The Tribe by Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, Atlantis by Valentin Vasyanovich and Bad Roads by Natalya Vorozhbit, have fared well internationally.

“The Ukrainian audiovisual industry is powerful both technologically and creatively,” Udut says. “These facilities did not disappear during the two-year Covid-19 pandemic. On the contrary, during this time, Ukrainian media produced many stories and projects for all tastes, which we are ready to offer to foreign partners. And now we need this cooperation more than ever to pass with honor our new terrible test of strength.