Today: May 21, 2024

UK cinemas stand with Ukraine

Over 200 cinemas across the UK are uniting in support of Ukraine with a series of charity screenings of Olga, a powerful new drama about a young female Ukrainian gymnast forced to train in exile during the Euromaidan protests. The preview screenings – a result of a partnership with 606 Distribution and the BFI, with support from the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) – will be taking place from Friday 18th March, with new cinemas joining the initiative each day. Participating cinemas include chains Cineworld, Curzon, Everyman, Odeon and Picturehouse, while independent venues under the BFIFilm Audience Network (FAN) will also be taking part.

Set in 2013, Olga tells the story of a 15-year-old gymnast from Ukraine as she trains for the European Championships in preparation for the Olympics during the Euromaidan protests. The release could not be more timely, as the film’s lead and former member of Ukraine’s national gymnastics team Anastasia Budiashkina was forced to flee Kharkiv, Ukraine last week to escape the war currently taking place. “I am very glad that Olga will be seen in the UK, and people will see the situation going on with Ukraine.”, Budiashkina says. “Everyone involved (with the film) worked very hard, and I put a part of myself into (it).” 

Pat Kelman of 606 Distribution credits Mark Cosgrove from beloved Bristol venue Watershed with the timing of this release. “(…) The invasion of Ukraine made me very nervous about releasing the film at all”, Kelman says, but “when Watershed Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove mentioned that venues were looking for a way to show support for ukrainians, I realised that this very human and dramatic film set against the Ukraine 2013 Maidan Revolution could now resonate and connect with UK audiences in a meaningful way.”

For more information, including your nearest participating cinema, visit this website

Olga can be seen in UK cinemas from Friday 18 March in support of Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee.

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