01 — 06 OCTOBER 2022
15 July 2022

The international documentary and feature film festival announces dates, coming back with an updated visual style.

For 6 years in a row, Kharkiv MeetDocs was a cultural voice of the Ukrainian East. It’s an international documentary and feature film festival that encourages cultural exchange between the artists from different parts of Ukraine, particularly from the East – significantly damaged by the Russian invasion.

This year, the organizers have made a hard decision not to shut down the festival’s activity. Now during the full-scale Russian invasion, documentary cinema plays a crucial role. Besides recording the events, it is a tool to fend off the Russian propaganda onslaught and a part of an evidence base for their crimes. Documentaries are a significant part of the cultural representation of Ukrainians globally, telling about the unique Ukrainian experience of resistance. Inside the country, documentary projects present an artistic view of the events, becoming one of the most relevant genres in the Ukrainian film industry today.

Due to security concerns, Kharkiv MeetDocs 2022 will take place in Kyiv on October 1-6 in a hybrid format. The festival will be held with the financial support of Auswärtiges Amt.

Evgeniya Kriegsheim, the founder and creative director of the festival, comments:
“We have decided, despite all the circumstances, to hold the festival this year. It’s not right to suspend the activity when Ukrainian culture needs the widest representation in the world. Today, documentary cinema has become the main genre of the Ukrainian film industry, and that’s obvious. Artists want to reflect on the events around and to record historical moments, telling the Ukrainians and the world true stories about our struggle for existence. So as a documentary film festival, we can’t stay aside. For security reasons, we will hold the event in Kyiv, as Kharkiv still endures enemy bombings. But next year, I’m certain of it, we will host the festival in its home city. We are deeply grateful to our partner Auswärtiges Amts for the support, thanks to which we can continue our work.”

The festival has also updated its visual style. Now, it has two accent colors, blue and yellow, as symbols of freedom, independence, and belief in our victory. Black-white balance denotes the simple yet horrifying morality of war, in which millions of our citizens live today. An additional red color signifies the vital essence of our fight for freedom and the love that unites us all. MeetDocs has also chosen as its symbol the monument of Shevchenko secured with sandbags – as Ukrainians protect the sculpture from destruction by enemy shelling, so our festival strives to protect Ukrainian cinema.

The organizers are sure that culture is not apolitical. There is a fierce struggle on the cultural frontline, and documentary cinema is a powerful weapon in it. The world finally began to discover Ukraine and Ukrainians, their history and culture. The globe wants to understand what makes us different and what we have in common with other nations, why we fight, what we protect, and which ideals, worldviews, and desires we have. Documentary cinema has answers to all these questions. While the cinema is easy to perceive, it can also provide documentary evidence and allow the audience to witness real events and experience them emotionally. 

The open call date will be announced soon. Follow the festival news on social media (Instagram, Facebook) and on the official website to find out first.