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Biopic About Lesya Ukrainka to be Directed by Nana Janelidze

Biopic (biographical movie) about Lesya Ukrainka will be directed by Georgian movie director and scriptwriter – Nana Janelidze. Also, casting will be held shortly and the project team will start filming a teaser.

Cinematic portfolio of Nana Janelidze includes 5 feature-length works directed by her and 6 works in which she is the author of the script. In particular, she wrote the script of Repentance (მონანიება) (directed by Tengiz Abuladze, 1987). The movie received the Grand Prix of the Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The movie about Lesya Ukrainka will be the first filmstrip of Nana Janelidze made in Ukraine.

“Lesya Ukrainka – it is a dusty portrait on a school wall, this is a live, passionate, jealous and dedicated woman who is fighting a deadly disease. She spent greedily and “felt” each moment, given to her by her fate, in order to depict in her work the heavy burden of her big talent. As soon as I heard about the project, I instantly felt that I wanted to work on it because this is really inspiring” – Nana Janelidze says.

The movie with the working title “Lesya Ukrainka. Forest Edge (Uzlisia)” is the story of a great poetess from her early years until her last days of life. The two realities – daily life and Lesya’s inner world are closely intertwined and depict all key turns of her fate. Alexander Lavrenchuk is working on the script of the biopic. Experts of the life and work of Lesya Ukrainka are actively involved in the process of work on the picture by the team. Julia Sinkevych (JS Films, General Producer of Odessa International Film Festival) is the creative producer and author of the idea, and Maria Moskalenko (FX FILM Georgia) is a co-producer of the movie.

“To us, the story of Lesya Ukrainka is very personal. We wanted it to be filmed by a woman. We discussed directors from Ukraine and from Georgia – because Lesya Ukrainka’s life is closely linked to these countries. We needed a director with a new and unbiased view and all these characteristics are wonderfully combined in Nana Janelidze. The script inspired her from the first lines – and now we are actively working on it and will soon start filming a teaser” – say the producers: Julia Sinkevych and Maria Mosalenko.

On September 12, a grant agreement on the support of the project was signed between the company JS Film and Ukrainian Cultural Foundation. The project “Lesya Ukrainka, Forest Edge (Uzlisia)” won the competition of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and took the first place among international cooperation projects in the category of audiovisual art and the 3rd place among all international projects.

Notably, the biopic script was selected for participation in the program ScripTeast.

Ukrainian Cultural Foundation is a state organization established in 2017 in accordance with Ukrainian law. It is aimed at promoting development of national culture and art in the country, ensuring favorable conditions for intellectual and spiritual development of the society, wide accessibility of national cultural heritage for the citizens, promoting cultural diversity and integration of Ukrainian culture in the world cultural space. In accordance with the effective legislation, Ukrainian Ministry of Culture carries out management and coordination of the foundation activity.