A request from Ukraine's Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre

Please see below a statement from the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine. Our colleagues are in need of your support to advocate for the archive and help make this situation known. 

Below is the request from the archivists – there is also information on their website here:

We ask for support Dovzhenko The Ukrainian national film archive - the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre.

Unfortunately, a new challenge has come from inside. As professionals and Ukrainians, we realize, that trust from international partners, who support Ukraine and Dovzhenko Centre in all directions, is endangered. Because support requires transparency, validity and concordance.

Despite wartime, without any claimed strategy, announcement and public discussions, the Ukrainian State Film Agency issued an order №100 from August 5, 2022, about the 'reorganization' of the Dovzhenko Centre. According to the Order, all film materials from the Dovzhenko Centre collection and part of property will be alienated for the “Scientific Centre of Cinematography of Ukraine” ー ‘frozen’ organization with no staff, no relevant competencies, no public information, no activity since 2011, and importantly no suitable accommodation for the fragile archive.

Particularly, the Ukrainian animation collection and copyrights also should be separated and given to another newly created enterprise ー the Animation Film Studio. There is no word in the Order about the destiny of the museum collection and film-related documents archive, which also compose the Dovzhenko Centre's integral collection of Ukrainian cinematography. 

Thereby, dividing of the collection between different organizations, with no staff, and no one who has worked on preservation and heritage, will lead to dissolution, not ‘reorganization’, of the Ukrainian national film archive, Dovzhenko Centre, which has been consistently engaged in the preservation, research, development and promotion of Ukrainian film heritage since 1994. The collection is under threat.

We realize how controversial judging the situation in the alien country. But we appeal to our professional colleagues to support the values common for film heritage institutions ー We want Dovzhenko Centre to be saved in the integrity of collection, knowledge and team.  Our goal is the following:

·         Cancel the Ukrainian State Film Agency Order №100 from August 5, 2022, “On reorganization of the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre”.

·         Save the collection of Ukrainian film heritage in its integrity.

·         Legalise Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre as Ukrainian state film fund/archive. The international legislative experience can be helpful.

·         To work out the plan of possible support for Film Archive development and safety with participation of international experts.

If you are interested in supporting the archive, you may send letters to the following:  

Volodymyr Zelenskyi, President of Ukraine Letter@apu.gov.ua
Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine prshmygal@kmu.gov.ua
Oleksandr Tkachenko, Minister, Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine info@mkip.gov.ua
Marina Kuderchuk, Head, Ukrainian State Film Agency info@usfa.gov.ua