How Ukrainian Children Become Film Directors At The Age Of 10
31 December, 2016

On December 18th, the Kyiv International Short Film Festival “100 films in 100 minutes” awarded its winners. 9-year-old Katya Chaika received the grand prize for her animation film: “It’s Not Clear What’s On”. Last year, Illya Gorokhovskiy won the top prize at the festival with the film he made when he was 10.

Hromadske Culture discovered how such young human beings become directors.

Photo credit: HROMADSKE

Both Illya and Katya are students of the “100 fantasies” animation studio for children in Kyiv.

“We didn't have cameras or special equipment when we started. We only had a  few old computers with Flash installed on them. And our first films were made with the help of it. But once I gave the children cameras and putty – they wanted to do everything with their own hands,”  says the head of the group Tetyana  Polyanska.

Today, children create films in different ways: they use putty and Lego,  paper templates, draw on the sand and also make hand-drawn animations.

“We decide, together with the child, what he or she wants to make a film about.  Then we write the main idea in one sentence. After that, everyone chooses what to do –for some children it’s easier to write a script, others draw storyboards. And only then do we write a list of characters and props,” says Ms.  Polyanska.

Photo credit: HROMADSKE

She collects all the diplomas and awards. Yaroslav received one for his first animation film called: “How the Tank Stopped the War”. He made it before the Russian invasion in Ukraine, but now it has new meaning.

“Honestly speaking, children are not very interested in contests. They are doing films for themselves and for their parents. But I think they should show them. And they need to see other works. Before the war, we often visited other cities and  Russia. Now it’s more complicated. But I’m convinced that  we should see the works of others and show our own,”  Tetyana sums up.

/Translated by Olga Kuchmagra

/ByOksana Horodivska, Julianna Slipchenko, Andriy Shurpenkov