The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) created a short film to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the foundation of UNHCR and its 25 year presence in Ukraine.
The film looks at the daily challenges faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) through the prism of historical events in Ukraine. Actors Lenara Osmanova and Oleksandr Polchenko, who both star in the short film, have themselves experienced forcible displacement first hand.
Lenara Osmanova is a singer and actress. She appeared in theater plays, musicals and movies. She starred in plays about IDPs, like “House=Ev=Home” and “The Secret of the Five Kingdoms”. As a singer, she gave concerts in 35 different countries. She is a true advocate of the culture and traditions of the Crimean Tatar people and of Ukraine. In 2017, a presidential decree awarded her the title of “Honored Artist of Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea”.
Oleksandr Polchenko worked as an actor at the M. Gorky Russian Academic Drama Theater and the Crimean Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater in Simferopol, Autonomous Republic of Crimea . He also worked as a journalist for State television and radio company “Crimea” and taught at the children’s theater studio “Svitanok”. After the occupation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, he became himself an IDP and had to move to Kyiv, where he continued acting. He has been making movies since 2016. In 2020, he received an invitation from the Kyiv Academic Drama Theater in Podil to take part in dramatic productions.
This UNHCR short film is directed by Grygoriy Gryshkoff, documentary maker, professional climber and traveler.
“I like to make documentaries because it shows real life, without embellishments nor decorations. With this film, we wanted to show not just numbers, but personal stories of IDPs. One IDP is already too many, and there are now 80 million forcibly displaced persons in the world who have lost everything they have built over the years due to wars and conflicts. I think it is extremely important to tell their stories,” Grygoriy shared.
From October 14th to 16th the short film was showcased in the 6th International Internet Film Festival “Star Independent”.