Ukrainian State film agency exhibiting at focus for the first time
FOCUS talks to Philip Illienko, Head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency, first time exhibitors at FOCUS 2018
It is our first time at FOCUS when we will present Ukraine as a country which can service film productions. We want to show what we can suggest to our partners, what kind of locations, services, professional talent we have. Now we are making a lot of efforts to promote Ukraine on the international level and one of the important steps for us is to be on FOCUS this year.
What are you hoping to get out of the event and what in particular will you be promoting at FOCUS 2018?
First of all we want to raise awareness about our country so professionals all over the world can learn about its emerging film industry. And the second thing is to get in touch with partners, and to make contacts with producers from different countries with which we haven’t had this kind of cooperation yet. We want to encourage them to come to Ukraine and film here.
Will you be promoting Ukraine under the #UkraineIsYourDestination slogan and showing the production potential of Ukraine as a filming destination for foreign producers, directors and production professionas?
Yes, that’s exactly what we’ll do at FOCUS.
Which foreign productions have filmed in Ukraine over the past few years?
Due to vast variety of locations, low production costs, professional and skillful production crews Ukraine attracts a lot of foreign producers as ‘that very place to film in’. If we exclude dozens of hundreds Russia-produced projects that were filmed in our country, we will count more than 50 international and foreign projects filmed here in recent years.
Canadian director George Mendeluk filmed his historic action drama Bitter Harvet in Kyiv. The movie was produced by Devil’s Harvest Production and Tell Me A Storey production company with Max Irons, Samantha Barks and Terence Stamp starring. Crime action Transporter 3 with Jason Statham, written and produced by Luc Besson and directed by Olivier Megaton, was partially filmed in Odesa. Earlier Golden Globe winning drama Legend of 1900 by Giuseppe Tornatore was filmed in Odesa as well. Chinese action drama House of Flying Daggers directed by Yimou Zhang was mostly filmed near Lviv, western Ukraine. It’s interesting that the same location was previously used for Jackie Chan’s action comedy First Strike directed by Stanley Tong.
India-produced feature films 99 Songs (directed by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy) and Winner(directed by Gopichand Malineni) were also filmed in Ukraine. This spring the largest Chinese online TV and video platform iQIYI was shooting detective drama series Golden Eyes directed by Lin Nan with the pop idol of Korean-Chinese band ECHO. A lot of big international co-productions are also filmed in Ukraine. This year French filmmaker Frederic Petitjean filmed his thriller The Last Step here, which is a co-production of France and Ukraine. Agnieszka Holland was recently filming biography drama Gareth JonesJones’ in Ukraine – a co-production of Poland, Ukraine and the UK. Václav Marhoul was shooting war drama The Painted Bird – a co-production of Czech Republic, Ukraine and Slovakia.
Please tell us briefly what Ukraine has to offer as a film location destination?
Ukraine is a unique country with a huge variety of diverse locations. We are the biggest country in Europe if not to take into account Russia, which is partly in Asia. We have mountains, seas, plains, forests, small and big rivers, ancient architecture, medieval castles and old towns, which are built in European architectural tradition. We also have modern architecture, post-Soviet architecture and post-industrial buildings like, for example, abandoned huge factories and some military facilities, which are available for filming. We even have the largest desert in Europe. We can also provide such unique things like filming in a real airport terminal which is not used, but is brand new, because it was built for UEFA Euro 2012 and many other things.
Do you offer any filming incentives for producers interested in filming in Ukraine?
We are now in the process of introducing cash rebate system and hopefully it will start working from 2020. New legislation implementation will allow foreign producers to get rebates of up to 16.6% production costs spent on the territory of Ukraine. Moreover, it is planned that foreign producers will be able to receive additional 10% rebate from the talents fees in Kyiv and Sevastopol and 4.5% payback – on the rest territory of Ukraine for non-residents of Ukraine.
Born in 1977. In 1999 graduated from Institute of International Relations Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. In 1999-2008 worked as a lawyer. In 2008-2014 – CEO at Illienko Film. Appointed as a Head of the State Film Agency of Ukraine in August 2014.