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Main Culture — The American Film Festival "Independence" - 2024 has announced its programme


The American Film Festival "Independence" - 2024 has announced its programme

20 Apr, 2024
The American Film Festival "Independence" - 2024 has announced its programme

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The 13th Independence American Film Festival, starting from May 9th in Kyiv, Lviv, and Odessa, will showcase a selection of festival indie hits depicting the contemporary America, its diversity, and values while demonstrating the power of independent thought and freedom of speech.

Traditionally, the programme consists of three sections: feature films, documentary films, and a retrospective dedicated to outstanding contemporary American directors.

The festival will open with the Grand Prix winner of the Sundance Film Festival 2024, the powerful yet tender documentary "Porcelain War." This film, a joint work of American Brendan Bellomo and Kharkiv native Slava Leontiev, tells the story of Ukrainian ceramic artists Slava, Anya, and Andriy, who decide to stay and fight as the war unfolds around them. The Sundance festival jury praised the work for its "important voice from within the brutal war in Ukraine, urging care for those willing to sacrifice their lives to preserve humanity in themselves and in others." The festival will host the Ukrainian premiere of the film with the participation of part of the team.


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This year, the festival's retrospective focus is on the Coen Brothers' body of work: films from various periods of the unique collaboration between Joel and Ethan Coen, who have truly become stars of American indie cinema. The retrospective includes three films showcasing the genre diversity of the creative duo: the comedy "Raising Arizona," the first cult film of the internet era "The Big Lebowski," and the legendary "No Country for Old Men," winner of four Oscars.

The main programme encompasses high-profile feature and documentary releases from 2023-2024, including films from the renowned A24 studio and hits from international festivals such as Sundance and Berlinale. Thanks to collaborations with Film Independent and American Film Showcase, the festival will present a rich documentary programme with free screenings of selected films.

The main feature film programme consists of five titles:

  • "Past Lives": One of the most talked-about films of 2023, a story of a reunion in New York after a twenty-year separation, from A24 Studios.
  • "Dream Scenario": A comedy on the verge of horror from A24 Studios, where Nicolas Cage served as a producer and played the lead role.
  • "La Cocina": A stylish black and white film from the main competition of the Berlinale, starring Rooney Mara.
  • "All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt": Poetic cinema from A24 Studios about the life of a family from Mississippi.
  • "Adults": A tender dramedy about coming of age starring Michael Cera.

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The documentary programme brings together films on urgent social and cultural topics:

  • "32 Sounds": Explores the elemental phenomenon of sound and promises to forever change your auditory perception.
  • "Maestra": Introduces viewers to five female conductors and breaks the stereotype of the "unfeminine" profession.
  • "A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks": Tells the story of how the work of one photographer influenced entire generations of minorities in the United States.
  • "Master of Light": A film about an artist, a former prisoner, who developed his artistic abilities behind bars.
  • "We Feed People": Chronicles the work of the international humanitarian organization World Central Kitchen, which provides food to people affected by war and disasters.
  • "Lakota Nation vs. United States": Explores the theme of colonialism and the displacement of indigenous communities from American lands.
  • "Beyond Utopia": Tells the story of numerous families risking their lives to escape from authoritarian North Korea.
  • "Another Body": A chilling story about modern deepfake technologies in the porn industry, experienced by an American student.
  • "Against All Enemies": A film about extremist movements led by former military veterans and the threat to democracy they pose.
  • "The New Americans: Gaming a Revolution": A documentary by the director of "Maplethorpe" about the impact of gamified services on finance and society.


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From May 9th, American film screenings will take place at the "Zhovten" cinema in Kyiv, as well as in Lviv and Odessa:

  • Lviv: "Planet Cinema" (Forum Lviv) and America House in Lviv (Academician Hnatyuk Street).
  • Odessa: America House in Odessa and other locations.


The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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