People need a holiday. Executive Director of the Ukrainian Film Academy Anna Machuh on the presentation of Golden Dzihi in quarantine

People need a holiday. Executive Director of the Ukrainian Film Academy Anna Machuh on the presentation of Golden Dzihi in quarantine
28 april 2020

On Sunday, May 3, in Ukraine in the format of an online show will be awarded Golden Jiґa. The executive director of the Ukrainian Film Academy Anna Machuh told why this decision was made.
Today, the whole world is faced with what it was not ready for, and it is important to recognize this. Production in many countries has stopped, shooting has been frozen, industrial events are being postponed and canceled. Unfortunately, culture and creative industries are the industries that, in times of crisis, suffer first.
This situation is happening everywhere, including in Ukraine. These industries account for less than 0.5% of the state budget expenditures, but they involve more than 1 million people whose jobs are now at risk. The decline in revenue of these industries is more than 50%, according to March data. It is also 4% of the entire country's GDP, which means that they generate more income than the same construction. We remember how hard it was to reduce the budget cuts of the Ministry of Culture, whose financing they were planning to cut by almost 90%. While in other countries the state acted exactly the opposite.
In an environment where an entire industry is at risk, it needs support as never before. Quarantine measures will end, the pandemic will come to naught - what will we stay with? Culture is the source in which for thousands of years people have sought solace and refuge from misfortune. This is a way to talk about victories and defeats, reflecting on the situation. Actually, this is one of the reasons we were guided when we found ourselves in such a situation.
We have just begun the most active phase of the preparation of the ceremony of presenting the Fourth National Film Prize of Jiґa Gold. Everything was clearly planned, the date was agreed, the guests were confirmed. The quarantine announcement caught us by surprise. Fortunately, the team that works to create the Film Prize is a dream team. The issue was resolved promptly and cohesively. We did not even begin to think about canceling the ceremony.
In troubled times, a person needs a holiday more than ever. Therefore, it was decided to switch to the online format. Our entire team works remotely, but everything is in touch, so we easily adapted to the new conditions. Moreover, for us this is not a novelty. We have already held more than one festival when team members were at different points. In this regard, it is simple for us, but on the other hand, no one understands what restrictions will continue to apply.
Thus, this year the Jiґa Gold Film Award has become closer to people, open. If earlier only film academics and industry professionals could get on the red carpet and watch the award ceremony, then on Sunday, May 3, every film fan will be able to share with us the triumph of Ukrainian cinema.
Like it or not, we all have more digitalization ahead. An example is demonstrated by international events that go online. The Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival CPH: DOX and the Vilnius International Film Festival have organized digital events.
So did the Series Mania International Television Festival. They created the Digital Forum online platform with the duplication of the functions of the Series Mania Forum industrial forum. In Ukraine, some followed suit. So, Docudays UA passes online. But the Cannes Film Festival flatly refused to use digital technology. They are ready to skip the year, but spend exclusively offline. In the meantime, the film festival was postponed indefinitely.
Of course, such shifts in the festival schedule affect the entire industry as a whole. Platforms and content are closely interconnected, and no one can produce it yet. The unknown situation and the time frame for its resolution make us think more and more, will we remain in ruins or is it possible to minimize risks?

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