Serhiy Loznitsa, one of the most important Ukrainian directors today, came to receive the Golden Camera honorary award

The director has already won 58 film prizes awarded at the world’s biggest film festivals. In 2018, he was awarded at Cannes for his feature film Donbas, about the war of the separatist groups in eastern Ukraine.

Serhiy Loznitsa’s documentary films is characterised by his work with archive materials, from which he “reassembles” gripping narratives and explores the historical memory of the states of the former Soviet Union. Art Film also formed a part of the beginning of his career. In 1996, his documentary Today We Are Going to Build a House (1995, co-directed by Marat Magambetov) was selected for the Student Film Competition. Authentic documentaries about the present time also form an important part of his filmography.

The director’s work is regularly featured in the Art Film program and this year he came to Košice to present his latest filmInvasion, which also did not escape the attention of the aforementioned festival in the French city of Cannes, where the film had its world premiere only recently.

In an interview with Juraj Čurný, Serhiy Loznitsa talked about his filmography and introduced the festival noveltyInvasion.

We know you are fascinated by history. I would like to ask about your 2019 film State Funeral, which is about the first days after Stalin’s death. What was it like when you got your hands on so much material of immense historical value? How did you sort through this material and make the final cut?  

If we talk about documentaries, it’s true that I often deal with history and work with archival materials. For some there is more material, other times I have almost none. In case of State Funeral, there were many of them. Records of this event come from all corners of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. I had 70 hours of film footage and it was important to decide on one subject that was in it. The film was inspired by Dziga Vertov’s Lullaby, which featured Stalin as the hero. He is already dead in my film.

Today in my masterclass I will also talk about what to do when there is not a lot of material and what options a filmmaker can pick.

In this year’s Art Film program, we have your film Mr. Landsbergis. How did the archival material in this case affect you? Did you discover anything during the creation process that you didn’t know before?

Vytautas Landsbergis was the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament and also a member of the Congress that initiated the changes in Soviet Lithuania. He was a political leader who was instrumental in the destruction of the Soviet Union. I remember those times, I was 27 years old, I was in Kyiv and I was watching the congressional disputes from Lithuania, because those were revolutionary moments. It was very brave, in Stalin’s time they would have all been shot for such ideas. In Lithuania, where I have worked since 2003, I met Landsbergis and we became friends. The last time I saw him was three days ago (smile).

I decided to shoot a film about this period because many people do not know how we fought against the Soviet Union there. You cannot imagine the high level of infiltration of KGB agents in Lithuania at that time. Troops came to the country as well, nevertheless, the nation was spared from bloodshed. I would like to pay tribute to the countries that are still facing totalitarianism from Russia. This film will be screened on June 28th at 1:30 p.m. in Kulturpark, I highly recommend it.

What was the genesis of your latest film, Invasion, about the events in Ukraine since February 2022? When did you decide to film it?

I didn’t decide, I had to do it! Just as with the film Maidan. I felt an obligation to film it. We made a series of short films from different cities of Ukraine. I wanted to show the life of the residents during this tragedy. Finally, it became one big film. Later, we plan to gradually distribute all thirty short films that make up Invasion.

The 30th edition of the International Film Festival Art Film will take place thanks to the support of:

Organiser: ART FILM FEST s.r.o.;

Co-organizers: City of Košice, K13 – Košice cultural centers, ART FILM FEST, n.o., LGM, s.r.o., FORLIVE;

The festival was financially supported by: Audiovisual Fund
The festival is co-financed by the Košice self-governing region from the Terra Incognita program;

Senior advertising partner: Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava, a.s.;

Main partners: Národná lotériová spoločnosť TIPOS, Východoslovenská energetika, EUK-Force, SPP, CODES Brand House;

Automotive partner: PORSCHE; Official hotel: Hotel Yasmin;

Main media partners: TV JOJ, Pravda, Eurotelevízia;

Advertising partners: construction company Adefex, Jadrová a vyraďovacia spoločnosť, a.s.,  Best Press, U. S. Steel Košice, Betpres, Transpetrol, SLOVAKIA TRAVEL, ANTIK Telecom, Cinema Úsmev, CORE LABS, Lucka spring water;

Technological partners: NOV, ZEBRA, DELTA OnLine, ARICOMA, BigON;

Official contractors: DKC Veritas, Eastern Slovak Museum in Košice, Krušovice BOHÉM, BARZZUZ, DOMOS SLOVAKIA, Restaurant Contessa, Café Slávia; Official wine: Kubbo Select and Ostrožovič;

Media partners: JOJ PLAY, JOJ 24, Film Europe, Rádio KOŠICE,, Forbes, Korzár, Slovenka, SITA, TASR, See & Go, BigMedia, Košice City Guide,, Visit Košice,,, MOJAkultúra;

Partners: Východoslovenská vodárenská spoločnosť, Nadácia CEF, Slovnaft, AUPARK Košice, Carmeuse Slovakia, JOJ Cinema, cestovná kancelária Hydrotour, Taper, YumEarth, KAIFER advokátska kancelária, Deva, WITKOWITZ SLOVAKIA, Letisko Košice, ECO Technologies, CPK Slovakia, Casa Trade – Casablanca cafe, DC MEDICAL, KPK Reklama, Kvitok, HAIR Factory Košice, Kvety Garomi, Air Taxi, Tesco Store SK, Local Nomad Tours, Red Fox Golf Club, TATRATEA, Slovenský filmový ústav;

Financial awards partners: CANON, Filmarina;

Catering partners: Ohnisko – Fire Dining & Brew Bar, Pub u kohúta, El Nacional, Maiko Sushi, Café de Paris, Tabačka Kulturfabrik; BISTRO Blanc, Andiamo GROUP, BENZE; Red Velvet Cake Bar; Tahiti, Café Veritas