Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa Wins Best Director Award at Cannes
He sent a statement thanking the festival and protesting Russia’s imprisonment of Ukrainian filmmaker, Oleh Sentsov.
Photo from Ukrinform
Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa won the best director award for his movie, Donbas, at the 71st Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard competition.
“The Best Director prize on the other hand, went to an auteur with established Cannes credentials: Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa, who opened the Un Certain Regard section with his fevered, surreal war study ‘Donbas’,” Variety wrote.
“A sometime docmaker who continues to experiment radically with form in his narrative work, Loznitsa has been in Competition at Cannes three times, most recently with last year’s harrowing anti-administration protest “A Gentle Creature.” That he was dropped to the lower-profile Un Certain Regard strand with his latest, a study of conflict between Ukrainian nationalists and Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic, suggests Cannes selectors may have deemed it more of a niche item than his previous work,” the publication said.
Loznitsa’s hard-hitting film depicts the brutal conflict since 2014 between government forces and Russia-backed militants in Eastern Ukraine in a world dominated by fake news. The film portrays the region as declining into a mafia-style war at a time when Russia is seeking to reassert itself in the world and Eastern Europe, after the Soviet Union collapsed more than two decades ago.
Loznitsa was not present at the ceremony, but he sent a statement thanking the festival and protesting Russia’s imprisonment of Ukrainian filmmaker, Oleh Sentsov.
The script of the film is based on real-life materials. Loznitsa describes the events that took place in Eastern Ukraine. People who are forced to adapt to life in conditions where the institutions of power, family and professional ties break up, take center stage in the movie. Donbas is an anti-war film, whose heroes are victims of circumstances.
Other than Ukraine, the movie was created in production with Germany, the Netherlands, France and Romania.
Loznitsa is viewed as a national treasure, after making around two dozen documentaries and films that have brought him international recognition. His documentary, Maidan, about Kyiv’s pro-Western street revolution, premiered at a special Cannes screening in 2014.