Igor Iankovskyi Foundation and Ukrainian State Film Agency held the Ukrainian industrial breakfast at the Toronto International Film Festival

Igor Iankovskyi Foundation and Ukrainian State Film Agency held the Ukrainian industrial breakfast at the Toronto International Film Festival

Sep 17 2018

The industrial breakfast was opened by Pylyp Illienko, the head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency. Pylyp Illienko noted that by virtue of support of the Igor Iankovskyi Foundation, it has become a good tradition to hold business lunches and breakfasts at the largest world film festivals in Europe – in Cannes, Berlin, and now on the American continent – in Toronto. Such meetings have become an instrument for building business contacts between the Ukrainian and international film industry, an important part of the Ukrainian film business.

«Traditionally Canada has a very good attitude to Ukraine, because Canadian Ukrainians are representatives of one nation that laid the foundations of this state, and they also play an important role in economy and culture of Canada. But of course, knowledge about modern Ukraine, and especially about Ukrainian cinema in North America isn’t enough. Therefore, our mission is to open Ukraine for ordinary Canadians with the help of the Ukrainian cinematograph, to establish mutually beneficial relations between cinematographers of both countries. That’s why there is the Ukrainian national stand for the second consecutive year, and today we have laid the tradition of the holding of Ukrainian business breakfasts», noted Pylyp Illienko, the head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency.

Welcoming the guests, Igor Iankovskyi, the businessman and  philanthropist, emphasized that his Foundation has been organizing various events at world film festivals for more than six years in order to promote domestic cinematograph abroad. And this work gives its result – by virtue of our talented directors, Ukrainian films are now presented at almost every major international film festival. It is no coincidence that the competition programs of the largest North American Film Festival in Toronto chose two Ukrainian films: «Donbass» directed by Sergei Loznitsa and «Woman at war» directed by Benedikt Erlingsson.

«The Toronto International Film Festival has earned a reputation of the main review of North America before granting the Oscar. And I’m glad that Ukraine is well represented on this cinema forum. This year we became partners of the film festival and organized the Ukrainian business breakfast, which was included in the official program TIFF. Thus, we have created a platform for establishing contacts between cinema professionals of Ukraine and Canada, as well as the United States and other countries that traditionally come to this movie review. We were able to gather Ukrainian producers and directors, as well as representatives of the world cinema industry in this hall. We really hope that new interesting projects, new films created in cooperation between Ukrainian and foreign cinematographers will become a result of the meeting», noted Igor Iankovskyi, businessman and philanthropist.

In the course of the presentation, Pylyp Illenko, the Head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency, presented Ukraine as a prospective partner for international cooperation, acquainted the participants with the possibilities of Ukrainian cinematograph and the features of film-making in co-production with Ukraine. The guests of the Ukrainian breakfast had the opportunity to watch video clips of Ukrainian films, which have already been made, and which are in the production stage. The Head of the Ukrainian State Film Agency has also presented Ukrainian producers and directors who arrived in Canada and had the opportunity to personally tell about their films. This year, the Ukrainian delegation in Toronto has 16 persons. The film «Donbass» of Sergei Loznitsa, the Ukrainian film director, was the object of special attention of the participants. This film was presented at the film festival in the Contemporary World Cinema program and nominated for the Oscar from Ukraine. The film «Woman at war», directed by Benedict Erlingsson, which entered the Discovery program, was also the object of special attention of the participants. Both these tapes, created with the support of the State Cinema Committee of Ukraine, were previously awarded the prestigious Cannes Film Festival (France).

On completing the official part of the industrial breakfast , producers from the United States, Canada, India, China and other countries approached the organizers of the meeting and thanked for the opportunity to get acquainted with interesting Ukrainian cinema projects. They also noted a strong growth in the level of preparation of presentations and high skills of Ukrainian cinematographers.

The Ukrainian stand with the unchanging slogan «Ukraine Is Your Destination», representing our country as a promising trend in the film-making at the Toronto International Film Festival within the industrial section for the second time. Workers of the stand tell about innovations in the domestic legislation, introduce the production possibilities and the variety of locations for cinematographing in Ukraine.

As such, in the course of the work of the Ukrainian stand, information about Oleg Sentsov with the call to join the global campaign with the hashtag «SaveOlegSentsov» is actively outspread. On September 11, the DOC conference, dedicated to the topic of Sentsov, will be held. Sergei Loznitsa, the director, Tanya Cooper, the representative of the international organization «Human Rights Watch», and Polina Kovaleva, the representative of the American literary centre «PEN American», will be speakers of the event.

The Toronto International Film Festival will be held until September 16.


The annual film festival takes place in September in Toronto (Canada). The festival appeared in 1976 as the Festival of festivals, which featured a collection of films from other cinema shows. During the first Festival of festivals, 127 films from 30 different countries were presented to viewers. In 2009, the festival program included 336 tapes from 64 countries, and the Festival of festivals was renamed as Toronto International Film Festival in 1995. The festival usually begins during the week after the Labor Day (the holiday, which is celebrated on the first Monday in September in the USA and Canada) and lasts for ten days. Since 2010, the main program of the festival is held in the state-of-the-art facility TIFF Bell Lightbox, built specifically for holding of the festival.

Along with the Film Festival «Sundence», the Toronto Festival is considered to be the largest movie show of North America. Participation of a film in the film festival significantly increases its chances of getting into North American rollout. The Toronto Film Festival is often used as a platform for release of films, the creators of which hope to get the Oscar Award. Participation in the Toronto International Cinema Forum largely determines the rental share of majority of arthouse and independent films.

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