Kinomedia has focused on the work of the fourth estate since 2010, inviting both amateur and professional filmmakers to address mass media in cinema. Open to Ukrainian filmmakers internationally, the festival features animated, documentary, art, and experimental films up to 20 minutes long. Presided over by a jury of journalists, filmmakers and critics, the winners in each category receive 3,000 hryvnias while the grand prix winner walks off with 6,000 hryvnias. There is an additional People’s Choice Award voted for by cinemagoers at public screenings and the festival’s finals. The efforts of these young filmmakers contribute to the wealth of movies produced about media. What’s On takes a closer look at mass media through the lenses of young Kinomedia filmmakers and offers a couple of internationally recognised media-based flicks in comparison.
Pershiy Krok (First Step), (2011, UA – feature film nomination)
Where Edward Murrow in Good Night & Good Luck refused to step back from his viewpoint, the protagonist in this short film Pershiy Krok does just that, literally. Someone decides that walking backwards saves more energy and in this world of mass consumption, suddenly everyone is doing it, well almost everyone. A journalist interviews a man who was opposed to the idea but convinces him to be like everybody else, that it only takes the first step. In an additional plot line, the director traces peculiar similarities between today’s world and different periods in history. “Today a human is killed neither physically nor morally. Everyone feels so insignificant that they actually disappear. But don’t give up...just ask more questions.”
Spravzhni Novyny (Real News), (2011, UA – documentary nomination winner)
The directors of this short film take a vox populae approach hitting the streets asking every passer-by “What’s news?” Quite often journalists are accused of not being objective enough or choosing bad topics to cover. Spravzhni Novyny proves this wrong, bringing the truth to the screen.
Posmsta (Revenge), (2011, UA – feature film nomination, People’s Choice prize)
The director takes quite a satirical approach to illustrate how much people are fed up with TV’s mass-produced content. But how can you get revenge? The main character comes up with a “flushing” design for his TV-set.
Jak Tse Bulo (How it Was), (2011, UA – cartoon nomination winner, Grand Prix)
Reporters constantly look to tell the truth when gathering information for future publication or broadcast. But the “truth” is what you believe and one person’s “truth” may be different to another’s. Looking at three takes of the same story, a reporter sees how varied coverage is of one situation, and asks where is the objectivity?
Are public relations campaigns in the rest of the world any better than here in Ukraine? Check out these media-related flicks filmed in various parts of the word and decide for yourself.
Good Night and Good Luck (2005, US)
Set in 1953, during the early days of television broadcast journalism, this film tells the story of outstanding CBS anchor Edward Murrow and his stance against Senator Joseph McCarthy’s rooting out of supposed communists and communist sympathisers. “Good night and good luck” is the final line of his epic speech before leaving CBS. “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck.”
Videocracy (2009, SE, IT, UK, DK, FI)
The door to objectivity is closed when the prime minister of a country widens his scope of power to controlling television. This documentary film takes a close look at “Berlusconismo” – the phenomenon of the influence Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had over television in Italy. A song from Berlusconi’s election campaign Thank God for Silvio used as a soundtrack to the film only proves that here democracy is substituted for “videocracy”.
All the President’s Men (1976, US)
While researching a story about a botched 1972 burglary of Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex, Washington Post reporters/rivals Woodward (Robert Redford) and Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) stumble on a possible connection between the burglars and a White House staffer. Woodward and Bernstein “follow the money” all the way to the top of the Nixon administration. Based on Washington Post journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward's coverage of the Watergate scandal.
Short-film festival about media impact
Chasopys (L’va Tolstoho 3)
by Olga German