TIDF Collaborates with Ukrainian Human Rights Film Festival Six Powerful Documentaries Bear Witness to Ten Years of Russian Aggression Against Ukraine

The Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF), organized by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (TFAI), scheduled to take place from May 10th to 19th, 2024, has partnered with the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (IHRDFF) to present the co-curated section "Exchange|Decade in Blue and Yellow: Ukrainian Documentaries" to audiences in Taiwan.

The Russian aggression against Ukraine, which began with the occupation of Crimea in 2014, culminated in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, shocking the world. The TIDF will showcase six documentaries produced during the decade-long Russian-Ukrainian conflict, depicting the struggles of the Ukrainian people as they strive for democracy, seek truth, pursue hope, and endeavor to find peace amidst turmoil and conflict in their homeland.

Established in 2003, Docudays UA stands as Ukraine's sole human rights-themed film festival. The collaboration between TIDF and Docudays UA marks TIDF's first-ever programme exchange with an international film festival. TIDF Programme Director Wood Lin remarks, "Taiwan and Ukraine face similar geopolitical and international situations, making this collaboration deeply meaningful. Through documentaries and discussions with Ukrainian film professionals, our aim is to provide the audience with a broader perspective to better understand this pressing issue."

Docudays UA's Programme Director Yuliia Kovalenko and programmer Polina Yakoleva stated: "While our nation pays the price for freedom from blood-hungry terrorist countries, we at least hope that our experiences can serve as proof that truth prevails over malice. We do not film because we fear extinction; we film to prove that our future is worth fighting for."


Through the Lens and Music: Witnessing a Nation's Transformation

In late 2013, the Maidan Revolution erupted in Kyiv, as millions took to the streets to protest and topple the pro-Russian president. Docudays UA played an active role in chronicling history by producing Euromaidan. Rough Cut (2014). Eight filmmakers who had documented the protests were invited to contribute their footage, resulting in a kaleidoscopic portrayal of the revolution's complexity. The title "Rough Cut" metaphorically captures the chaos and uncertainty of the national transformation during that period.


Euromaidan. Rough Cut (2014)


Similarly related to the Maidan Revolution is Roses. Film-Cabaret (2021), which follows the Dakh Daughters, an all-female, Ukrainian musical and theatrical collective. The documentary showcases these seven female artists, likened to thorny wild roses, who proudly exhibit civic engagement and cultural pride, conveying a strong patriotic message through their performances.


Roses. Film-Cabaret (2021)


About the Difficulties of Defending Truth and Survival in a Warzone

Information warfare plays a crucial role in modern conflicts. In 2014, the MH17 Malaysian Airlines plane crashed in eastern Ukraine, claiming the lives of all 283 passengers. Evidence indicated that a Russian military anti-aircraft missile was responsible for the tragedy, yet Russian media shifted blame to the Ukrainian military. Iron Butterflies (2023) provides an in-depth investigation into this incident, deconstructing truth and falsehood with news footage and experimental imagery, while mourning the innocent victims. Likewise Chornobyl 22 (2023) gathers evidence of Russian war crimes. The film uses footage of a local informant who clandestinely filmed Russian forces occupying the Chornobyl exclusion zone in early 2022. We hear nuclear power plant workers, recounting their experiences under Russian military control of the facilities, intertwined with catastrophic scenarios from the past and present.

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Iron Butterflies (2023), Chornobyl 22 (2023)


We Will Not Fade Away (2023) explores the lives of five teenagers from Eastern Ukraine, vibrant in their youth, yet trapped in the never-ending military conflict in their remote small town. Amidst their bleak and seemingly hopeless circumstances, an intrepid explorer emerges, offering them an opportunity to climb the Himalayas. No Obvious Signs (2018) sheds light on the lesser-known female soldiers of Ukraine, recently returned from the front lines as decorated heroes. Despite their outward appearance of resilience, they grapple with deep trauma and suffer from debilitating panic attacks. The film chronicles the arduous rehabilitation process of one such soldier, as she is trying to get back to a normal life.

The TIDF is pleased to announce that Yuliia KOVALENKO, the Programme Director of Docudays UA, Dariya AVERCHENKO, the producer of Euromaidan. Rough Cut, and Alina GORLOVA, the director of No Obvious Signs, will be attending the festival in person. They will participate in post-screening discussions, sharing their experiences and insights with the audience during the festival. There will also be an extended Q&A held with Docudays UA, discussing the role and responsibility of documentary films and film festivals in society.

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We Will Not Fade Away (2023), No Obvious Signs (2018)


The 14th Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF) is set to take place from May 10th to May 19th at the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute, SPOT Huashan, Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Qsquare, and Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB). The festival will bring together almost 140 captivating documentaries from both domestic and international sources, welcoming nearly a hundred international filmmakers for the first time since the pandemic. Alongside film screenings and post-screening discussions, attendees can engage in lectures, performances, and extensive exhibitions, all geared towards expanding the audience's perception of documentaries through a rich and diverse array of content. Please stay tuned to the  TIDF official website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information.