UK cinemas raise money for Ukraine with previews of award-winning drama Olga
UK cinemas, including the Electric Picture House in Wotton-under-Edge, have united in support of Ukraine with a series of preview charity screenings of Olga (15), a new film about a young female Ukrainian gymnast forced to train in exile. From each ticket sold, a donation will be made to support Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee. The previews are a result of a partnership with 606 Distribution and the BFI.
The preview screenings will be taking place in over 100 cinemas nationwide, with the Wotton screening taking place on Sunday 27 March at 7.30pm.
Set in 2013, Olga tells the story of a 15-year-old Ukrainian gymnast, training for the European Championship in preparation for the Olympics, who is forced to move to Switzerland from her home in Kyiv where her mother works as an investigative journalist reporting on the Euromaidan protests. Lead actress Anastasiia Budiashkina is a former member of Ukraine’s national gymnastics team.
Olga is the directorial debut of Elie Grappe and held its World Premiere in International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival 2021 where it won the SACD Award. The film received its UK Premiere as part of the Glasgow Film Festival this month.
Tickets can be purchased at www.wottoncinema.com, or by calling 01453 844601.
Olga's lead actress, Anastasia Budiashkina, has now reached Poland after leaving Kharkiv in Ukraine to escape the war. She says:
"I am very glad that Olga will be seen in the UK, and people will see the situation going on with Ukraine. Everyone involved with Olga worked very hard, and I put a part of myself into the film. I hope everyone will enjoy Olga."
Pat Kelman, Director of 606 Distribution, says:
“I planned to release Olga in the late Spring, but the invasion of Ukraine made me very nervous about releasing the film at all. When Watershed Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove mentioned that venues were looking for a way to show support for Ukrainians, I realised that this very human and dramatic film set against the Ukraine 2013 Maidan Revolution could now resonate and connect with UK audiences in a meaningful way.
“I am overwhelmed by the massive support the film distribution and exhibition community are showing for this project, and I hope we see full houses across the nation in support of Ukraine and Ukrainians.”
Jason Wood, Director of Public Programmes at the BFI, says:
“We are all witnessing a horrifying situation unfold, but film has the power to unite people and inspire empathy across cultures. I’m really proud that the UK’s film exhibition and distribution community and colleagues across the BFI have come together to bring Olga to as many UK cinemas – and audiences – as possible, giving us a perspective on Ukrainian life, telling a Ukrainian story and actively support the people of Ukraine through this special film.”
Olga is produced by Point Prod, Cinema Defacto and Pulsar Content, with the support of Swiss Film.
For more details about what’s showing at the Electric Picture House, please visit www.wottoncinema.com.