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War in Ukraine: the artistic community acts and reacts

This article is available in: French

Following the Russian attack in Ukraine, the artistic community reacted and launched several initiatives. Here is an overview of these initiatives, from studios reacting to the war to an open letter from the Russian animation community and a festival created for the refugees.

Studios established in Ukraine

Several studios such as Crytek and Ubisoft, which are established in Ukraine, published press releases.

Crytek explains that they were able to maintain communications with the team from their studio in Kyiv. The company states that they are doing everything they can to assist them. Crytek also states that they are “deeply saddened by the current events”, and that their “thoughts are with [their] team as well as all Ukrainian citizens”.

Ubisoft also published a press release. The videogame company owns two studios in Ukraine, in Kyiv and Odessa. Ubisoft expresses their wish to accompany their “teams and their loved ones in Ukraine” “in the best possible way, by helping to protect their safety and providing financial support”. Ubisoft also states that “[their] hearts are also with [their] players, partners and all those impacted”.

There are many more animation, VFX and videogame studios in Ukraine, such as  Animagrad animation studio, or the CG & VFX studio Postmodern Digital.

An open letter from the Russian animation community

On the other side of the Ukrainian-Russian border, more than 900 people from the Russian animation community (directors, animators, critics, festivals organizers…) signed an open letter demanding the end of the war.

The list of names include director, producer and writer Andrey Khrzhanovsky, director and illustrator Svetlana Filippova, director Konstantin Bronzit, animator and producer Irina Rubina.

Here is the full statement:

We’re convinced that war brings nothing but death, pain and destruction. And nothing can justify it. The animation community of Ukrainian and Russian animation filmmakers is united and inseparable, we have been working together, watching each other’s films for many years. The art of animation is also an art, that helps people feel like people. Not to kill, not to destroy. To unite.

And today our children, brothers are sent to kill those with whom they recently played in the same yard and watched the same cartoons, without distinguishing whether they are Russian or Ukrainian ones.

Animation and art in general have always been imbued with anti-war spirit. We believe that today’s military actions are directed not just our Ukrainian friends and colleagues, but against all people, humanity and Man as a whole.

We are against war. We want the words about the brotherly people not to turn in a bloody nightmare.

There is no excuse for bombing and killing!

Call for films – Border Crossing Children’s Film Festival

Directors Weronika Jurkiewicz and Bianca Lucas launched a festival project.

The goal is to start a festival near the Polish-Ukrainian Border, for the children and families waiting to cross the border, then waiting for transport.

The call for films also explains that anyone ready to help on this project and with logistics in Poland is welcome.

Here is the call for films:

ATTENTION all friends, filmmaking and festival community!!! WE NEED FILMS FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES ASAP. Weronika Jurkiewicz and I are starting the BORDER CROSSING CHILDREN’S FILM FESTIVAL in POLAND.

Many mothers/ families are currently waiting in line at the border with their children for 12 hrs at a time in the cold. Once they cross, they have to wait further for transport. Exhausted, having to keep it together for their kids.

Everything is progressing dramatically and we are trying to move fast. We are scrambling to set up a points in Przemyśl, Medyka, and literally along the crossing where mothers wait either to cross or for transport with their children. Holding screenings and distractions for children is crucial in giving the little ones a moment of light through the trauma, and the mothers a moment to breathe. And hopefully see a smile on some of the children’s faces. We are currently trying to organize venues, projectors, screens and seats. Anyone who can help us with that and logistics in Poland, please let us know.

But in the meantime WE NEED FILMS FOR CHILDREN ASAP. The wifi is cutting out at the border, we need files and downloadable links. NO DIALOGUE, SHORT OR LONG, RIGHTS AND FEES WAIVED for the purpose of this event. I’m calling on all fellow FESTIVALS, PROGRAMMERS, FILMMAKERS AND DISTRIBUTORS. Please think of the most suitable films for the families in need right now.

UPDATE: you can now send downloadable films to:


Last, but not least, let’s also remind our readers that you can donate to NGOs such as the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, as well as to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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