Festival of Ukrainian Spiritual Cinema Opened in Rome

December 11, 2023, 14:10 35

On December 9, the official opening ceremony of the Ukrainian Spiritual Cinema Festival took place in the auditorium of the Saint Sophia Religious Association in Rome. After the official part, the audience was presented with a pre-premiere screening of the war thriller Bucha, which is scheduled to premiere in 2024, and the historical drama Shchedryk.

Festival of Ukrainian Spiritual Cinema Opened in Rome

The opening was attended by numerous honored guests, clergy and faithful. The event began with the blessing of Bishop Dionysiy Lyakhovych, Apostolic Exarch for Ukrainian Catholics of the Byzantine Rite in Italy.

Afterward, Fr. Marko-Jaroslav Semegen, rector of St. Sophia Pro-Cathedral and president of the religious association of the same name, addressed the guests with a welcoming speech.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta, Mr. Andriy Yurash, expressed gratitude to the organizers and all those involved in the festival. The event was made possible with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the State Film Agency of Ukraine, the Embassy of Ukraine to the Holy See, and the Religious Society of St. Sophia.

The Ambassador of Ukraine also shared with the audience that the films being presented depict the tragic stories of Ukrainians during both the present and postwar periods.

“The films ‘Bucha’ and ‘Shchedryk’ are fundamental and revelatory in today’s realities. Bucha is especially important because it teaches empathy and directly connects with the Holy See. The film tells the story of a girl who survived the horrors of war and was later received by Pope Francis in the Vatican. In contrast, ‘Shchedryk’ is a great lesson in spirituality, friendship, compassion, and humanity, which helped the characters survive the difficult times of oppression,” emphasized Mr. Andriy.

“All the characters you will see are real people I met, spoke to, and collected testimonies from. We are especially delighted to present the film in Rome because Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy inspired our team. As a result, you can find many Christian symbols in the film.”

The UGCC Department for Information

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