Celluloid Dreams embarks “From Ukraine to Luxembourg” by Antonio Lukich
Paris-based Celluloid Dreams has boarded Antonio Lukich’s upcoming feature film “From Ukraine to Luxembourg,” currently in post-production and slated to premiere in the fall.
The Ukrainian director debuted in 2019 with “My Thoughts Are Silent,” a comedy-drama about a sound engineer tasked with recording animal sounds from western Ukraine. But here’s the catch: his mother decides to join him. The film received a Special Jury Prize in the East of the West section of Karlovy Vary.
In “From Ukraine to Luxembourg”, with Ramil Nasirov, Amil Nasirov, Natalia Gnitii and Liumyla Sachenko, two twin brothers have to deal with the disappearance of their father. While one decides to follow his path as a petty crook, the other becomes a cop. One day, they discover that their long-lost father is believed to be living in Luxembourg.
“In his first film, Antonio explored his own relationship with his mother. Now he focuses on his father in a way,” ForeFilms producer Vladimir Yatsenko said. Variety.
Known for films such as Valentyn Vasyanovych’s “Atlantis” and “Reflection,” and chosen as one of six Ukrainian producers in the spotlight, Yatsenko is also the originator of “Rock.” Paper. Grenade” by Iryna Tsilyk, which will be presented at the Cannes Film Market as a preview of Ukrainian feature films.
“These two brothers are so different, but they will try to understand each other on this journey. The film has some funny moments but – in typical Lukich style – it’s also quite sad. In a way, the twins are like him – he was also divided. There is this love-hate relationship with a parent,” he added.
“I’m so glad this movie isn’t about war.”
Yatsenko, who produced the film alongside his wife, Anna Yatsenko, is currently serving in the Ukrainian military.
“The film doesn’t seem to be about war at all: it’s about everyday life and community. We consider it a very valuable portrait of Ukraine as it was and will be again. Antonio’s humor is delicious, full of nuances, everyone is connected and people are surprisingly tender towards each other. It’s beautiful,” said Charlotte Mickie, vice president of Celluloid Dreams, calling the film’s central quest “absurd and mythical.”
“That being said, this film makes you think about what war does: there will be many more fatherless children like the twins before this is all over and so many families divided and scattered. So much more trauma. The film addresses these issues indirectly and very eloquently.
After the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the evacuation, part of the equipment remained in kyiv, but the film crew managed to recover it.
“It was a complicated ‘special operation’, but we managed it,” admitted Yatsenko. Also praising the president and founder of Celluloid Dreams, Hengameh Panahi, who decided to waive her commission.
“She said, ‘I don’t want to make money from this movie, I just want to help.’ We are very grateful for that.
“We really wanted to help Ukraine, so we chose our region, the cinema, and we made a very special arrangement for this very special film. We thought it was so important for the film to be seen and for the Ukrainian people are seen. It’s all about exposure,” added Mickie.
“Vladimir went to fight during the day and then at night joined his pregnant wife, Anna, alongside Antonio and his wife, in an underground refuge to complete the film. The sound in particular was a terrible problem because shelling,” she said.
“These filmmakers took huge risks. We just took a small chance and we hope our distributors will do the same. It’s the least we can all do now.