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Several years have passed since the world started talking aboutUkraine and Ukrainians. Our country became a topic of interest abroad and viewers from all over the world wanted to learn more about us and our history.
Foreign film producers started developing more and more projects about Ukraine supporting this interest.
Director and producer Nataliya Padilla, who was born inUkraine but lives and works in Los Angeles, shares her experience in the film industry and also talks about her new project that American producers together with Poland and the Ukraine plan to shoot in the near future.
–How did it all start?
“Back in school, I often produced performances and directed playsbut after graduation I decided to perfect it as an art. I graduated from Kyiv University with a Master degree in television and furthered my education with a Master of Business at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. However, I always was drawn to the creative art. Over time, I moved to Dubai where I joined the New York Film Academy. After my first taste of cinema production, I realized that I found my calling and this what I wanted to do forever. In order to receive the highest degree, a Master of Filmmaking, I relocated to Los Angeles where I obtained practical experience at Universal Studios. Then continued my studies at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles), attended numerous training and seminars, and learned from the leading industry professionals”.
– How did you create your team and started joint projects with American producers?
“Almost all my projects were done in the US. I did not do muchwork in Ukraine yet and therefore my work experience is mainly in Hollywood. From the moment I moved to Los Angeles, I worked infilm productions non stop. From each film set, I hand-picked people that I had previously worked with who I considered as professionals in their fields such as sound, lighting, camera, make up, etc. After all, cinema is teamwork and no matter how talented you are, it all depends on your team. For me, It’s like an orchestra and the main issue is to collect correct instruments and the best musicians who trust you and everything will sound great!
“Later my films started receiving awards, I won a title of best female filmmaker in one of the film festival and some producers showed interest in making projects together. When you are working all the time and you have interesting projects, there are producers who are ready to collaborate with you.
One of these projects is now planned to be shot in the Ukraine”.
– Very interesting. What is this project?
“This will be a television series with the working title “The True Story of Her Life” based on the book with the same name by Rita Brei. The book was published in 1986 in the USA but is about real people and based on real events that happened in the Ukraine in the period from 1907 to 1953. Rita Brei is an immigrant who grew up in an orphanage in Western Ukraine and came to Odessa to work as amachinist in a factory. In Odessa, she met our main character, Wanda who is Polish by birth, and for last years of her life was discussing with the writer the story of her life and the tragic eventswhich are closely related to the history of the Ukraine.
Through the fate of this woman, a Polish aristocrat who came to see her sister in Odessa for the summer, but stayed there forever, we want to tell the rich history of our country .
Wanda witnessed the formation of the Soviet Union. During her life she experienced first hand the First World War, the Socialist Revolution of 1917, the Second World War, the Gulag, and the rise of the Soviet power. All these events had a tragic effect on the life of this beautiful aristocrat and we want to show her story in contrast with the bright slogans and the external brilliance of the Soviet Union and the way human destinies were broken due to the regime.
This will be a high-quality series executed up to the highest standards of the international film industry. One that can be shown on Netflix, HBO, or the comparable platform. We are already negotiating with these networks and other possibilities”.
– The idea is very interesting, we are looking forward to the release. Is it a joint work of America and Ukraine or will it be a purely Ukrainian production?
“At the moment, we have the interest of American and Polish producers but of course we are expecting to receive support from Ukraine as well. This is a costly period piece, a historical filmwhich means specific wardrobe, multiple locations, and everything should be according to the time and done with high quality. We will require a precise budget for funding purposes.
Having received an education and work experience in Hollywood, we can conclude Ukrainian product with world class quality and distinction”.
Interest in Ukrainian cinema is growing fast. Previously, Ukraine was a sort of faded spot on the map for foreigners but now it is well known. People want to interact with our people , learn about our history, and know our culture.
As a main character in Transporter 3 movie said “I am Ukrainian, not Russian. We are completely different”. We are completely different people. With other culture, mentality. The Soviet government for a long time tried to suppress this in us, to break it. But the Soviet government does not exist anymore. And we are. And we must carry our inheritance further, to disseminate it, to speak and declare ourselves, because modesty is the path to dishonor and poverty. We truly believe that Nataliya and her producers will succeed in making this project world-class.
Filming is planned in the near future, and we are lookingforward to these series. This will turn stiff look, imposed by false propaganda and generously smeared with illusiveness on the Soviet Union, on living in it and on the suppression of the Ukrainian voice in this bloody bathhouse of repressions, wars, and revolutions.