Powerful Documentary Feature GOLOS: UKRAINIAN VOICES selected to Close London Independent Film Festival 2016
People of the Ukraine voice their dreams and nightmares
Dolya gavanski’s powerful and emotive documentary feature about Ukraine today GOLOS: Ukrainian Voices will be the closing film at this year’s LIFF. Written, produced, co-directed and narrated by London-based actress and writer Dolya Gavanski, and with a haunting score by Alexander ‘Sacha’ Puttnam, the film provides a platform for people to be heard, as they share their memories of war away from the cacophony of political voices and mass media. The film will close the London Independent Film Festival on April 25th, at the Genesis Cinema and will open at the Arthouse Cinema, Crouch End on April 30th.
Gavanski, who is in her thirties, says “As a Londoner used to the global mix of people and attitudes, I am moved – sometimes to sardonic laughter and sometime s to tears of fury – by the absurd and bloody politics of identity in post-Soviet Europe”. As Jack Nicholson’s character said in Mars Attacks!: ‘why can’t we all just get along?’”.
Gavanski’s incredible personal story began as a seven year-old pioneer of Tito’s Yugoslavia. “I also recollect, in the tragic deaths in contemporary Ukraine, my own family history in Yugoslavia. I am the grandchild of a wartime girl courier, the type celebrated in Hemingway’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’. My grandmother was to survive a prisoner-of-war camp where her father-in-law was starved to death, only to die in the 1990s of a heart attack as once again she listened to the sound of bombing in Belgrade,” she recalls.
Born in Bulgaria to a chess champion mother, Dolya Gavanski was raised in several different countries during the fall of the communist regimes. As a child, until the age of 16 she lived and studied in Belgrade, Samarkand, Leningrad, and Moscow. She excelled at school and played piano from a very early age, competing at national level and performing at a major concert hall in Belgrade at the age of 10. She went on to train in acting in Moscow and London and was educated at the University of Cambridge, after which she obtained a PhD on Russian theatre and culture at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Dolya writes and translates plays, as well as working as an actress.
She has appeared with Steve Coogan and Michael Winterbottom in The Trip; Angelina Jolie In The Land of Blood and Honey and in the Tom Stoppard play Rock N Roll directed by Trevor Nunn. Recent films include Our Kind of Traitor, starring Ewen McGregor, directed by Susanna White – set to open in May 2016 -and The Lesson directed by Ruth Plath. Currently she is developing her BBC Radio 4 play The Russian Gambler, a modern day adaptation of Dostoevsky’s The Gambler, into a TV series.
Her company THEA FILMS in collaboration with GRAD is now in production with Soviet Woman, a film dedicated to the role of women in the Soviet Union - and the way propaganda portrayed them as workers, soldiers, scientists, dancers, cosmonauts, to the more bizarre and unusual - and looking ahead to the centenary of the Russian Revolution, the film brings to life the role of women in the former Eastern Bloc.
About THEA FILMS
London-based THEA FILMS, headed by Dolya Gavanski, was set up to develop film projects that focus on human issues across diverse cultures, with an emphasis on storytelling and characters that challenge stereotypes. Drawing on her own experience as an actress and writer, her particular interest is to delve deeper into the Eastern European experience, often cliched within the media; to explore various character perspectives on the human condition and to establish long term collaborations around the world.