This is part of EuroFestival, for more information please visit Eurofestival.
Storyville, the BBC’s landmark international feature documentary strand, is bringing its own two day, mini-film festival, Storyville Live, to the Eurovision cultural festival in May, curating a selection of films for audiences in Liverpool to watch for free at the City’s Everyman Cinema. Some may also be available to audiences in Eurovision ‘partner Cities’.
On day one, Thursday May 11th, Storyville Live will showcase stories from Ukraine – from its rich cultural heritage to stories from the frontline of the conflict with Russia. For most of the films, it will be their UK Premiere.
The second day, Friday May 12th, will focus on music – connecting Eurovision with new and classic music documentaries.
On May 13th, the day of the Grand Final of Eurovision, a selection of the films will be available for audiences across the UK to watch on a special rail on the iplayer.
DAY ONE: May 11th
Fragile memory 12:30pm
A young filmmaker Igor Ivanka finds a hidden and unpublished photo archive of his grandfather Leonid Burlaka, a famous Soviet cinematographer. Discovering a man that he never knew well enough through the damaged pictures, he gets closer to his dementing grandpa, facing the tension between memory and forgetting. The Ukrainian cinematographer Igor meets a young Soviet cinematographer Leonid who started establishing his career during the ‘Khrushchev Thaw’. However, time is running out: soon Leonid will not remember Igor at all.
We Will Not Fade Away – UK PREMIERE followed by Q&A with one of the filmmakers tbc 2.30pm
For five teenagers living in the conflict-ridden Donbas region of Ukraine, a Himalayan expedition provides a brief escape from reality. A portrait of a generation that in spite of everything, is able to recognise and celebrate the fragile beauty of life.
When spring came to Bucha – UK PREMIERE followed by Q&A with one of the filmmakers 4.30pm
In early 2022, the small Ukrainian town of Bucha near the capital, Kyiv, was occupied by the Russian army for several weeks. After a month of intense fighting, the Russian Army withdrew, leaving the town destroyed in its wake. Now, as they clean their streets of debris and re-build their shattered homes share, the residents of Bucha are starting to share their
stories. Yuri, municipal services manager, struggles to keep people supplied with clean drinking water. Olenka is the only child in her class after two of her friends were killed – the rest having fled the country. In the midst of suffering, a young couple gets married, and life goes on. This heart-rending yet empowering documentary tells stories of loss, hope, and resistance, as the spring flowers of Bucha begin to bloom.
Eastern Front – UK PREMIERE followed by Q&A with filmmakers 7.30pm
A gut-wrenching glimpse of the brutal realities of life and death on the Eastern front in Ukraine’s fight to keep back Russian invaders.
Director Yevhen Titarenko is part of the “Hospitallers”, a volunteer medical battalion working on the frontline of Ukraine’s bloody Eastern Front . His crew are involved in ever-more dangerous frontline missions. The fierce fighting in and around Kharkiv pitches them into rescue missions so dangerous that, more than once, they lose members of their team. Ambulances are blown to pieces, along with medics and patients, by mines or shells. The film shifts from scenes on the frontline in the east to home leave with the family in the west. At times disturbingly raw and direct, yet always enlightening, this film shows in close-up how a nation is fighting for its survival.
DAY TWO: May 12th
Vinyl nation 10am
The story of vinyl – past and present – taking in the fandom, the production, its sound, and its history including its road-bumps, and a new generation of fans that smash the stereotype of it being the preserve of older white males.
The vinyl record renaissance over the past decade has brought new fans to a classic format and transformed our idea of a record collector: younger, both male and female, multicultural. This same revival has made buying music more expensive, benefited established bands over independent artists and muddled the question of whether vinyl actually sounds better than other formats.
I Get Knocked Down 12.30pm
The untold story of Chumbawamba and its former frontman, Dunstan Bruce’s personal voyage of rediscovery, redemption and reawakening, and a call to arms to those who think activism is best undertaken by someone else. Dunstan is 59 and he’s struggling with the fact
that the world seems to be going to hell in a handcart. He’s wondering where did it all go wrong? For him. For humanity. Twenty years after his fall from grace, the former frontman of the anarchist band Chumbawamba is angry and frustrated. But how does a middle-aged, retired radical, who now feels invisible get back up again?
Our Hobby is Depeche Mode 4.30pm
A film by Jeremy Deller and Nik Abrahams. This is a tale of resolute faith and devoted fandom; a bizarre, funny, sad and often touching reflection on how people intimately embrace and appropriate pop culture in their own lives.
It follows the band’s ardent and hardcore international fanbase, documenting their enthusiasms, rituals, and passionate partisanship. As one of their myriad of international fans declares, ‘It sounds crazy, but it’s our hobby. Depeche Mode isn’t just our passion. Other people go to the gym or do sport. Our hobby is Depeche Mode.’
Based on the acclaimed English National Ballet production, choreographed by Akram Khan and directed by Academy Award-winning director Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy, The Warrior), Creature is a genre-busting collaboration that fuses film, contemporary dance and music in an immersive and visceral film.
In an abandoned arctic research station, Creature (Jeffrey Cirio) is unknowingly enlisted into an experimental military programme. While enduring extreme conditions, Creature falls in love with Marie (Erina Takahashi) a compassionate cleaner who also has the unwanted attention of the station’s violent mayor.
At 82 years old, Lula is every inch the rebel. As an openly gay man in communist Poland, he organised underground parties and after-curfew men only soirees. In the 1980s. despite a fiercely homophobic culture, he took up drag to free himself from the stifling correctness of the decade. But now, he’s an old, single man in a youth-obsessed world. His partner was crushed by depression and killed himself, but somehow Lula, now Poland’s oldest drag queen, remains buoyant – clubbing, looking for love again, meeting fans at Pride and commissioning an artist to sculpt a bespoke crematorium urn. Try to keep up with a man who knows life is to be lived out loud.