Giving Thanks
Nov 25, 2011 Posted in: Blog/News 1

We are back in the US and are finding it extremely hard to go back to real life. Is there such a word as “Ukraine-sick”? If not, there should be. On that same note, if someone knows of a treatment for “post-princess depression syndrome”, we would appreciate you letting us know. Our Ukrainian team took such good care of us that it’s been really hard to recover from that unforgettable experience.

So, when we heard from our organizers that people from other Ukrainian cities were calling and requesting to have screenings for them as well, we seriously thought about packing our bags and taking the first flight back for another tour. We would have a bus painted with flowers and drive from village to village, from house to house; or like Olia Ilkiv says: “vid sela do sela, vid khaty do khaty.”

We got back just in time for Thanksgiving and on this day, we can’t help but give thanks to all the amazing people we have met or reconnected with on this Ukrainian tour. We are extremely lucky to have found such an inspirational group of people who worked tirelessly with us on a voluntary basis just because they believe in what we are trying to achieve.

Olena Hantsyak-Kaskiv was the superb organizer of our tour. We started working with Olena over Skype and email about two months before our trip. Even though we had never met, by the time we arrived to Kyiv, we felt we knew each other very well. We have to admit that we gave her a hard time at first, we wanted to be involved in everything and Olena would reply: “Why don’t you just trust us?” Well, we should have. Olena never sleeps, she is known for sending emails at 3, 4 or 5 in the morning and also for her power of persuasion: she managed to recruit an entire army of people to work on this tour. We believe that local chocolate Olenka was named after her.










Luba Mykhalyuk, our media relations guru was apparently ready to kill that “Olia from Galicia” who spent years away from Ukraine and was trying to give her suggestions from overseas about how to work with Ukrainian media. Thanks to Luba we were all over Ukrainian television and that created a great buzz around the film. Needless to say, no one died and we all became great friends. During our travels, we noticed that Luba never ate. When we asked her about it, she said: “Oh no, I do eat – on weekends”. It was true!


Petro Didula, our tireless director of photography and loyal friend spent the entire time once more behind the camera in order to document the discussions in the different cities. By now, Petro knows that he cannot stick to his own plans whenever we are in town.


Valentina Podgornaya is a woman who makes things happen. She is one of our earliest supporters and one of the biggest promoters of our film in Ukraine. You can always count on Valya not only when it comes to business but also when it comes to having a good time! We believe she fits in her purse an entire army of drivers that appear whenever you need them.


Tetiana Stawnychy is the initiator of the entire tour. We met Tanya at one of our screenings in DC and we remember her saying: “You have to show this film in Ukraine. I will look into it.” And she sure did.


PS: We really tried to have this post ready yesterday on Thanksgiving day but too much turkey and wine made writing quite challenging. And since we’re in thankful mode, our gratitude goes to Olia’s husband Darrin who not only took care of the kids when we were on the tour but also cooked Thanksgiving dinner!

One Response

  1. Thank you dear O&S for such a wonderful words towards your loving Ukrainian team ))! It’s because of you (and the idea of the film tour around Ukraine) we have happened to find each other and so we have formed our team which likely will continue to work in the future.

    Love you,


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