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North Shore director to debut film at Ukraine fundraising gala

The event, running at the VIFF Centre in Vancouver, will support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine
Viddana, a historical drama film based on the novel Felix Austria by Sofia Andrukhovych, will have its North American premiere at the fundraising gala. | YVR Screen Scene for Ukraine Gala

Film lovers and activists will come together this Wednesday evening for a gala to raise awareness for the political conflict continuing in Ukraine, and to support the country’s ongoing humanitarian relief efforts.

The YVR Screen Scene For Ukraine, now in its second year, will bring live music, arts and craft stalls, and food vendors to the VIFF Centre. It will be hosted by Ukrainian Canadians Sabrina Rani Furminger, host and executive producer of the YVR Screen Scene Podcast, and actor Adrian Petriw (The Dragon Prince).

At the event’s crux will be a screening and the North American premiere of Viddana, a historical drama film based on the novel Felix Austria by Sofia Andrukhovych.

Directed by Ukrainian filmmaker Khrystyna Syvolap, the film follows the relationship between Stefania and Adele, both from a small town on the outskirts of Austro-Hungary, as it shifts from one of close childhood friends to maid and employer.

Syvolap, previously named as one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Ukrainians Under 30, fled Ukraine shortly after Russia invaded and has lived in North Vancouver since spring 2022.

Petriw said while the events unfolding in Ukraine continue to cause “incalculable human tragedy,” they have also awakened in Ukrainians a spirit of “humanity, community, and resistance” that has moved the world.

“YVR Screen Scene for Ukraine is an opportunity for people to take part in that spirit, and make a direct impact on the lives of Ukrainian children whose parents gave their lives in the name of freedom,” he said.

Alongside the screening of the movie the event will also host an online auction featuring rare collectibles and original works of art, donated by members of Vancouver’s film and television community and artists in Ukraine.

All money raised from ticket sales and the auction, running on the Givergy charity auction platform from March 27 - April 7, will go towards Ukrainian Canadian Advocacy Group run rehabilitation therapy programs – for the children of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the war.

Last year’s iteration of YVR Screen Scene For Ukraine, the event’s first, raised more than $41,000 for Ukrainian humanitarian relief.

“Ukrainian Canadians – and Ukrainians who are in Canada temporarily – are as driven as ever to help the children of Ukraine through this devastating time,” said Furminger.

“I’m proud to be Ukrainian, and grateful to everyone who stands with us and supports us in this essential work.”

What: YVR Screen Scene For Ukraine

When: Wednesday, March 29 6:30 p.m.

Where: VIFF Centre - 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver

Tickets are $50, available to purchase here

Mina Kerr-Lazenby is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.

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