Ukrainian Filmmakers Want Fired State Cinema Agency Head Reinstated

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Katerina Kopylova, fired by new Kiev authorities, is widely believed to have helped establish an efficient state film funding system.

MOSCOW -- Ukrainian filmmakers are demanding that Katerina Kopylova, former head of the country's state film agency who was fired by the country's new authorities, be reinstated in her position.

Kopylova, who played a major role in establishing the agency and then headed it, was fired last month under one of the first decisions by the new Ukrainian government, which replaced that of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, without any explanations.

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Igor Savichenko, executive director of the Ukrainian film association and one of the proponents of reinstating Kopylova as head of the film agency, told The Hollywood Reporter that her activities at the helm of the agency were totally positive.

Under Kopylova, state funding for the film sector increased from almost nothing to $17.5 million a year, while the procedure for selection of projects to be funded was made more transparent thanks to the introduction of pitching sessions opened to the public.

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However, chances that Kopylova will be reinstated at the helm of the film agency are not very good, Savichenko said. "Too many factors are in play," he said. "There are also other candidates for the position, who insist that the pitching sessions were just idle talk and who would prefer to return to Soviet-style practices whereby all decisions are made behind closed doors."

Kopylova was not available for comment at the time of writing, but she told THR earlier this week that she planned to stay in the film sector, although not yet decided in what capacity.