The Eastern Neighbours Film Festival’s regular visitors did not miss our support for Ukraine and its filmmakers during our last edition in April.

As our festival is always dedicated to promoting peace, we decided to end this year’s program with a truly special film, the Dutch premiere of the documentary FREEDOM ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, directed by the celebrated Ukrainian director and Academy Award nominee Evgeny Afineevsky.

Afineevsky already has an impressive list of notable documentaries such as Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (2015), Cries from Syria (2017) and Francesco (2020) about the life of Pope Francis II. In addition to being nominated for an Academy Award, he was a nominee for a PGA Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, and four News and Documentary Emmy Awards.

FREEDOM ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM is a must-see film. It explores the courage of the Ukrainian people, fiercely determined to stand their ground until ‘the last drop of blood’. Narrated by Oscar-winning Helen Mirren, this is a sweeping look at a humanitarian crisis, the horrible realities of war, and the spirit of unity even amid Ukraine’s darkest hours.

Through personal stories of civilians, soldiers, journalists, and international volunteers, this is a humanizing diary of millions of people whose lives were turned upside down by eight years of conflict. A saga of resilience that challenges the international community to oppose tyranny together.

“Freedom on Fire presents ordinary people at their most vulnerable, attempting to evade bombs and bullets while — in some cases — choosing which family members to save. By releasing the film now, I hope I can bring immediate clarity to viewers confused by the deliberate misinformation campaign surrounding the current events in Ukraine” said the director who pointed out that one of his inspirations for this movie was a legendary reporter Marie Colvin.

Read more about this film in the program CLOSE UP – UKRAINE:

Visit the festival at Filmhuis Den Haag between 23 – 27 November.