SUNNY BUNNY hosts the first-ever pitching of Ukrainian short films on LGBTQIA+ topics

The pitching winner will receive 80,000 UAH from the festival sponsor Jägermeister for their project production.  

On April 24, Zhovten Cinema’s “Classic” Hall welcomed Ukrainian film industry members, cinema buffs, and pitching participants, who presented their film projects.

The events started with a welcome speech by SUNNY BUNNY Film Festival’s Honorary President Andriy Khalpakhchi. Film director Maksym Nakonechnyi and film producer Julia Sinkevych also attended the event.

Out of more than thirty applications, 10 film projects of various forms (fiction, documentary, experimental) were selected to participate in the pitching.

Selected film projects:

“Transition is Allowed”

dir. Mahrit Sybiryakov, MaHiKa Film, documentary;

The film director, Mahrit Sybiryakov (Margaryta Sybiryakova), accidentally arrives in Iceland after fleeing Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. He finally decides to officially recognize his transgender status and change his ID after learning about the country’s gender autonomy laws. Now, he is Mahrit Alexandersson, the first Ukrainian to have an X gender identity marker on the ID. It is an interesting experiment for one person and a tolerance test for the Ukrainian diaspora. Will this quantum leap of a Ukrainian queer become a pathway for all Ukrainian LGBTQIA+ people? Or, perhaps, new rights are just a fantasy, and you have nothing else to do than just accept your biological gender?

“The Son of the Nation”

dir. Bohdan Kolesnyk, prod. Hanna Hnatenko-Shabaldina, feature;

24 y.o. Max, a latent gay, falls under the influence of a radical-right politician right before the parliamentary elections. The politician turns out to be his father, who encourages him to take serious actions and eliminate all traditional values opponents.


dir. Kyrylo Alferiev, prod. Inna Lastochkina, Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema (CUC), feature;

Young Ukrainian transgender Arli flees Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine to Berlin in hopes of focusing on their DJ career prospects in Europe. However, phone calls from their mother aggrieve him, comparing him with “same as Arli” and his brother, who defends the country at the frontlines. But does Arli have a brother?  


dir. Yurii Dvizhon, prod. Valerya Otchenash, Magnit Production, experimental;

Members of a support campaign for legislation against hate crimes share their personal stories of experiencing discrimination and re-tell their own stories and the stories of their close ones.  

“The Story”

dir. Vadym Mochalov, prod. Vadym Mochalov and Diana Nazaruk, feature;

A film student Lyonya invites his classmate Andrii, with whom he is secretly in love with, to help him edit his short film screenplay about two young men who realize their feelings for each other.  


dir. Hanna Trofimova, documentary;

The movie is about personal and social transformations amid the war, through the perspective and experience of one individual.  


dir. Alyona Shylova, prod. Valerya Sochyvets, Contemporary Ukrainian Cinema (CUC), feature;

Ukraine, 1620. A young woman, Bohdana, loses her lover due to villagers' cruelty. As she finds herself among other women whose lives were broken, Bohdana decides to avenge her lover and overcome her grief with a revenge plot.

“The Glass Coffin”

dir. Ihor Zaytsev, prod. Zlata Efimenko, EF PICTURES, feature;

After the injury at the frontline, Ivan is admitted to the intensive care unit. His sham wife is the only person who can visit and stay with him and is the only link that connects Ivan with his boyfriend.  

“300, 30, 3”

dir. Vladlen Odudenko, prod. Vladlen Odudenko, Volodymyr Yatsenko, Anna Yatsenko, Ia Myslytska, Arsenal Film, feature;

The artist becomes a soldier, and the war cannot take away his sensuality and craving for beauty. Strength and courage walk hand in hand with love and tenderness. The fleeting moments between two men who love each other give them the strength to live and fight back.  

“The Mist”

dir. Yura Katynskyi, prod. Kateryna Hradnova-Savyts’ka and Oleksandr Chubko, feature;  

The question of sexuality and its diversity becomes more visible in the media. It offers positive changes: the individuals, who feel different from their social circle, may leave behind some of their concerns of being troubled. Yet, our society is still struggling with accepting any form of being different (which doesn’t only signify sexual differences).

The movie “The Mist” focuses on the fear of being judged by people, overthinking other’s opinions about oneself, and reluctance to openly differ from others. Being “other” is accompanied by the risk of being left out and antagonized by the social circle. However, the movie’s narrative does not revolve around the son or daughter who wants to “come out” but parents who discover something frightening about their child. It is frightening as they worry about their family's reputation among other people in their village.  

The presented film projects would be reviewed by members of the Ukrainian film industry and the representative of the festival’s pitching sponsor — Jägermeister.

Pitching jury:

Zhanna Ozirna — Ukrainian director and screenwriter.  

Berlinale Talents 2020 participant, Cité Internationale des Arts та Les Récollets (2022)  and Marathon Screening (2023) resident. Currently, Zhanna works on two full feature films Ground Zero and Honeymoon.

Darya Bassel — Ukrainian film producer of independent documentary and feature films, the Curator of industry platform, and Head of the Program at Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.

Alex Perera — Jägermeister Brand Manager, co-founder and resident of LGBTQIA+ events Stezhka.  

The winner of the pitching will be announced on April 26 during the closing ceremony of the festival.

Festival partners

Omelia Atelier

Tech company Hexagon

Public organization Fulcrum UA

The platform of public associations Rizni.Rivni

Official distributor Ilta Pechersk

Ukrainian socks brand Noskar

Non-Governmental Organization “Women Association Sphere (Kharkiv, Ukraine)”

Youth movement Teenergizer

Public organization Insight

Marsh Zhinok

Non-profit educational and preventive project Drugstore

Ukrainian fashion brand FROLOV

Modern art Space Sur - Eye Sea Gallery

USAID «Transformation of Communications» project (TSA) - implementing innovative communication initiatives

National Democratic Institute

Kharkiv Pride

Kyiv Pride

Gender Zed

LGBTQIA+ Military

Starlight Media

Film UA

Hospitality partners

Modern Ukrainian cuisine restaurant «Hlek»

Café-bistro tisto.kyiv

Craft donut shop Ponchyk Boy

HVLV bar

Community Cafe

Kulʹtmotyv Restaurant

Media partners

UA: Suspilne

Suspilne Culture




DTF Magazine

The Village Ukraine

New Ukrainian Cinema


Detector Media

Bazilik Media

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