SASHA PROTYAH (Mariupol, Ukraine)

Real movies are about the life itself, without glamour, crystal vases, limousines and manipulative patriotism in cultural politics,” says the team of free cinematographers “Freefilmers”.

Sasha Potiah, co-founder of the project, was born in 1978 and lived in Uzbekistan for 14 years. Since 1992, he settled down near the sea in Mariupol. Oleksandr has been engaged in cinematography since 2006. Started as a hobby, it finally became a full-fledged project “Freefilmers”, which was founded by Oleksandr Potiah in co-operation with Oleksandr Surovtsov, Vova Morrow and Iryna Berezneva.

The goal of the team is to support and promote documentary and experimental cinematography in the East and South of Ukraine. Like many other projects invited to this year’s PLAN B, “Freefilmers” are focused on cultural decentralization; their work is a protest against unequal relations with so-called “cultural centers”, alleged curators of art development.

“Freefilmers” has been formed just in March of this year. Yet, the screenings have already taken place in many cities of Ukraine and abroad: Kharkiv (the cinema club of “LitMuseum”, cinema club “KOLO”, “MeetDocs” festival), Chernivtsi (cinema club “Carton”), Zaporizhia (cinema club “Skhodzhenia”, “New drama of Zaporizhia”), Kyiv (“ЭFIR”, Pinchuk Art Centre), St. Peretsburg (Zoshchenko museum), Vinnytsia (art residence “Over the God”, “Archiclub”), Mariupol (“TIU” platform, Youth center), Kherson (Kherson Art Hub), Kaunas (“Socialinis Centras Emma”), Lviv (Cinema club), Dnipro (“Ksi Prostir Ѯ”), Slavutych (“Palma of the North” contest of the festival of cinema and urbanism “86”), Severodonetsk (“Lantern 42”, “Plus/Minus” art residence), Kostiantynivka (DRUZI).

In 2018, Sasha, along with Oksana Kazmina, directed the project “TvorchSkhid”, within which two films about the cultural phenomena of the East of Ukraine were made: “Are you stealing metal here?” (Restoration of the space), about the abandoned houses and different experiences and reflections on such phenomena as “abandoned one”, and “Sho Sho?” (East-Ukrainian dialogue), about the multicultural orientation of the East and the importance of trying to get to know and to hear Others.

Project page:

Project trailer: