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Powerful Short Film Marks the Anniversary of the Ukraine War with a Message of Resilience


Don't Panic teams up with Stink Films and Radioaktive to create poignant film for The Disasters Emergency Committee

Powerful Short Film Marks the Anniversary of the Ukraine War with a Message of Resilience

Today marks a year to the day since the conflict in Ukraine began. In the 365 days that have passed, thousands of civilians have been killed, 8 million people have fled Ukraine as refugees and a further 6.5 million have been displaced inside the country. These statistics are just a small indicator of the catastrophic implications that the conflict has had on Ukraine’s civilian population since February 2022. In that time, people across the UK have dug deep by fundraising and donating millions of pounds.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. Its Ukraine Humanitarian appeal is one of the biggest in its 60-year history, raising well over £400 million from the British public. This has made the DEC the biggest charity donor to the humanitarian response in Ukraine in the world. Over the last year, the DEC’s member charities have helped millions of people affected by the conflict, both inside Ukraine and in neighbouring countries; providing shelter, food, psychological support, and cash to buy essentials such as food or medicines to people who’ve had to leave their home and all their possessions behind.

Saleh Saeed, chief executive, DEC said: “The UK’s generosity towards people in Ukraine is one of the biggest humanitarian relief efforts we’ve ever been part of. The incredible £414 million raised has been vital in helping people survive the huge challenges they have faced over the past 12 months, and continues to be. We wanted to make the British public feel the difference their donations have made and then to invite them to go online and see how their kindness and donations are helping. The money raised has played a significant role in helping people affected by the conflict in Ukraine. But this crisis is far from over, and whatever comes next, donations to our appeal will continue to support people whose lives have been shattered. ‘Never Alone’ is a campaign that isn’t about a “job done”… It’s a message of resilience from Ukraine to the UK, so that the British public can feel the difference their donations have made, both physically and psychologically as well.”

Created by the creative agency Don’t Panic and produced by Stink Films, ‘Never Alone’ was co-directed by Rick Dodds and Leo Maguire. Remotely shot over three days in Ukraine this February, Stink Films and Don’t Panic worked with the Ukrainian service company, Radioaktive to source real life locations. The cast and crew are all people who have chosen to remain or return to Ukraine; demonstrating great strength, defiance and love for their country. Set to 'Infra 5' by Max Richter, the cast recite the powerful lyrics of 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' by Gerry & The Pacemakers. The words speak of the camaraderie that the country has felt, both internally and from across the world, capturing the resilience and fortitude that is at the core of the country.

“This film is a time capsule of Ukraine in February 2023 - exactly one year since the conflict began. We wanted to capture the country in the most cinematic way possible. We’re used to seeing a conflict-torn place through a documentary and news lens. Not through crafted cinema.” Said Rick Dodds, Writer and Co-Director. Dodds added: “Working via remote links, we were able to pick some staggering locations that have been torn apart by the conflict and frame them in truly cinematic compositions. We then cast Ukrainian people still living there - so that we could capture their resilience, their strength, and their Ukrainian stoicism for all to see. The poetic words of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” then took on a different power when delivered by this cast in such dramatic and real locations. For example, a woman stood outside her house that has been blown apart saying “though your dreams be tossed and blown”. Or a young boy in a bunker saying “with hope in your heart."

Launching one year to the day since the conflict began; as the news will report on the last 12 months and various documentaries will launch about the conflict, the cinematic film ‘Never Alone’ will highlight the UK’s purpose for helping the people of Ukraine to stay strong and stoic in the face of great hardships. To be aired online, in cinema and across key UK channels on the 24th February, the campaign will be supported across social media

“As soon as I read Rick’s script my gut said we had to shoot it for real in Ukraine. I shared it with the founder of Radioaktive, Darko, he agreed and explained he still had fully functioning teams on the ground and had been shooting since the war began… I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve helped us achieve; they were incredible and we are all very proud of the film. It’s great to see how supportive the UK has been of Ukraine but it’s not over, so it’s vital that we keep up that awareness and support in every way possible.” Said Blake Powell, Global Head of Film, Stink Films.

"For us as a company and even more so as Ukrainians, it was a must that we do a project like this. All help, any voice that can spread the word, share the pain, needs to be supported. I can't thank my friends at Stink enough for asking us to shoot this project in Ukraine." Said Darko Skulsky, Founder of Radioactive 


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Genres: People, Dialogue

Categories: Short films, Short Films and Music Videos

Stink Films, Fri, 24 Feb 2023 12:10:00 GMT