A scene from The Battle of Stalingrad.
International Theatre Festival
The final performance of the First International Theatre Festival called Kyiv Travnevy’99 (“Kyiv in May’99”), was held at the central square of Kyiv, Maidan Nezalezhnosti, on May 30. The Festival began on May 19. Among the organizers were: the Department of Culture at the Kyiv Administration, Permanent Commission dealing with cultural matters at the Hotel Management and Tourism Board. There were guest performers from Scotland, India, Denmark and also from Rome and Venice, Italy; Moscow, Russia; Tbilisi, Georgia; Minsk, Belarus; Yerevan, Armenia. Within the framework of the festival a recital of violinist Tetyana Hrindenko together with an ensemble of Baroque music played on authentic Baroque instruments was a memorable event.
The Battle of Stalingrad, an antiwar play performed by the Georgian puppet theatre headed by Rezo Gabriade, was both a critical and public success. The festival opened with a grandiose opera-style outdoor performance Bulba, son Andriy (based on the novel by N. Gogol) with music composed by Ivan Nebesny.
Says Vitaliy Malakhov, the festival’s top manager: “Theatrical art is a bridge between tradition and modernity. The theatre presents different systems of thought, opens new ways for exploring new paradigms, it creates apocalyptic visions on stage, promotes freedom of expression and thus backs democracy. The theatre helps search for lost cultural values, re-establish them, and promote them. It lets people see man, time and space from an unusual point of view.”
MAUgli Boeing
Boeing airliners are among the best and most reliable in the world. Boeing 737’s are particularly popular. Every day they carry over a million passengers to numerous destinations. Every six seconds a Boeing 737 takes off at airports all around the world. The Ukraine International Airlines (abbreviated as MAU in Ukrainian and pronounced as “ma-oo”) fly four Boeings, two of which are 737’s.
The Ukraine International Airlines some time ago placed an order with the Boeing Company to have another 737 built. Now it has been delivered, fully equipped with the state-of-the-art technological innovations. It will fly passengers to and from Western Europe. It was decided that a plane like this should have a name, not just a serial number. A competition for the best name for the plane was organized, with the top prize being a trip to the Disneyland in the vicinity of Paris. Zhenya Rodionov, 13, a schoolboy from the town of Chernihiv, won the prize. He proposed to call the plane MAUgli, after a character from R. Kipling’s The Jungle Books. 39 other boys and girls came up with the same suggestion but Rodionov was the first to mail his. One of the most popular characters in the world literature, Maugli, has given a name to one of the most popular planes in the modern world.
Bowling in Kyiv
Bowling seems to be one of the oldest known games in the world. There is some evidence that pharaohs of ancient Egypt used to play it. Kyiv’s first bowling club has been functioning for a year now and has grown to be one of the best in the CIS countries (countries that used to make up the former Soviet Union). 140 million people in many parts of the world enjoy playing the game of bowling.
In a recent bowling competition held in Kyiv, Ukrainian bowlers, competing against opponents from Moscow, Russia, and Almaty, Kazakhstan, have won the main prize. It’d be fun if the ancient Egyptians had taken part in this competition too, but alas, no time machine has been invented yet.
SAMBO wrestling
SAMBO (the word is an acronym) is a sort of wrestling that came into being 60 years ago and that combines many other types of defensive and offensive wrestling, popular in Ukraine and a number of other countries of the world. At the recent world sambo championship, held in Moscow, the combined Ukrainian team of men and women sambo wrestlers, has won the world cup. Teams from 34 countries took part.
Svitlana Lysyanska, a good-looking graceful woman who happens to be a lieutenant of the Border Troops, won the gold medal. She did it despite an injury of the arm she had received during one of the bouts, and also despite a biased attitude of some of the judges (who were coaches of other competing teams!) who picked on her for alleged violations in the arrangement of her special sambo costume. Her gold medal did not entitle her to a considerable money prize, but it is not money she is after. She loves wrestling and her achievements in judo are also high. According to coach Olexandr Noukhatko, the Ukrainian team is strong enough to continue winning, adding new medals to the 162 ones that have already won. Among the women sambo wrestlers 9 have children and among the male part of the Ukrainian team there are many students, most of whom are majoring in law.

Mykhaylo Illenko.
Open Night. Take 3 video film festival
On June 5, the sun goes down in Kyiv at 9:04 p.m. and rises on June 6 at 4:49 a.m. Within these short hours of a June night a festival of video films was held in Andriyivsky Uzviz, a street in Kyiv where artists’ studios are concentrated. At the Festival, called Open Night. Take 3, initiated by Mykhaylo Illenko, a prominent Ukrainian film director, and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Arts, were shown video films, made by students of departments, training film directors and by professional directors who create unusual, non-traditional films. 70 films and about 60 film scripts were submitted to be judged by a jury headed by Bohdan Stupka, one of Kyiv’s leading actors who had returned from the Cannes Film Festival shortly before.
Says M. Illenko, initiator of Open Night. Take 3 video film festival and its art director: “The films shown are trips into the depths of our inner creative worlds.”
The main prize was awarded to the video film Pirnayu! (“I plunge!”), directed by Volodymyr Dashchuk. The international jury gave the first prize to Oksana Chepelyk’s film Leaders’ Beloved Toys. The festival was held thanks to the backing provided by the Zeleny Pes Agency.
In August, a similar festival — Open night. A Lion’s Smile — will be held in the city of Lviv. Mr Illenko hopes these festivals will contribute fresh ideas to the development of Ukrainian cinema.

Golden Babai show.
High-Brow and Pulp Fiction
Two literature-related events took place in Kyiv in May which attracted critical and public attention.
On May 18, an unusual performance was staged at the Molody (“Young”) Theatre — The Small Ukrainian Encyclopaedia of Actual Literature. The hosts were Yuriy Andrukhovych, a writer, and Volodymyr Yeshkilev, a philosopher. Oksana Zabuzhko, Izdryk, Victor Neboraka, Olexandr Irvanets, Ihor Rymaruk and other “demiurges” as they called themselves, recited their avant-garde works from the stage. Poems by Hrytsko Chubai, a Ukrainian poet of the seventies so much frowned upon by the soviet authorities that he had to go “underground”, were read by his son Taras, who is now the leader of the Plach Yeremiyi (“Jeremiah’s Lament”) rock band. Philosopher Yeshkilyev spoke of various matters, interspersing his speech with amazing sesquipedalian words and high brow philosophical terms hardly understood by anyone. A lot of jokes and witticisms were also heard. The atmosphere at the performance was both highly intellectual and cheerful.
Kyiv intellectuals surely enjoyed it. Some of the “demiurges” came from the town of Ivano-Frankivsk to win the capital by storm. Next evening, that is on May 19, the ceremony of handing the prizes to the winners of the First All-Ukrainian Best Thriller and Novel of Suspense Golden Babai Contest was held at the Golden Gate of Kyiv, early mediaeval structure (“Babai” is a sort of a spook or a monster in Ukrainian folklore). At the ceremony were present ghouls, bandits, knights, whores and other nice characters from the novels that received awards. All kinds of stunts, hocus-pocus, and fencing were performed at the ceremony as well. The main prize, The Big Babai, went to Vasyl Shklyar for his novel The Key. The head of the jury, Pavlo Zahrebelny, a living classic of Ukrainian literature, said in his speech that popular mass literature should be regarded as one of the ways of developing the Ukrainian language and arousing Ukrainian people’s national awareness. One of the prizewinners, Andriy Kokotyukha expressed an opinion that the Ukrainian reading public should have Ukrainian rather than translated pulp fiction.
The award-presentation at the Golden Gate was organized by the Zeleny Pes (“Green Dog”) Agency.
The more there are approaches to the development of literature and language, the better.

Ivan Mykolaichuk.
A documentary film about actor and director Ivan Mykolaichuk
The film devoted to Ivan Mykolaichuk, a prominent Ukrainian actor and film director of the sixties, seventies and early eighties, was premiered at the Dom Kino (“House of Cinema”) in Kyiv. Ivan Mykolaichuk. Dedication, directed by Anatoliy Serykh (film script by Lyudmyla Lemesheva; photography by Yuriy Harmash) is a combination of a documentary and a feature film stylized as a Nativity Play. Ivan Mykolaichuk rose to stardom thanks to The Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors, a film, directed by Serhiy Paradzhanov in the sixties, in which he played the leading role.
Later, after a number of films in which he starred, he pursued his own career of a movie director. Mykolaichuk died in 1987, at the age of 47.
It took three long years to make the film at the state-owned Olexandr Dovzhenko Film Studio, the main hindrance being shortage of money as the state could not afford to allot enough for its production. The film was well received. Even before it was completed, its short version was shown at four film festivals (in Almaty, Kazakhstan, at the Eurasia Film Festival; in Kyiv at the Molodost Film Festival; in Karlsruhe, Germany, at the Cinema Forum, and in Moscow, Russia, at the Lyubite Kino (“Love the Movies”) winter film festival). At the Moscow’s Lyubite Kino Festival the film received a prize, Lumiers’ Gold Medal, in the documentary films nomination.
Recently, at the international film festival of Slavic and Orthodox nations, Zoloty Vityaz (“Golden Warrior”) held in the Russian town of Smolensk, Ivan Mykolaichuk. Dedication was awarded the top prize in the documentary films nomination.
It was also planned to show the film at the 49th International Berlin Film Festival but because of lack of money the film which was made as a video, could not be transferred to the celluloid and at the Berlin Film Festival all the films must be shown in their celluloid versions.

The Silver Profile award given to Welcome to Ukraine magazine.
The Day of Kyiv and Welcome to Ukraine magazine
The program of the festival was extensive and versatile, catering to all tastes. Art exhibitions, rock and folk dance song-and-dance-shows, classical music recitals and concerts, carnival, sport events, beauty contests — just to name a few of the events on the long list.
Sports events, among which there was a marathon, a bicycle race, a tennis competition, yachting, plus a lot more, drew capacity crowds as well.
The beauty contests and fashion shows made their valuable contribution to the general festive mood.
One of the exhibitions was devoted to the art and business of advertisement. It was held within the framework of the 4th international advertisement festival called Golden Profile. The Welcome to Ukraine magazine was awarded two prizes, one of which was the Silver Profile, by the Union of Advertisers of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture and Arts.
In spite of the fact that rivers of beer (one of the sponsors of the celebrations was the Chernihivske Pyvo beer brewers) and a great amount of liquor were consumed, such was the spirit of the festival that not a single serious “violation of public order” was reported.
The festivities lasted from morning till night, climaxing in a carnival and magnificent fireworks. It was a truly people’s holiday celebrating spring, art, love and beauty.

Valeriy Tsybukh and Kofi Annan at UN session.
Ukraine and UN: Tourist AntiChernobyl
Can ecological problems be resolved with the help of tourism? Really, if tourism is well developed, the ecology will be preserved and country’s and people’s incomes will increase. Representatives from different countries tried to prove it at the UN session, where the issues of tourist impact on ecology were discussed.
The Ukrainian delegation headed by Valeriy Tsybukh, Head of Derzhkomturyzm, took part in the UN session.
He informed the session that tourism was being developed in Ukraine, it had big potential, needed investments and did not effect ecology badly. Unfortunately, Chernobyl factor had a harmful effect on the popularity of our country. The speaker underlined the important role which international organizations could play in the stable development of tourism, in overcoming consequences of Chernobyl disaster and getting rid of “Chernobyl” stereotype. Kofi Annan, UN General secretary, had a meeting with Valeriy Tsybukh to discuss these and other issues.
FIJET Congress in Crimea
The sunny peninsula Crimea hosted unusual guests from 40 countries between June 5 and June 12. They were journalists and writers writing about tourism. They are members of FIJET - international federation established as an independent organization and approved by UNESCO in 1968, whose goal is to develop cooperation in tourism and popularize resort regions.
Such famous tourist countries as Cuba, Spain and Tunisia were among contenders for conducting the 41st FIJET Congress. But the international community has chosen Crimea which showed great interest of the world tourist organizations to this wonderful country of Crimea and to Ukraine as a whole. Ukraine joined FIJET at this Congress.
Numerous excursions and other interesting events in different towns were organized for the participants of the Congress. Most business events took place in Yalta, the capital of Southern Crimea. Foreign journalists compared Crimea to Italy, Spain, Greece and Switzerland.
The Crimean peninsula has a rich history. Numerous peoples used to inhabit it. The number of its historic and cultural monuments is truly great. There are impressive mountains and plateaus, forests and steppes, deep canyons and mountain rivers with rapids. And, of course, — the sea.
By the way, the motto of the 41st FIJET Congress was: “The Black Sea is the sea of friendship and tourism”. This is true. Come to Crimea and see for yourselves.
Schooner to Inform the World about Ukraine
Ukrainian schooner Batkivshchyna (“Native Land”) sailed from Kyiv down the Dnipro River to the Black Sea and then further on to Spain. The crew, captained by Dmytro Biryukovych, have been invited to take part in celebrations in the Spanish town of Ferol. It is going to be the second leg in the round-the-world trip, sponsored by the Ministry of Information of Ukraine.
The main aim of the trip is to spread information about Ukraine in major world tourist and trade centres. At ports of call, the crew will organize press-conferences, exhibitions of Ukrainian art, show films about Ukraine, hand out brochures with general and tourist-oriented information about Ukraine. The crew will also seek possibilities of encouraging investments into the Ukrainian economy. Some of the guests visiting the schooner will be treated to dishes of Ukrainian cuisine cooked in the galley.
Unlimited Imagination
Academician Mykola Zhylinsky, at the opening ceremony of the 4th International Art Festival held in Kyiv on June 4, said that he was happy to present to the public “a wonderful artistic rebellion.” The Festival, organized by the Association of Art Galleries of Ukraine and held in the Ukrayinsky Dim (“Ukrainian House”) Centre, displayed works of more than 300 artists from 8 countries, among which were Armenia and Japan. Some of the works were also displayed in the Central Park and elsewhere in town.
“A Letter to the Skies” land-art happening took place in the park. One of the exhibitions showed the art of Bohdan Horbal, an illiterate artist who could be called “insane” by the commonplace standards but whose art transcends into the realms of the unknown. Another exhibition displayed photographs of exotic Africa (visitors could purchase the photographs they liked). Nelly Isupova, a sculptor working in ceramics, regretted that the Festival and its exhibitions did not enjoy a great popular success, probably because of the Festival’s avantguarde nature. Frenchman Jean Tannous showed his unusual works painted on the material created by him — acrylic, plastic and lacquer. Rails, semi-precious stones, paper and other materials were used by other artists to create their works. There were, for example, boats made of paper, that could hold a man. There is no limit to human imagination.

President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, patron of the Tune for Two Hearts presentation-concert, and Vitaliy and Svitlana Bilonozhkos, organizers of the Festival.
Family Singing
Tune for Two Hearts Festival was held in the Ukrayina Concert Hall, the biggest in Ukraine, on May 12. The Festival, organized by Svitlana and Vitaliy Bilonozhkos, husband-and-wife-singing team, was devoted to “family” singers, that is, husband-and-wife and children-and-parents performers. According to the Bilonozhkos, there are no fights in singing families, and when there is peace and understanding in the families, then there is peace and understanding in the whole country. In the concert that lasted for more than four hours, took part many family singers whose relatives were among the audience and who cheered and aplauded with the rest. It is planned to organize similar performances in all the major cities of Ukraine during this summer and fall.
News prepared by Heorhiy-Hrihoriy Pilipenko and Evhen Bud'ko