Doncaster Savoy Cinema to screen Olga movie in fundraiser for Ukraine

A Doncaster cinema will screen a movie about an Ukrainian gymnast in a fundraising showing for the war-torn country tomorrow night.

By Darren Burke
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 11:05 am

The Savoy in Sir Nigel Gresley Square will host a special screening of Olga, which will be shown at a string of cinemas nationwide, to help raise funds for the country, following the brutal Russian invasion.

The Cannes award-winning film tells the story of Olga, a 15-year old Ukrainian gymnast forced from her home.

Backed by the British Film Institute (BFI), nationwide previews began last week and cinemas will donate profits to charities supporting Ukraine.

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A charity screening of Olga will take place in Doncaster tomorrow night.

From each ticket sold, a donation will be made to support Ukraine via the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Olga is the directorial debut of Elie Grappe and held its World Premiere in International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival 2021 where it won the SACD Award. The film received its UK premiere as part of the Glasgow Film Festival earlier this week.

Set in 2013, Olga tells the story of a 15-year-old Ukrainian gymnast training for the European Championship in preparation for the Olympics, who is forced to move to Switzerland from her home in Kyiv where her mother works as an investigative journalist reporting on the Euromaidan protests. Lead actress Anastasia Budiashkina is a former member of Ukraine’s national gymnastics team.

Anastasia arrived in Poland on Monday after leaving Kharkiv in Ukraine to escape the war.

She said: "I am very glad that Olga will be seen in the UK, and people will see the situation going on with Ukraine. Everyone involved with Olga worked very hard, and I put a part of myself into the film. I hope everyone will enjoy Olga."

Pat Kelman, Director of 606 Distribution, said: “I planned to release Olga in the late Spring, but the invasion of Ukraine made me very nervous about releasing the film at all.

"When Watershed Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove mentioned that venues were looking for a way to show support for Ukrainians, I realised that this very human and dramatic film set against the Ukraine 2013 Maidan Revolution could now resonate and connect with UK audiences in a meaningful way.

“Once word started to spread, it became clear that we needed help to make this event happen. I am hugely grateful to BFI Distribution for coming in and supplying technical and marketing assistance. I am overwhelmed by the massive support the film distribution and exhibition community are showing for this project, and I hope we see full houses across the nation in support of Ukraine.”

Jason Wood, Director of Public Programmes at the BFI, says: “We are all witnessing a horrifying situation unfold, but film has the power to unite people and inspire empathy across cultures. I’m really proud that the UK’s film exhibition and distribution community and colleagues across the BFI have come together to bring Olga to as many UK cinemas – and audiences – as possible, giving us a perspective on Ukrainian life, telling a Ukrainian story and actively supporting the people of Ukraine through this special film.”

The movie will be screened at 8.30pm.