The Ukrainian Film Academy opposed the extension of the powers of the Council for State Support of Cinematography
The Cabinet of Ministers decided to extend the powers of the current Council for State Support of Cinematography. It is this Council that is responsible for the final approval of films to which Derzhkino provides budgetary funding based on the results of pitching. The Ukrainian Film Academy opposed this decision of the government. In an open statement, the text of which was obtained by UP.Zhyttya, the members of the film academy explain that the current composition of the Council has neither a moral nor a legal right to continue its work – due to numerous violations. Therefore, in their opinion, the decision of the Cabinet contradicts the law. “We, the members of the Ukrainian Film Academy, express our disagreement with the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 07.03.2023, according to which “the powers of the members of the Council for State Support of Cinematography, established by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 277 dated March 31, 2021, are extended for the entire period martial law and within three months from the date of its termination or cancellation, and the formation of a new member of the Council for State Support of Cinematography during the period of martial law is not carried out,” the statement said. Read also: Derzhkino did not sign a contract with the winner of the competition for the position of director Dovzhenko- Center by Olena Honcharuk. In the statement, attention was drawn to the fact that exceeding the powers of the Cabinet of Ministers creates corruption risks, contradicts the principles of the rule of law and the European vector of state development. The signatories listed the violations that occurred over several months during 2022-23: “Meetings were held in closed session, which contradicts Clause 11 of Article 9. Some members of Ra dy, despite clear signs of a conflict of interest, continue to be part of the Council, thereby violating Clause 3 of Article 9 of the Law (work on film projects that received state funding during the current term),” the statement said. Therefore, in the statement, they demand that the Cabinet of Ministers cancel the decision. “The current composition of the Council has neither a legal nor a moral right to continue its activities beyond the terms defined by the Law. All decisions of this Council after March 31, 2023, when its term of office ends, will be illegitimate. We demand from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to cancel the illegal resolution No. 203 of 07 March 2023 and make efforts to hold a fair and transparent competition for the new composition of the Council for State Support of Cinematography in accordance with current legislation,” the statement said. Read also: Ukrainian results of the Berlinale – the Germans are better than the back of a “good Russian” The position of the members of the Film Academy was explained by Yuliya Sinkevich, a producer of UP.Kultura and a member of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Film Academy. “The activities of the Council for State Support of Cinematography, its powers, as well as the method of its appointment are regulated by the Law of Ukraine On Support of Cinematography. The term of the council must end on March 31, 2023, and members of the council can serve only once. During a full-scale invasion, the Martial Law is in force , which regulate exclusions, or such extraordinary decisions, but neither the law nor the by-laws relating to martial law – the issue of extending the term of office of the Council for the Support of Cinematography is not regulated. In fact, such changes were made by the Cabinet of Ministers, which is an executive body, so it is a direct violation of the law – because such actions are not within the powers of the Cabinet of Ministers. Only the Verkhovna Rada can make changes to the law,” Sinkevich explained. She also emphasized that there are complaints against many members of the Council. “In itself, the Council for the Support of Cinematography has long caused many questions and claims, since its members have a dubious reputation, recently there was a scandal in the media space with the head of the council, Artem Kolyubaev. Journalists investigated his involvement in schemes with real estate companies associated with Medvedchuk and Carpenter. There are also internal questions – what decisions are made by this council. In more than a year of war – the council does not communicate any of its decisions. Although according to the rules of their work – their meetings must be public – broadcast as before – minutes must be published their decisions. This concerns the distribution of public funds and decisions regarding support for promotional campaigns, the extension of film production dates is directly related to cinema,” says Sinkevich. Read also: Olena Goncharuk again won the competition for the position of head of the Dovzhenko Center According to the members of the Supervisory Board, the decision to extend the Board’s powers was “promoted” by State Cinema. A lawsuit is now being prepared. “The court will prove that the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers is a violation of authority and all decisions of the Council from March 31 will be illegitimate,” noted Yuliya Sinkevich. About the Council for State Support of Cinematography The Council for State Support of Cinematography is a state body of the executive branch of government of Ukraine, established in 2018. Among the key powers of the RDPK is the right to final approve the list of films that receive state funding based on the results of pitching by the Ministry of Culture/Derzhkino/UKF, as well as the right to approve whether a film is a Ukrainian national film. The Council for State Support of Cinematography shall consist of nine persons appointed for a term of two years. The newest composition of the council was elected in March 2021.
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