The cinematographic works of Oleksandr Dovzhenko have found its universal recognition: In 1958 at the International exhibition in Brussels his film “Earth” (1930) was named one of the best twelve films of all times.
In the 1960s to the 1990s, the Ukrainian so called “poetic” cinema was at the top of its international festival success. Many prestigious awards were won by Serhiy Paradzhanov’s film, “Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors” (“Fire Horses” in several foreign countries distribution), winning a place among the classics of the Ukrainian cinema (alongside with “Babylon XX” by Ivan Mykolaichuk, and the “Petition Lost” by Boris Ivchenko). In the 1960s, the film won first prize at the International Cinema Festival in Mar del Plata (Argentine), the Cup of the Festival of Festivals in Rome, award of the British Academy of Film and Television, Gold Prize in Thessaloniki (Greece). The film “Swan Lake: The Zone” (by Paradzhanov and Yury Illienko, 1990) was the first in the history of Ukrainian film-industry to win the grand prix of the Cannes film festival.
Since the declaration of Independence, Ukrainian feature and documentary films attempted to show the pages of the Ukrainian history and culture, which were banned to mention during the Soviet times. The best films are widely recognized by international audience. Such films by Yury Illienko and Kira Muratova gained recognition at the film festivals in Cannes, Rotterdam, and Berlin. Although the critically acclaimed movies continue to be produced in Ukraine, its movie industry is absent as such. During the Soviet era, Ukrainian film industry contributed to the production of huge successes now dubbed as the “Russian” movies. Nowadays, Ukrainian locations and technical equipment are used by neighbouring countries’ film-makers. While the main-stream movie production is virtually absent in Ukraine, the foreign films distribution mainly focuses on the box-office hits of Hollywood, often overlooking the smaller or art-house productions of European countries.