Launching the Action4Ukraine Film Festival with creator & BA student Cosmina Mirza
By Elise Czyzowska
15 June 2022
As part of her BA Film & Screen Business course, Cosmina Mirza is in the process of organising a Film Festival dedicated to Action4Ukraine. The event will screen a documentary, host drinks at Freddie’s Bar, and sell a variety of souvenirs throughout the day, raising money for British Ukrainian Aid.
The event will be held at the University of West London this Friday 17 June, and in anticipation of the day we spoke to Cosmina about the inspiration behind the festival, as well as what she has learnt from organising it as part of her course.
Can you tell us a little about the festival?
Action4Ukraine Film Festival is an opportunity for everyone to contribute and support people currently living in Ukraine. As we have all seen, the country has been brought down to its knees worse than ever before.
The documentary we are screening represents the events which took place in 2013-14 during the Revolution of Dignity, when, for 91 days, the Ukrainian people stood up for what they believed in.
We are determined to make a difference with this festival, and our mission is to do that through kindness and consideration, because every little bit of help matters. We believe that this opportunity will enable us to test and push our limits, to motivate us all to want to do more for the world we live in, and ultimately, to help create a better place.
How have you found planning a film festival?
My team (Rajmund Szocsi, Roshan Singadia and James Smith) and I have daily conversations over what we can do to progress and improve our work, which includes research, and keeping track of our actions in order to meet our goals. We’re working, mainly remotely to ensure a comfortable schedule that will fit into everyone’s routine – what’s worked really well is to have daily updates, and then at the end of each week, to go through our list and tick off the main items.
We’ve definitely faced a number of challenges throughout this project. There’s figuring out how to sell a festival to an audience, and engaging people with what we want to do, and then there are technicalities, like obtaining approval from the producers of multiple documentaries that we’ve looked at. There’s also the logistics of the event itself, where we’ve had to reach out to people for advice and help.
What have been your top takeaways from the experience?
I’ve learnt how important it is to keep your eye on the ball while juggling multiple obstacles. I’ve also learnt how to communicate and work effectively – as a whole, I think that everyone involved has learnt how important it is, when you’re part of a team, to act accordingly and rely on one another.
In your opinion, what has been the biggest benefit of attending MetFilm School?
Meeting my colleagues and tutors. Everyone has been extremely supportive towards the festival, and have all jumped in at times to offer their help or opinion. Collectively, I believe that their help has encouraged me the most to pursue this idea and to believe in it more and more each day.
Finally, since this is a documentary festival, can you recommend your favourite documentaries?
My favourite documentary is probably Maidan, which of course is in theme with the festival. After that, it would be Collective, which unfortunately I am close to emotionally, and on a more positive note, I would say My Octopus Teacher.
- Students can learn more about the Action4Ukraine Film Festival, and purchase their ticket, on the University of West London’s website.
- Cosmina Mirza studies BA Film & Screen Business at MetFilm School London..
- To donate to the festival’s Just Giving page, scan the barcode included in the image above, or click here.