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INDUSTRY / MARKET Ukraine

Ukrainian media companies launch a $20 million content fund to help the country’s TV industry

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- The initiative, spearheaded by FILM.UA’s Kateryna Vyshnevska, is seeking investment from global industry players

Ukrainian media companies launch a $20 million content fund to help the country’s TV industry

Ukrainian media companies have announced the launch of a $20 million (circa €18.5 million) fund to help the war-torn country’s TV industry, aiming to seek investments from global industry players. According to the trade publication Deadline, the fund is spearheaded by Ukrainian industry executive Kateryna Vyshnevska, who oversees co-productions for FILM.UA and “has briefed major content associations on plans, including NATPE, Mip TV and the European Broadcasting Union”.

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The idea is to bring on board investments from giants such as the BBC, Netflix and Disney. In detail, the $20 million target will be used to pre-buy or co-produce Ukrainian factual, scripted and animated content early in the production process so that these shows can be sustained and make it to greenlight and beyond before being sold around the world, showcasing the best of Ukrainian TV.

Vyshnevska explained that the initiative could hand a “lifeline” to some of the 10 million Ukrainian refugees who are struggling for work. “We want to rally the industry around the globe. We’re not asking for charity, but this is a win-win situation, as the world can help themselves by helping us. By asking people to give money up front, we take on the responsibility of delivering quality content.”

A similar US-backed programme has been active in the nation since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. The fund is set to be registered as a charity outside Ukraine, with an independent board at the helm. It will aim to “create an ecosystem and deeper integration between Ukraine, Europe and the wider world.”

“We have great quality of production and storytelling, and just need to get past the gatekeepers. Ukraine has such a strong industry that I know will survive,” Vyshnevska concluded.

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