Feast from the East

This event has now ended. You can watch recordings of the cooking workshop and panel discussion on our YouTube channel.

Uncover the filmic and culinary bounty of the east end of Europe in this free programme, serving up iconic films, a cooking workshop, recipes, and food for thought. Spotlighting some of the region’s richest cinematic fruit, Feast from the East is a celebration of the food, feasts and famously fertile soil of Eastern Europe.

Programmed by Kateryna Pavlyuk, the season offers a three-course spread of two seminal Soviet films – Sergei Parajanov’s The Colour of Pomegranates and Oleksandr Dovzhenko’s Earth – and a formal masterpiece long lost to censorship, Bread by Mykola Shpykovskyi. The films come with a side of cooking and conversation, in the form of a ‘dinner-table’ discussion with experts on Soviet cinema, and a cooking masterclass with celebrated chef and activist Alissa Timoshkina.

Tickets for the programme are free, but we invite and encourage donations, which will be split between two fundraising campaigns in support of Ukraine:

The Dovzhenko Centre in Kyiv are raising funds to protect and preserve Ukraine’s invaluable archive and national film heritage, both of which are under sustained threat. You can read more about the centre’s war efforts here.

World Central Kitchen provide meals and food in crises, and have distributed over 44 million meals across Ukraine and neighbouring countries to feed the thousands of people who are displaced or don’t have access to food. You can find out more about WCK’s work in Ukraine here.

You can donate to both campaigns via JustGiving here. All donations will be split 50/50 between the two organisations.

Book your ticket for Feast from the East here.

Accessibility: All films are available with subtitles and hard of hearing captions. The cooking workshop and ‘dinner-table’ discussion are available with subtitles.

If you have any queries about the event please get in touch: info@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk


The Films

Streaming 27 June – 11 July

Earth, Oleksandr Dovzhenko (1930)

A landmark film of silent, Soviet-era cinema from one of Ukraine’s most celebrated directors, which lovingly lenses both the labour and fruit of his homeland’s fertile, and the film’s titular, earth. This restoration of Dovzhenko’s ode to nature and collectivism features the original Ukrainian intertitles and is accompanied by an evocative soundtrack from the Ukrainian folk group, DakhaBrakha.

Bread, Mykola Shpykovskyi (1929)

Promptly censored for giving “a false idea of a struggle for bread,” Shpykovski’s long-neglected short film is agitprop in content but avant-garde in form. Similarly centred on a story of shared seeds and stolen land, Bread is often compared to Dovzhenko’s Earth but, only resurfacing in the 1970s, was long lost from Ukraine’s film canon. Accompanied by a soundtrack from Belarusian instrumental trio, Port Mone.

The Colour of Pomegranates, Sergei Parajanov (1969)

The seminal celluloid poem, as lauded as it is elusive, from the Georgian-born and Ukraine-supporting Armenian director – and thorn in the Soviet leadership’s side. On paper, the film is a biopic of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova. But on screen, the film sooner sits somewhere between a painting and poem, told through now iconic cinematic tableaux.


Cooking Workshop with Alissa Timoshkina

Streaming 27 June – 11 July

Join chef, cinephile and #CookForUkraine co-founder Alissa Timoshkina in her kitchen, where she will show how a few simple ingredients (along with a hearty amount of dill and sunflower oil) can go a long way. In this workshop, Alissa will be making two summer salads inspired by the films in the programme – have your rye bread and pomegranates at the ready.


‘Dinner-table’ Discussion: East-end film and food

Streaming 4 July – 11 July

Join scholar Dr. Rory Finnin and chef Alissa Timoshkina for a post-prandial conversation about food, film, and how dishes and directors alike are claimed by nations.

• Dr. Rory Finnin is a Professor of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Cambridge and leading expert on the history, culture and cinema of Ukraine. He is also a Trustee of the Ukrainian Institute, London.

• Alissa Timoshkina is a Siberia-born, London-based chef and food writer with proud Ukrainian heritage and a co-founder of #CookForUkraine, a campaign which has raised £1.3million and counting for UNICEF. She holds a PhD in Soviet Holocaust cinema and launched the acclaimed cinema-supper club KinoVino.


Recipes from displaced Ukrainian chefs

Both a homage to Shpykovskyi’s film, and in support of displaced chefs who have been forced to leave not only their kitchens, but their hometowns and lives as they knew them, Ukrainian chefs Katrya Kalyuzhna and Viktoriya Popin have been commissioned to share a delicious selection of bread recipes. Testifying to the potential and diversity of the humble loaf, the two chefs share a range of sourdough bread recipes, ranging from a wheat bread with sesame and flaxseed, to a Cossack-inspired millet bread with fried onion and dried dill.

Read the recipes here.


About the curator

Kateryna Pavlyuk is a Ukraine-born and London-bred documentary filmmaker and emerging film programmer. Her films centre on stories of migration and she is committed to championing non-Anglophone cinema. Kateryna has previously produced films for the arts and charity sectors, and worked both at film festivals and for multiple organisations supporting refugees and migrants. You can follow Kateryna’s work on her website or at @katpavv (on both Twitter and Instagram).


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In partnership with the Ukrainian Institute, London