This consultation will be a virtual (Zoom) session.
Director, writer, producer
Lesya Kalynska is an award-winning director, writer, and producer. She develops film and television projects through her production company Pomegranate Studios. Originally from Kyiv in Ukraine, Kalynska has received her PhD in Slavic literary and linguistic studies from The National Pedagogical Drahomanov University in Kyiv. Invited by her father, a soviet dissident, she arrived in the United States in 1999 and began teaching undergraduate Ukrainian and Russian language classes at the University of Illinois in Chicago. In 2009 she received her MFA in writing and directing film from New York University, Tish School of the Arts. She was one of the first Ukrainian citizens to be given an opportunity to study in the NYU graduate program.
She found early success with her short narrative film THE BALLOONIST featuring the renowned Georgian actor Kakhi Kavsadze. Her film received a best director nomination at the Fusion Film Festival and won the Best Student Film Award at the Hope and Dreams IFF in New Jersey. She followed up as a producer on the highly successful film THE DEBT, directed by Levan Koguashvili, which was an official selection at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals. It won several prestigious awards at the Hamptons International Film Festival, Manheim IFF, the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Annual Showcase and producing award at the first Run Film Festival in New York City.
In 2011, she directed TOP SECRET LEVEL 18. A documentary series made for television that premiered on 1+1, a widely popular Ukrainian TV channel. In 2013 Kalynska produced a feature documentary SALT IN THE AIR by Enrico Cullen and co-produced a short narrative film UKRAINIAN LESSONS by Ruslan Batytskyj, for which the filmmakers received the FIPRESCI Award at the Odessa International Film Festival. Kalynska is the recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Production Award (Golden Globes) for the documentary IN THE LAND OF THE LOST CRUSADERS, which she directed and co-produced.
In 2013 she embarked on a more personal project that would take her back to her beloved city of Kyiv in Ukraine. She began filming the Maidan Revolution and followed several characters over the course of 8 years, documenting their personal lives during the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine. The project is supported by the Sundance Film Institute, the Bertha BritDoc Documentary Journalism Fund, SØRFOND and Fritt Ord Foundation Grants for Production (Norway), as well as the Bertha Fund Grant for development and IDFA, Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival support (Netherlands) and other supporting organizations. The film is projected to be released in 2022. Lesya Kalynska currently lives and operates her production company in New York City.