Three films created at the Convent's studio have received awards and a certificate of recognition at the International Orthodox Film Festival in Kyiv which was dedicated to the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God. The festival is an annual event organised under the auspices of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the aim of popularising films with Christian content and awarding the best works. Three of the Convent's films were presented in the ‘Documentaries’ category and received awards at the festival.‘Nun Vera - a Day in the Life’, directed by Anastasiya Kobzareva, earned an award in the ‘Faith, hope and love’ category while ‘Letting Go’, directed by Olga Aleksandrova, earned an award in the ‘For faithfulness to the Orthodox tradition’ category. ‘Spiritual Father’, directed by Natalya Klimova, earned a Certificate of Appreciation.
All three films present the life stories of people who have dedicated themselves to the service of Christ and their neighbours. The documentary ‘Nun Vera - a Day in the Life’ focuses on the experience of overcoming drug dependency by learning to entrust one's life to God. The film's heroine, Nun Vera, came to live at the Convent fifteen years ago, after having struggled with her drug dependency for seven years. To her, acceptance and unity with God was a life-changing experience which inspired her to wage a successful battle for freedom from drugs. She is now terminally ill, and the film spent one day accompanying her and interviewing her about the hopes, sorrows and regrets that she has in the face of the inevitable end of her earthly life. ‘We want this film to give hope and encourage many to follow the example of Nun Vera in trusting God, holding on to Him and living in unity with Him,’ says the film's director, Anastasiya Kobzareva.
The film ‘Spiritual Father’ was made for the Day of the Angel of Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok, the Spiritual Father of the Convent of St. Elisabeth. The film is the story of Father Andrey's life of faith and full dedication to the service of God and the people that is typical of most priests in the Orthodox Church. “Their selflessness, however invisible at times, is very dear and valuable to their flock,” says the director of the film, Natalya Klimova.
The film ‘Letting Go’, directed by Olga Aleksandrova, is centred on the life of a young novice of the Convent of St. Elisabeth who has decided to dedicate her life to the monastic service of God. “Our intention was to show the difficulty of this choice for the young person who chooses to dedicate herself to God, rather than to marry and start a family. We also explored the perspective of the young woman's immediate family,” says Olga Aleksandrova.
Vitaly Lubetsky is the producer of the Convent's culinary channel on YouTube called "Monastic Recipes". The channel has won popularity among our Russian-speaking audiences. We talked to Vitaly about its mission.