Cannes Film Market To Host ‘Ukraine Day’ In Support Of Country’s Beleaguered Industry

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EXCLUSIVE: The Cannes Marché, held during the Cannes Film Festival, will host a ‘Ukraine Day’ on Saturday 21 May to support the country’s beleaguered film industry.

Organizers have told us they will waive the fee for Ukraine’s national pavilion this year and that they are in touch with the European Commission about how to safely bring over a delegation of 35 filmmakers and industry professionals from the war-torn country.

The planned program of industry events on May 21 will kick off with Ukraine the spotlighted country within the Producers Network initiative. At least six producers are due to take part in the networking event, which is being hosted in collaboration with the Ukrainian Institute.

Organizers tell us the market’s works-in-progress showcase Goes To Cannes will include Ukrainian documentaries and features in early stages and post-production. There will also be a conference to discuss reconstruction opportunities for the industry. On Sunday 22 there will be a wrap networking event with drinks.

We’re told that delegates coming from Ukraine will initially need to pay their way to the Riviera but the festival is trying to arrange at least partial reimbursement of travel and accommodation. So far, organizers tell us multiple Ukrainian professionals have confirmed their attendance.

Last month, Cannes announced that it will not accept Russian delegations to this year’s festival and market. Organizers said the event would “not welcome official Russian delegations nor accept the presence of anyone linked to the Russian government.”

The festival will not boycott Russian films in its lineup, however, something that was called for by the Ukrainian Film Academy. The European Film Academy has said it won’t accept Russian films into its European Film Awards this year.

Jerome Paillard, Cannes Market Executive Director, told us: “We have all been so very shocked by Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine where we have so many friends. In addition to a ban on official Russian entities that we announced when the war started, we also want to support Ukraine’s presence at the Marché as much as we can, and we hope that many of our Ukrainian friends will be able to participate.”

Cannes Film Market To Host ‘Ukraine Day’ In Support Of Country’s Beleaguered Industry

Mershad Torabi is an Iranian/Canadian, New York based actor. Mershad first discovered his love for acting in high school after being sent out on auditions by his drama teacher Paul Batten. In 2005 Mershad packed his bags and left Vancouver, British Columbia to pursue his dreams in Los Angeles.

Since moving to Los Angeles Mershad has trained at some of the top schools under Iris Klein and Larry Moss.

Mershad's latest film, The Summerland Project is a Sci Fi thriller whose cast includes Ed Begley Jr., Eddie Jemison, Kate Vernon, Chris Ellis and Debra Wilson.

Mershad is a Sag/Aftra member and also speaks Farsi and Arabic.

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