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Ukraine Friends Presents New York Screening of "Freedom on Fire" Documentary Nov. 29

Freedom on Fire

A scene from "Freedom on Fire." (photo courtesy of Winter on Fire Productions)

Director Evgeny Afineevsky dedicates film to members of the press killed or have risked their lives to shine a light on the stories of the Ukraine conflict.

If we continue to neglect what’s going on, we risk this becoming World War III. Ukraine is not the final stop, and we must not betray Ukraine by allowing this to happen to them.”
— Director Evgeny Afineevsky to DEADLINE Hollywood

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, November 29, 2022 / -- Ukraine Friends will present the New York screening of "Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom" at the historic Village East Theatre by Angelika (181-189 2nd Ave., New York) on Tuesday, November 29, from 6-8 pm.

Freedom on Fire documents the first six months of full-scale war in Ukraine and is the sequel to the 2015 Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom. The film premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival in August and was recently screened at the 2022 Halifax International Security Forum.

The New York premiere will feature a Q&A session with director Evgeny Afineevsky as well as three people from the film: Nataliia Nagorna, a Ukrainian war journalist for the television channel 1+1; Anna Zaitseva, who hid with her infant son underneath the Azovstal steel plant for more than two months before being taken through a Russian filtration camp; and Dmytro "Orest" Kozatskyi, head of the press service of the Azov Battalion who released the now famous photos of wounded defenders in the sieged Azovstal steel plant before he was taken captive by the Russians.

The event will be moderated by Hollie McKay, a war crimes investigator, author, and journalist who formerly worked for Fox News. She has just returned from reporting in Ukraine.

Director Evgeny Afineevsky has dedicated Freedom on Fire to "all journalists, filmmakers, and members of the press who have been killed and who are risking their lives today to shine a light on the stories and images of different conflicts for the world to see." During the film premiere, Ukraine Friends will honor the eight journalists who have been killed in Ukraine since February 24, 2022. Two of these journalists were reporting for Fox News.

For more information or to reserve tickets and cover the film premiere and dialogue, please call (703) 963-4191.

About Ukraine Friends
We are a U.S. based non-profit dedicated to delivering critical help in Ukraine by providing humanitarian aid as needs evolve, refugee support and a focus on recovery and reconstruction. Ukraine Friends, a mission of 501c3 Worldwide Friends, is a New York-based organization founded as an emergency response to Russia’s unjustified aggression against Ukraine. We deliver critical help on the ground by providing humanitarian aid as needs evolve, always focused on being thoughtful and deliberate in our approach and ensuring complete transparency to our donors. If you cannot attend, please kindly support our work at

Freedom of Fire
“Freedom on Fire” is the latest documentary from director Evgeny Afineevsky. The film screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Mr. Afineevsky as well as three people featured in the documentary: Nataliia Nagorna, a Ukrainian war journalist for the television channel 1+1; Anna Zaitseva, who hid with her infant son underneath the Azovstal iron and steel plant for more than two months, then was taken through a Russian filtration camp before being released to the Red Cross and United Nations, and Dmytro "Orest" Kozatskyi, a member the Azov Battalion who filmed videos of the civilians living under the bombings of the Azovstal plant, shocking the world.

Freedom on Fire is the sequel to Afineevsky's Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated 2015 documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, which documented Euromaidan Revolution. Crafted from stark footage and exclusive interviews with people displaced by the enduring conflict, Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom reveals how the spirit of unity strengthens morale even amid the country’s darkest hours. The documentary offers a sweeping look at a humanitarian crisis, amplifying the views of children, mothers, soldiers, doctors, artists, volunteers, clergymen, and journalists who are transformed while witnessing ceaseless destruction and bloodshed. Featuring narration from Oscar-winning Dame Helen Mirren, Freedom on Fire is a saga of resilience that challenges the international community to oppose tyranny together.

About the Director
Documentarian Evgeny Mikhailovich Afineevsky was born in the Russian city of Kazan when it was part of the former U.S.S.R. Since childhood, he has dreamed of a world with less violence and more acceptance. While making Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom (2015), he realized that he could imbue his art with activism.

That film helped galvanize people in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Hong Kong and Lebanon to demonstrate against oppressive dictatorships. His next work, Cries from Syria (2017), opened hearts and minds—audience members in various countries inundated Afineevsky with questions about how they could aid innocents who have long been trapped in the Syrian Civil War. After earning Pope Francis’ trust for Francesco (2020), he joined the pontiff on a globe-trotting tour to alleviate division through love and kindness. A continuation of Winter on Fire called Freedom on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom premiered as an Official Selection at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. Tracing his four-title arc from Winter on Fire to Freedom on Fire, shared themes emerge such as humanity’s capacity for good and evil, mortality and heroism.

Afineevsky has also debuted documentaries at the Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, Rome International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. His oeuvre has received nominations for an Oscar, a PGA Award, a Primetime Emmy Award and four News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Additional accolades include a People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary from the Toronto International Film Festival, a Critics’ Choice Documentary Award for Best Director, an Overseas Press Club Award, a Television Academy Honors award, an IDA Documentary Award, two Kineo Awards, a Humanitas Prize, Catholics in Media Associates Social Justice Award, and a Cinema for Peace award.

John Arundel
Perdicus Communications LLC
+1 703-963-4191
email us here

Freedom on Fire. UK, Ukraine, US 2022, 118 min, Director: Evgeny Afineevsky

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