||Vira Muzychenko, «Kyiv Weekly», No.42, November 23, 2005
On November 21, the official opening of the School of Hollywood in Ukraine, a social project that by all appearances is important for Ukrainian cinematography, took place in the presence of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst.
The founders of the school are: producer and film director Joseph Voitas, who works with 20th Century Fox and is the head of the film company Shepherd Films, Hollywood script writer of Ukrainian origin Petro Slisarenko and Elena Voloshyna, head of a Ukrainian production company. The organizers are confident that the opening of this school will create a buzz in Ukraine, seeing as Hollywood stars will travel to Ukraine to support the project...
The first such course in the history of the school in Ukraine will begin on November 24 and run until December 6. Ukrainian students will hear a special course titled Feature Film Directing. The lectures and master classes will be given by Mark Travis, one of the most prolific practical teachers of the art of cinematography in Hollywood, whose textbooks on film directing are today mandatory in many American film schools. The cost of his lessons varies from US $250 to $500. The classes will be conducted in Russian or Ukrainian with the assistance of an interpreter.
Before coming to Ukraine, Travis lectured in other schools similar to the newly created one in Ukraine under the aegis of the American Film Directors Gild and the American Film Institute, he participated in a supplementary educational program at the University of California in Los Angeles, an actors' workshop in Hollywood held during the Denver Film Festival and so on. In future, other famous American teachers will lecture on mastering scriptwriting, acting, production and operating a film camera. Successful graduates of the school will be able to find jobs at joint Ukrainian-American projects and with Ukrainian film companies. The most promising graduates will get the opportunity to practice at the Dream Factory.
Ukrainians in Hollywood:
Samuel Goldwyn - born in Kyiv, he is the patriarch of the American film industry and a famous producer. A modest herring seller Goldwyn became the founder and a permanent head of one of the largest film companies in America Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and set the pace of the development of the film industry for more than 50 years. For this, he eventually was given the unofficial title of "the father of American movies". Lewis Milestone - a former Odesa resident, who was awarded an Oscar for the comedy Two Arabian Knights at the first awards ceremony in 1929 and another Oscar for the screen version of All Quiet on the Western Front at the third ceremony (1929-1930). The legendary Kirk Douglas (father of Michael Douglas) came from Odesa, received four Academy Award nominations for his work in Champion, The Bad and the Beautiful and Lust for Life.
Edward Dmytryk - one of the founders of the American film industry. He shot 52 full-length films, which were nominated for an Oscar on many occasions and finally received one for the film Broken Lance in 1954. Dmytryk also belongs to the classics of the so-called "black" movies (Murder, My Sweet, 1944, and Crossfire, 1947)-Mike Mazurky (Markiyan Mazurkevych) - a prominent American character actor from Temopil. Starred with practically all the famous Hollywood actors from Reagan to Madonna.
Jack Palance (vblodymyr Palahnyuk) - the most titled among - Ukrainian actors in Hollywood.
Milla Jovovich - an actress, singer and model, she was born on December 17,1975 in Kyiv. Daughter of Galina Loginova, actress, and Bogdan Jovovich, a doctor-pediatrician from Yugoslavia. The first five years of her life, Milla spent in the Soviet Union visiting her father in London, where he had a private clinic. In 1980 the family immigrated to Sacramento, California.
Misha Ignatov - a former actor of the Dovzhenko studio. His first movie in America was called Father, devoted to Sergei Korolyov. It is still broadcast on Channel 64 in America. He also starred in a six-episode movie titled Muhammed Ali and appeared in all Hollywood movies connected with Slavic roots. He starred in Showtime with Eddie Murphy.
Vadim Perelman - came from Kyiv. Last year, he came out with a film called House of Sand and Fog, which was immediately nominated for an Academy Award in three categories. For the first time in many years Perelman came to Ukraine as a famous Hollywood film director in the autumn of 2004.
Mark Travis is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and a director of Hollywood and Broadway musicals. In different years he directed A Bronx Tale, Undressing New Jersey, Wings and other performances on Broadway. His performances were awarded on 28 occasions by Drama-Logue, the LA. Weekly and the Drama Critics Circle. For television, Travis directed The Facts of Life, Family Ties, and Capitol. For his work on Blind Tom: The Thomas Bethune Story, Travis won the prestigious Emmy Award PBS Dramatic Special. In 1992, he established a company providing consulting services to film directors, writers and producers.
Commentaries at the Ukrainian Web Site of Hollywood School in Ukraine:
Beau Bridges, actor:
"As an actor or a director, being trained in the arts is a critical component to achieving success. Because of HSU, Ukrainian students will now get that chance... Hopefully someday I can come to Ukraine and visit you guys. I would be very interested in doing that."
Bill Pullman, actor:
"I totally support what you are doing at HSU and my hope for the Ukrainian people is that they can stay open to what they need to learn from a tradition outside their own tradition, while at the same time being able to stay in touch with their own artistry... I definitely would love to come to Ukraine and get a taste of what the culture is, what the filmmakers are like, what the people are like and what the food tastes like!"