US/Hollywood Premiere - ‘The Eastern Front’
An invite to a documentary film screening hosted by Heidi and Zarina Zabrisky
****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
The US/Hollywood premiere of
‘The Eastern Front: Terror and Torture in Ukraine’
June 14, 2023, 7:30 pm, Skiptown Playhouse
Hollywood, CA—Please join investigative reporters Heidi Siegmund Cuda and Zarina Zabrisky for the US/Hollywood premiere of The Eastern Front: Terror and Torture in Ukraine, a documentary war film directed by Byline TV filmmaker Caolan Robertson and featuring UK veteran war correspondent John Sweeney (Killer in the Kremlin), UK renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (A Private War, Under the Wire), and US author-turned-journalist Zarina Zabrisky (We, Monsters), who is available for interviews in advance of the screening and will be the featured guest at the Skiptown Playhouse premiere in a post screening Q & A.
BANNED IN RUSSIA - REVIEWS AND NEWS
“Russian authorities are battling to keep clips of a new war film from getting widely shared across the social media platform RuTube, the country’s equivalent to Youtube… which gives compelling evidence for the use of illegal weapons and the torture of civilians in Ukraine, as well as documenting the devastation the war has wrought on a once peaceful country.—The London Economic, 5.27.2023
“If hell exists, it came here to Kherson.”—Culturall, 5.25.2023
A limited number of tickets are available for the screening at this Eventbrite link for $7 to $12 dollars. Proceeds from the event will go toward water relief in the war-ravaged city of Siversk in Donbas, where 2,000 mostly elderly and very poor people remain, as revealed in the film. There is an additional link for direct donations at the Eventbrite link.
For media requests, please reach out to:
Heidi Siegmund Cuda
The US/Hollywood premiere is in tandem with the London premiere, and Zabrisky is hosting the San Francisco premiere on June 19.
ABOUT THE EASTERN FRONT:
The powerful film follows Sweeney, Zabrisky and Conroy as they document Russian war crimes and expose the atrocities and hardships endured by the Ukrainian people. Zabrisky, who speaks Ukrainian, brings a stoic compassion to her coverage of the war. Zabrisky, born in the USSR and growing up in Russia and Ukraine, spent the last 25 years in San Francisco. When the full-scale Russian invasion began in February 2022, Zabrisky moved to Ukraine and has been documenting the war from the frontlines for the past year contributing to Byline Times (UK), Euromaidan Press (UA) and other publications. Her literary work on her trips to Chornobyl and Odesa and interviews with Ukrainian writers have been featured in The Paris Review, Orion Magazine, Longreads, and elsewhere.
Emmy award-winning investigative reporter, director, and author Heidi Siegmund Cuda and Zabrisky met while writing for Byline Times. Cuda has authored seminal rap and punk books - and is an Amazon #1 Bestselling author. Her Substack magazine, Bette Dangerous, features her investigative work, as well vignettes from her years as a nightlife columnist for the Los Angeles Times. In addition, Cuda is the cohost of RADICALIZED Truth Survives podcast, an investigative show about disinformation and radicalization which has featured Zarina’s live reports from Ukraine.
BEYOND MERE REPORTAGE
The Eastern Front is set against the ongoing war in Ukraine, and opens with an explosion in Dnipro. The film's narrative structure weaves personal stories, frontline accounts, and eyewitness testimonies together. It is a raw and gripping account of the struggle for survival.
The Eastern Front goes beyond mere reportage. To portray the harsh realities of those living in Donbas and Kherson, the filmmakers follow a rescue operation fleeing the war-torn Bakhmut area and follow a group of volunteers delivering drinking water to Siversk, the town on the frontline. They get under fire and continue reporting. Visceral and blunt, the film emphasizes the gravity of the situation in Ukraine. It is not a "conflict" or "crisis." It is a full-scale invasion. The war of aggression.
The film draws audiences into the daily life of Ukraine: sirens howl; shock waves blast windows. The director, Caolan Robertson, exhibits exceptional skill in capturing the poignant beauty of the war-torn landscapes. Fields of wheat trembling in the wind and birds plummeting through the sky resonate deeply, juxtaposed with the stories of torture and murder. The cinematography is masterful. The camera angles and jerks immerse viewers amid the chaos, creating a sense of urgency and danger. The audience remains fully engaged as the film's pacing maintains an intense momentum; each scene contributes to the overall narrative arc.
One notable scene is when the crew assists in rescuing elderly and sick people fleeing the Bakhmut area. The grief is palpable. Another impactful moment is Siversk, where residents find beauty in improvised gardens while living in cramped basements amidst non-stop thunder of explosions.
The Eastern Front: Terror and Torture in Ukraine exposes not only the human cost of war but carefully engineered Kremlin lies - what Sweeney refers to as the ‘lies factory’. The crew refuses to shy away from the Russian military's atrocities. One of the film's strengths is its ability to humanize the victims and showcase their resilience. Its main value is in unveiling the web of deceit designed by the Russian propagandists.
This is a vital documentary as it raises awareness of the Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The film takes viewers to the heart of darkness--with a hope of return to humanity.
The film will also premiere in Kyiv, London, where it has already sold out at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, and the upcoming San Francisco date.
Reviews of The Eastern Front:
Skiptown Playhouse location and parking details:
665 North Heliotrope Drive, Hollywood, CA 90004
Links to Zabrisky and Cuda reporting:
Please reach out to Heidi Siegmund Cuda with any questions or for a private media screening link at: email@example.com
And please share with your pro-democracy networks.
(Below, images of Zarina reporting from Ukraine. Photo credits: Courtesy of Zarina Zabrisky)
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