Ukrainian media HEARING and video production KNIFE! Films released the documentary “Next” about Ukrainian women who, due to a full-scale Russian invasion, were forced to leave their homeland. The film premiered on the YouTube channel SLUKH and Director – Artem Grigoryan, producer – Maxim Serdyuk.

The authors of the film, through interviews with each heroine, talk about their difficult path and experiences of choice, about life in new countries and the desire to return home. In the film, you can see sincere memories of a schoolgirl from Mariupol and her mother; a photographer from Kharkov, a student from Kyiv, a stand-up artist Natalia Garipova and a taekwondo coach from Cherkasy.

In mid-March, Larisa Zagreba and her daughter Alena left occupied Mariupol for Luxembourg. After the first days with explosions in the city, when electricity, heating, water supply, communications disappeared, the atmosphere in the city became quiet and creepy. Then Larisa began to keep a diary, and her daughter started a video blog. Now Alena dreams of getting an education and doing video production, developing Ukrainian culture.

Photographer Tanya Bulgakova and her family barely managed to leave Kharkov for Amsterdam. From accepting responsibility for not being able to leave her family in a dangerous city, a difficult road, emotional decline and despair, Tanya was able to return to creativity and find inspiration in a new city.

Stand-up Natalya Garipova, being a refugee from Transnistria (1992), has already seen how Russia wages wars and what Russian soldiers are capable of. She remembers bullying, blood, killing people, because it happened right under her windows and with neighbors. After moving from Odessa to Berlin and enlisting the support of colleagues from the industry (Elena Kravets, Maxim Konoval, Dima Savyal, Yura Korogodin), Natalia began organizing charity concerts “Good evening! We are from Ukraine” and rethought the meaning of stand-up in wartime.

Student Stanislava Dyachuk managed to leave the occupied Kyiv region for Bratislava. She remembers the feeling of military planes flying low over the house. Being in the house with her family and realizing that there were Russian troops around and the opportunity to leave was very low, the woman was most afraid of seeing the death of her parents. Now Stanislava works as an assistant at the university, helps with donations, communicates with the guys from the Armed Forces of Ukraine and is waiting for her return home.

Taekwondo coach Anna Tarapata has already been forced by the events in the east of 2014 to move from Donetsk to Cherkasy. Now she was again forced to leave with her daughter in Cyprus, once again show resilience and resume her favorite business in a new place – coaching. The woman dreams of seeing her husband, whom she married online already during the hostilities, to open a taekwondo school, create jobs for Ukrainians, and provide free education to migrants.

The film crew traveled more than 13,000 kilometers, and filming took place in Austria, Luxembourg, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In total, the team processed 200 filming requests.

“We set ourselves the task not just to find interesting characters, but to collect such stories that will be included in a coherent documentary. We looked through more than 200 questionnaires and video business cards. It was very difficult psychologically, because each story is unique, each and every one went through their own problems, traumas and horrors. Then we began to integrate into their lives: we talked for a long time by phone and video calls. Having established friendly communication, we came to them and spent several days together,” says the film’s producer Maxim Serdyuk.

After the release of the film on the YouTube channel RUMO, 8 separate extended stories will be released within two weeks (some of them were not included in the film).