The All-Ukrainian Photo -Film Management (VUFKU) is the state cinematographic organization, which existed from 1922 to 1930.
|All-Ukrainian Photo-Film Management (VUFKU)|
March 13, 1922 VUFKU was established on the basis of the All-Ukrainian Film Committee, receiving legal status from the Ukrainian Economic Council on May 2, 1922. The state organization united the entire industry, including film studios, film distribution, film industry, film education and the film press of Ukraine and the Crimea from 1922 to 1930.
The board of VUFKU included five people elected by the administrative authorities and approved by the government.
At the disposal of the organization are the atelier of Ermoliev and Khanzhonkov in Yalta, as well as the studios of Grossman, Kharitonov and Borisov in Odessa. After 3 years, VUFKU becomes the second most powerful state film company in the USSR after Sovkino, if we take the principle of self-financing as an economic criterion.
Start of activity
VUFKU signs cooperation agreements with Turkey and begins negotiations with Kodak (Kodak) and Pathe firms. But the economic blockade held by Western countries against the USSR leads to difficult conditions for filmmakers. For new films they are offered only a blank film. Regular film production begins June 15, 1923 after receiving the film and chemicals from Germany. In the meantime, the economic situation is deteriorating due to the massive closure of cinema halls due to increased taxes. The state monopoly and exorbitant taxes hamper the work of the studios (in the Crimea there was even a double monopoly of Moscow Goskino and VUFKU).
As soon as a new fiscal policy leads to a reduction in taxes, the number of cinema halls begins to grow. During 1924–1925, the number of cinema halls increased from 110 to 714, and from 1925 to 1927 the number of cinema installations in villages increased from 215 to 715. KOC’s improved cameras buy from Pat’s company and partially produce independently (in 1925 they produced 120 pieces ). The film installations include a movie screen, a movie camera for film demonstration, a set of spare lamps (125 pieces of 25 amps each). The film screening is free, the addition of film programs is also free, and in 1929 the operation of cinema installations is given under the control of the agricultural network. At the same year, 2336 film installations were registered in Ukraine, about a thousand creative, engineering and technical personnel and support staff are already working at VUFKU.
The number of own released films is growing, in 1922 there were only 3, and in 1928 it was already 36. During 1928-1929, 30 full-length feature films and 38 cultural-educational films were watched, watching 16 million 890 thousand viewers (at that time kinostatistika considered the optimal hire of any action movie 2 million tickets sold)
During these years, two new factories were being created for the needs of the film industry: the optical-mechanical KINAP in Odessa and the Svema film production plant in Shostka .
With the advent of the NEP and the free market, the republics are given a rolling monopoly. Since 1923, VUFKU retains the exclusivity of film distribution, thereby making a profit from its own products (from 12% in 1924 to 34% in 1937). Both nationalized and private companies (such as Biliani and Co., Ellin, Donator, Levin and Co.) are engaged in rental, they are ruthlessly competing for influence on foreign firms.
In 1924, VUFKU took control over the replication of counter-moves, thereby eliminating the sub-rental system. The organization also attracted talented writers from influential literary groups “Gart” and “Plow” to create a new repertoire by Y. Yanovsky , V. Radysh , M. Johansen , G. Kosyncu , O. Dosvitnogo , V. Yaroshenko , I. Babel , O . Korneychuk . Manuscripts of scenarios began to arrive at the call announced by the stage council from everywhere - in just one year about 1,300 scenarios came, mostly from unknown authors deprived of any creative or sociopolitical value.
Since 1925, VUFKU began to produce its own monthly magazine "Kino". N. Bazhan was a regular author and actual editor of the magazine. In addition to it, not only journalists, directors, and writers who were actively involved in the cinema, but also workers in the production and administrative fields were regularly printed on the pages of the magazine. The authors fought for the possibility of entering the international markets for the Union republics, talked about the discriminatory measures of the Union decrees relating to Ukrainian cinema, as well as red tape and formalism in relation to creativity. In the late 1920s, a protest against encroachment on the independence of Ukrainian cinema was one of the main topics of the magazine. The issues of the Kino magazine, which highlighted the struggle of the UUFCU against centralization, were withdrawn from circulation in Ukraine (they can now be read in Moscow at the Lenin Library). The Kino magazine was received by the Paris and London libraries, the academic reading room in Prague, and the film reading room in Berlin. Foreign press came to Kiev and Odessa with reviews of Ukrainian films
In 1925, a conflict situation arose around the national cinema of the republics that make up the USSR. Simultaneously with the extension of the rental monopolies, a number of internal customs borders between the republics of the Union are being introduced. Commissariats of public education, whose competence includes the selection of films for distribution, are primarily interested in films that meet their own criteria and the language in which the captions are written. The reorganization of film organizations begins, characterized by stricter control over local governments, aimed at their total alienation. In the same year, Sovkino (created on the basis of an association of Russian film firms) received a monopoly of rent, export and import of motion pictures. Quotas are set: for 20 Russian films shown in Ukraine, only 6 in Ukraine are shown in Ukraine. High-quality films ordered by VUFKU prohibit the Moscow Repertcom with time. WUFKU decides to conduct its own repertoire policy. It refuses or postpones the import of Russian paintings (for example, this happened to S. Eisenstein's famous film “The Battleship Potemkin”). There is a series of compromising warnings from the government, but this does not improve the situation: Goskino and VUFKU have ignored each other for years. The agreement signed on May 25, 1927 between VUFKU and Goskino on the exchange of films - such famous Ukrainian films as “The Fight of the Giants”, “Hamburg” , “Ukrasiya” , “Two Days” and “The Night Carrier” shown in the western Europe, do not fall on the Russian screens, even after this agreement. In 1924-1925, Ukrainian films accounted for 7% of the cash receipts of Russian cinema halls, in 1927 - 39%, in 1928 - 20% of all Soviet film production.
At the end of 1927, the head of the VUFKU, O. Shob, predicted that in the coming years Ukraine would bring the film production to one hundred films a year. The economy relied not only on the domestic market, but also on the foreign one - agreements were signed with all film organizations of the Union republics, it was planned to print 70 copies of each film. There was a shortage of film: what was brought from abroad was distributed as follows: Sovkino - 65%, VUFKU - 20%, the rest went to other national film organizations. But this did not stop the leaders of the Ukrainian film industry. “All factors suggest that Ukraine, due to its natural, technical and material capabilities, will become the center of Soviet cinematography over the coming years ,” Kino magazine reported.
Until 1926, Ukrainian film production was focused on Odessa and Yalta studios. On December 1, 1928, the Kiev Film Factory began its work, which in 1929 was supposed to produce 11 feature films and 37 full-length cultural and educational films.
In October 1926, the VUFKU moved from Odessa to Kiev, since the construction of a film factory was to begin there. VUFKU invited overseas filmmakers to Kiev. The Kino magazine wrote in November 1927 about the arrival of the famous French film critic and theorist Cinema Leon Musinak. Foreign colleagues advised Ukrainian filmmakers to focus on the world film market. As Yevgeny Deslav, a correspondent for a magazine in Paris, testified that the date of the release of Ukrainian cinema to the international forum should be considered the second half of 1927 - since that time foreign press has been regularly writing about Ukrainian cinema.
Since 1926, Ukraine has become the second largest supplier of film production for Germany after the USA. In 1927, VUFKU sent the films “Taras Tryilo” , “ Sorochinsky Fairs ”, “Mikola Dzherya” , “Fresh Wind” , “Alim” , “Wandering Stars” , “ Bag of a Diplomatic Courier ”, “PKP” to Paris and Berlin. Reaction business circles were favorable: a number of French, German, Austrian and Czech companies showed a desire to buy Ukrainian films for their distribution, magazines from different countries published two-week reviews of current VUKFU products. The All Cinema international almanac for 1927 had addresses of all VUFKU branches, information and Ukrainian cinema statistics. In 192 In the year 8, for the company Pate-Nord (Pathe-Nord), 13 films were purchased, already known in Ukraine, by directors P. Chardynin , G. Gricher-Cherikovera , G. Tasin , G. Stabovogo , F. Lopatinsky , P. Dolina , M. Tereshchenko , D. Vertova , A. Dovzhenko. Since 1929, VUFKU has been exporting its films to the USA, Germany, France, and Japan - “Ataman Khmel” , “Locksmith and Chancellor” , “Ostap Bandura . ” It is possible to buy clean materials for money earned from sales. film and new movies. “Sovkino” received over 1 million rubles from overseas for 1926, VUFKU predicted: “One hundred films a year, even if not fully used in the foreign market, will give Ukrainian cinematography several million in currency” (Kino magazine, 1927, No. 18 ).
The correspondents of the print organ of the VUFKU magazine "Kino" are Evgeny Deslav in Paris, Miroslav Irchan in New York and Canada, Leo Katz in Vienna. They send their reports to Ukraine, where they are included in the strictly controlled part of the newsreel "Flywheel" (1924-1925), "The Chronicle of VUFKU" (1925), "Kinonedelya" (1924-1929).
The development of film presses and film critics
It is believed that the development of film press favored the development of the most avant-garde cinema activities. The best periodicals are full of articles about theory, history, aesthetics, filmology and filmmaking techniques. They write about this “Spectator” (Odessa, 1922), “Photo-cinema” (Kharkov, 1922-1923), “Silhouettes” (Odessa, 1922-1923), “Ekran” (Kharkov, 1923), “Kino” (Kharkov , 1925–1927, Kiev, 1927–1933), Kinonedelya, the organ of the VUFKU (1927), the baton of which took over the Kinogazeta (1928–1932), Yugolef (Odessa, 1924–1925). The activity of film critics is also very active: N. Bazhan (founder of Ukrainian film critics and editor of the Kino magazine), A. Voznesensky, O. Poltoratsky, L. Skrypnyk, G. Zatvornitsky, D. Buzko. They raise questions and begin debates concerning the aesthetic and ideological concepts of the Seventh Art. A significant number of monographs and studies at the turn of the 1930s are published: “Sketches on the theory of art” by L. Skrypnyk, “Cinema is the weapon of the masses” by D. Baturov, “What is cinema?” Yu. Krivina, “Lives the cinema” and “Three operator ”M. Ushakov,“ The Most Important Art ”by M. Bush,“ The Art of the Screen ”by A. Voznesensky,“ Sound Cinema ”by Y. Sivogo,“ Tricks in Cinema ”by N. Voronoi,“ Foreign Cinema ”by O. Fomichevoy,“ Cinema in the Village ”by K. Solodar,“ The Birth of Ukrainian Soviet Cinema ”by Y. Savchenko ,“ Hollywood on the Black Sea ”by Y. Yanovsky,“ Actors and Producers ”by P. Nechesy,“ Memoirs film director "S. Orlovich," Alexander Dovzhenko "N. Bazhan.
Main activities of VUFKU
In the period from 1921 to 1929, real national cinema art, led by the outstanding creators of the golden age of VUFKU, directed by Les Kurbas , Vladimir Gardin , Peter Chardinin, flourishes in Ukraine.
Due to the lack of qualified directors and technicians for a certain period of time, the Ukrainian film industry does not look very professional. The State College of Cinematography, subordinate to VUFKU, is not yet able to saturate the national film industry with specialists. The VUFKU press agency Kino magazine reported that a film institute and a cinema-photo-theater department would be created at the Kiev Art Institute on the basis of the Odessa Film Technology School. Therefore, VUFKU is compelled to invite to its studios outstanding figures of Russian cinema. In Yalta, director Vladimir Gardin and cameraman Boris Zavelev, actors Nikolay Panov, Oleg Frohlikh , Zinaida Barantsevich, Ivan Khudoleev are staged. Peter Chardynin, Nikolai Saltikov and cameraman Evgeny Slavinsky settle in Odessa. For several years, these people will stimulate the film industry of national and European aspirations, with a Bolshevik dominant.
Vladimir Gardin, the already formed director, who had over 30 paintings set before the revolution, in two years performs several productions for VUFKU: in 1922 “The Last Stage of Mr. Enniok”, 1923 “ The Ghost Roams Europe ”, 1924 Landowner, Locksmith and Chancellor, Ataman Khmel and Ostap Bandura. The contract with Gardin will be interrupted unexpectedly, during his preparation for the shooting of "Taras Bulba".
Peter Chardynin had over two hundred pictures set before the revolution, recognized as the most competent and prominent Russian director, founder of Ukrainian and Russian cinema, shot 16 pictures for VUFKU at the Odessa Film Studio, among which the brightest Ukrasia (1925), Taras Shevchenko "(1926)," Taras Shaked "(1927).
An exception is the work for the VUFKU theater director, Ukrainian Les Kurbas, who began to be interested in cinema in the years 1924-1925. Over the years, Kurbas, together with the closest collaborators O. Vatuley , P. Dolina , K. Koshevsky, P. Nyatko, M. Tereshchenko, F. Lopatinsky and V. Meller, has been shooting his films “Vendetta” (script by M. Borisov and G. Stabovogo ), "McDonald" and " Arsenaltsy ".
Since 1925, the University has been inviting German cinematographers for cooperation: operators Marius Goldt and Joseph Ron , decorators Heinrich Weisingerz, Gaacker, Oisthovsky for the Odessa Film Factory, Nikolai Farkas and G. Reingoldt for Yalta. For a short time, Ertugrul Muhsin-Bey, invited from Turkey, is also working at the Odessa film factory (he is making the film “Spartak”) and Alexander Granovsky, the founder of the Jewish theater in Russia, who shoots the Jewish Happiness film at the Odessa film factory for American funding for Sovkino. .
After 1926 there is an intensive involvement of all Ukrainian creative potential in the work - writers, journalists, playwrights , photographers , and art decorators. It is planned to create a special fund of scenarios based on Ukrainian works of the pre- and post-revolutionary period and foreign literature ideologically immaculate and approved by the authorities ahead of time. The literary and artistic council, composed of representatives of the party, trade unions , commissariats of public education, hygiene, the press, as well as the “Society of Friends of Soviet Cinema”, is entrusted to monitor the selection of material. By establishing ideological oversight, the party directs filmmaking towards condemnation of independent circles. So appear the films ordered by VUFKU appear: “P K P / Pilsudski bought Petlyura ” by G. Stabovoy and A. Lundin, “Tripoli tragedy”, filmed by O. Anoshchenko about the atrocities of Petliurists. A number of agitmelodrams appear, including F. Lopatinsky's Blue Package, G. Tasin's Arrest Warrant.
After a period of relatively short formation, the VUFCU proves that it has mastered the filmmaking planning system. Estimates for full-length paintings are reduced due to the effectiveness of such planned work (for example, in 1925, the average estimate was 103,000 rubles, and in 1926 it was already 69,000). Half of the scripts are written by regular writers. The writers laid the foundation for a thematic series of scenarios, on the basis of which were filmed films about unemployment and a strike in Western European countries - “Fighting giants” by V. Turin, “Gambur” by V. Ballusek. This revolutionary and international spirit will pervade all Soviet cinema for a long time. The themes of collectivization (“The Murder of the Sellers of Malinovsky” by P. Sazonov), orphanhood (“Mariyka” by A. Lundin), espionage (“Suspicious Baggage” by G. Gricher-Cherikovera, “Case No. 128” by A. Kordyum ), entertainment and exotics (“Hero of the match” by L. Konstantinovsky, “Alim” by G. Tasin). Does not remain and in the party UUFKU in a screen version of classics of the literature. So there are “Mikola Dzherya” on the work of I. Nechuy-Levitsky and “In pursuit of fate” on the work of M. Kotsyubinsky M. Tereshchenko, “Sorochinsky Fair” on the product by N. Gogol G. Grücher-Cherikovera, “The Kings of Wax” on product I Franko "Borislav laughs" I. Roni. Mastering modern issues in Ukrainian cinema is slower than in literature or art . Only in 1927, pictures appear on the topic of the present time, where sometimes the production and love lines are next to each other (the “Explosion” by P. Sazonov, the “Cement” by V. Vilner ). The struggle against capitalism is also often intertwined with love intrigues, as in the film “The Shadows of the Belvedere” by O. Anoschenko or the “Dregs” by G. Tasin.
The years 1927 and 1928 were marked by the appearance of masterpiece films that gained world fame and international recognition: “Two Days” (1927) by Georgy Stabovoy , shot at the Yalta Film Factory and Zvenigora by Alexander Dovzhenko , shot at the Odessa Film Factory VUFKU. The impression of the American critics of “Times” from G. Tasin’s “Two Days” film, which was shown in New York: “The artistic side of the film was not too heavily loaded with propaganda, as we could hope from Stalin’s country. (...) The film “Two Days” differs from all other Soviet films that we have seen in that it concentrates the drama not on the mass, but on the individual . ” In the same period Dziga Vertov (David Kaufman) works for VUFKU, staging the documentary film “The Eleventh” about the construction of a hydroelectric power station. Leonid Mogilevsky based on 40 thousand meters of chronicles about revolutionary events the film “How it was” in 1928 and the “Document of the Age”, where chronicles about the entrance of the White Guard in Kiev, the proclamation of the UPR in 1918 and the hetman’s banquet were unknown to the public. . He, along with A. Dovzhenko, organizes the first film library in Ukraine, which includes 350 negatives of VUFKU and approximately 2100 copies of Soviet and foreign films.
Two times for the adaptation of his scenarios, Vladimir Mayakovsky arrives in Ukraine, first in 1922, then between 1926 and 1928. But, like in Russia, he is confronted at VUFKU with incomprehension and indecision of directors; he does not find a director who can film his innovative scenarios. 10 scenarios VUFKU ordered Mayakovsky, and only 2 of them were filmed, satirical elements in advance. These are children's films “Three” by O. Solovyov and “Oktyabryukhov and Dєkabryukhov” by O. Smirnova and O. Iskander.
Between 1928 and 1929, many more films were shot, the most striking of which being the “Sold Appetite” by M. Okhlopkov, “Jimmy Giggins” and “The Night Carrier” by G. Tasin, “Arsenal” by A. Dovzhenko, “The Man with the Movie Camera ” D Vertov and “Downpour” I. Kavaleridze . A prominent theme in the films of VUFKU is the emancipation of women. She is revealed in the films “The Student” by O. Kapler, “The Loop of a Dead” by O. Pereguda and “The Great Sorrow of a Small Woman” by M. Tereshchenko.
WUFKU also gives way to young animators . As early as 1926, the VUFKU organized an animated combine headed by V. Lewandowski and V. Devyatkin, as well as with their artists-phasing artists S. Guetsky, E. Gorbach, I. Lazarchuk . For film magazines who accompanied the screening of films, the combine creates a film about studying Ukrainian language “Ukrainization” (dir. V.Devyatkin), “The Tale of the Stallion goby” and “The Tale about Belochka the Hostess and the Fiend Mouse” (dir. V.Levandovsky ). To create his works, V. Levandovsky invents an automatic pencil - a distant precursor of computer animation . Subsequently, he is invited to Moscow and he will not complete another of his animated film “Knock-knock on the Hunt.” In the 30s he will participate in the creation of "Soyuzmultfilm". In 1929, animators B. Zeilinger, G. Zlochevsky and D. Mucha put out the first animated film “Strawberry Jam” in Ukraine. Another Ukrainian by birth, Alexander Ptushko, finds himself in Moscow, where he will create the world's first full-length puppet animation tape “New Gulliver”.
Cultural and educational films
Special attention is paid to culture films in VUFKU. Most of the filmmaking at the beginning of VUFKU activities (at least 165 films during the first three years) falls on popular science, agricultural, anti-religious, educational, instructional and sanitary-educational tapes. Since 1922, special halls have been equipped for the demonstration of such films, and in ordinary halls any session necessarily consists of a feature film, a chronicle and a cultural film. Films are created in such a way that they are understood by illiterate and uneducated viewers. VUFKU regularly invited to international conferences on popular science cinema. Due to this, Ukrainian tapes have the opportunity to be exported abroad (for example, “Rabies and the fight against it” by D. Volzhin for the Pasteur Institute or “Askania-Nova” by G. Tasin, which was awarded in 1925 in Paris)
Decline and destruction of a VUFKU
Due to the fact that the Ukrainian SSR for a long time managed to keep its diplomatic missions and trade mission abroad, Ukrainian films had the opportunity to be shown at exhibitions and cinematic events in Leipzig , Milan , Paris, Königsberg, Vienna, Prague, Marseille , Cologne , Madrid . Ukrainian filmmaking has been the subject of interest of Austrian historians and the Prague Film Museum. Everywhere there were publications about VUFKU. Famous people of France regularly write about Ukrainian cinema: Henri Barbusse , Leon Musinac, Rene Marchand, Yevgeny Deslav. The latter even created a branch of the Society of Friends of Soviet Cinema, Friends of Ukrainian Cinema, and advertises films, despite the absence of real markets as a result of the isolation of Soviet countries. In 1927, during his visit to the French Republic, People's Commissar of Education N. Skrypnyk even tried to establish direct cultural ties between Soviet Ukraine and France. The Ukrainian People's Commissar tried to give as much information as possible about the WUFC films, which were too often considered Russian products.
Meanwhile, in Moscow at the end of 1927, the idea arose of subordinating the cinema of the union republics to the center. O. Shub, the director of VUFKU at that time, appeals these intentions in the pages of Kino magazine: “It’s clear that one wonders about uniting all national film organizations under one leadership, puts this matter in such a way and solves it with a slight hand movement. . Lunacharsky is like asking a question about unification under the sole leadership of the school affairs of all national republics. The establishment of some kind of unified management of the entire Allied cinematography will lead to the destruction of this section of national culture, to the hegemony of one film organization over all others ” (1927 No. 21-22). The leadership of VUFKU appealed to the Chairman of the People's Commissariat for Trade, M.Skripnik, delegations went to Moscow, who defended the independence of the cinema at various levels. But in March 1928, after the All-Union Party Film Conference, the leadership of VUFKU was changed, O. Shub was dismissed, and Ivan Vorobyov took over (the success of the next 2 years is the result of the work of the previous leadership). The pioneers who raised VUFKU - Chardynin, Gardin, Lundin, Sazonov - called the reactionaries, nostalgic for the pre-revolutionary cinema. 1929 was a year of great breakthroughs; in the cinema of Ukraine, the successes achieved over the seven years of the activity of VUFCU, both creative and economic, were curtailed. There are numerous reorganizations at film studios, circulars are sent out in which the main points are ideological accuracy, the cultural revolution, Komsomolization and proletarianization, as well as control over co-production with foreign countries. The beginning of the end of the golden time of the Ukrainian revival in the cinema was laid.
The cinema of Ukraine was independent, that is, subordinate to the People's Commissariat of Ukraine, formally - until 1933 (the year when the Council of People's Commissars adopted the USSR “On the organization of the head department of the Soviet Communist Party of the USSR Council of People's Commissars”), and in fact - until 1929. But the forces were unequal. The fall in production began in 1929, and it lasted in 1930 as well. In November 1930, the VUFKU was reorganized into Ukrainafilm, subordinate to Soyuzkino (which appeared on the remnants of Sovkino), and a few years later, with the final loss of economic independence, this institution ceased to exist.
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