Monday, September 21, 2009


Budapest, 18 September 2009
Uzhhgorod International Television Festival 2009 Announces Award for Film on Roma in Ukraine
Best Visual Coverage Award for Mundi Romani episode Ukraine 2008 - School Segregation

The My Native Land Uzhorod International Television Festival 2009 announced its winners today. Among the international jury’s choices for Best Television Productions this year, the Mundi Romani – the World through Roma Eyes documentary series ( won the Best Visual Coverage Award with its episode”Ukraine 2008 - School Segregation”. The Romedia Foundation and Duna Television Hungary coproduction is a second-time winner at My Native Land. In 2008, the Best Television Production Award went to Mundi Romani’s „Trapped – the Forgotten Story of the Mitrovica Roma”.

„Ukraine 2008” director Katalin Barsony expressed her gratitude today to the jury for enabling this shocking account of the causes and consequences of school segregation to reach a large Ukrainian public through the recognition brought by the award.

„Ukraine 2008”, the 15th episode of Mundi Romani, was shot in October 2008 in Western Ukraine. Despite worlwide reports that the general rate of poverty in the country has been decreasing for quite some years, the film bears witness to a situation for Ukraine’s Roma minority characterized by a public health disaster, total school segregation, malnutrition and squalor on a level seen in sub-Saharan Africa. An alarming in-depth report from a mere 40 km from the EU’s doors, nearly 20 years after the fall of the Soviet regime.

In Uzhhorod, an ethnically mixed and formerly Hungarian town in Trancarpathia lying close to Hungary’s border, there is so much of last century’s tempestuous history in the story of the Roma that the place really seems like a social scientist’s paradise. Here, the Roma are the minority of minorities and face daunting challenges. Here, Hungarian minority status serves as a basis for the total segregation of Roma children in the region’s schools. A shocking account from Roma men, women and children, the local school director, a human rights activist and a representative of the local authorities offers a complex picture, full of contradictions and very much characteristic of the untold stories this region seems to be so rich in.

In this episode, again, Mundi Romani gives a voice to the voiceless and provides a unique insight into the life of the Roma in Ukraine and into the complex social mechanisms which allow tens of thousands of children across the Eastern European region to be denied basic education on account of their ethnic origins. A testimony from 21st century Europe.

Check the English version:[film][keyvalue]=44#film

Katalin Bársony
Editor in Chief
Mundi Romani
Romedia Foundation
+36 30 532 84 21

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