Our Baba Babee Skazala Team

 
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Matej Silecky

Director

Matej is the Founding Director of Kitsune Tale Productions LLC, but is perhaps best known for being the Runner Up on ITV's "Dancing On Ice" 2018, with his celebrity partner, Brooke Vincent of ITV's "Coronation Street." Matej earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley (film, choreography, landscape architecture, Russian) and a minor in Theater, Dance & Performance Studies. His years of performance experience in fields ranging from competitive dance to acting (screen & stage), to figure skating, combined with his screenwriting, film production & editing experience, give him a strong base from which to develop impactful productions.

Julie Parker

Producer

Julie is excited by the opportunity to utilize her years of business and legal experience to bring this project to fruition.  She is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York (B.S., cum laude) and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio (J.D.). While a practicing attorney, Ms. Parker co-founded and managed, with her husband, an international law firm in Kyiv, Ukraine. The firm, established shortly after Ukraine declared independence in 1991, grew substantially over the years and ultimately merged with Dentons, where her husband remains a Partner. Throughout this time and since retiring from legal practice, Ms. Parker served on the Boards and/or as Legal Counsel of numerous non-profit organizations, and was actively involved in their grant application efforts and fundraising campaigns.

 
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Will Lehman

Editor

Will has over a decade’s editing experience on documentaries and narrative features. He is known for his work on many award-winning documentary films, including “Meru,” “Chicago 10” and “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.” His directorial debut, “The Iron Triangle,” premiered at DOC NYC in 2017.

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Karen Everett

Story Editor

Karen Everett is one of the world's leading documentary story editors. Founder of New Doc Editing, LLC, she has helped hundreds of filmmakers structure transformational documentaries for PBS, HBO, Sundance and other top film festivals. Her business provides directors with talented documentary editors, as well as story consultants. Karen taught for 18 years at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, named the #1-ranked documentary program in America by Documentary Magazine. She can be reached at Karen@newdocediting.com.

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Andriy Korvach

Animator

Andriy is from the Hutsul region of Ukraine. He attended the National Academy of Fine Art of Ukraine (NAFAU), Department of Sculpture. He created a monumental work titled “Fate” dedicated to the first emigrants from Western Ukraine to Canada. As a post-graduate at NAFAU, he studied under famous Ukrainian artist Vasyl Zaharovych Boroday, earning Master of Sculpture. Andriy’s ceramics, bronze and marble artworks are exhibited and kept in private collections in many countries, and on display at the Presidential Administration of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

Andriy’s creative & thoughtful approaches were instrumental in bringing the memories of Baba Babee Skazala to life!

 
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Ivan Nebesnyy

Music Supervisor & Sound Design

Ivan studied under renowned Ukrainian composer, Myroslav Skoryk, at The Mykola Lysenko Lviv National Music Academy (Ukraine), where he also won the Kulturkontakt Austria scholarship to participate in the Fifth International Academy for New Composition. He is a composer of the Ukrainian new generation, who is trying to compensate for the isolation of his predecessors, and applying the experience of European post-avantgarde composers into his works. His main specialization is music for symphony orchestra, chamber music, music for theatre, film soundtracks, multimedia projects. His work has been performed in many international music festivals and by innumerable orchestras and groups in Ukraine, including the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. Details of these performances & awards can be found on his website. Ivan is also a prodigious musical producer, having organized performances and festivals in Ukraine and other European countries, both for his own ensembles and the works of others.

Ivan’s deftly applied his expertise to composing, sound design and mixing just when our team needed it!

Andriy Vishko

Sound Engineer

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Evan Yee

Cinematographer

Evan is a freelance filmmaker living in Los Angeles, California. His love of visual storytelling stems from a young age, always playing with cameras if he could get his hands on them. Thus, he decided to pursue filmmaking as a career, and attended Emerson College, as well as doing a summer program at the Prague Film School (FAMU). At Emerson he directed his senior thesis “Buying Bouquets, which is currently playing at smaller film festivals on the East Coast. He also was the cinematographer on several projects, the most recent being Racing the Sunrise, an official short selection of the Cannes Short Film Corner. After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Evan moved to Los Angeles where he continues to work in all aspects of the film and television industry. With the skills Evan has amassed, he hopes to utilize his creative eye on "Baba Babee Skazala" to inform and impact audiences.

 
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Trevor Bumgarner

Composer

From North Carolina, Trevor is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. Recent projects spread across multiple fields and genres, including scoring a variety of films and web series, in addition to participating in BMI’s Composing for the Screen Workshop. He wrote Light Compass, a work with choreographer Dana Genshaft for the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute. He was the arranger, orchestrator, and a co-story developer for the Off-Broadway musical Crashlight at the Cherry Lane Theater.

Trevor was a recipient of the inaugural Julliard Career Advancement Fellowship, as well as other accolades including an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Trevor Bumgarner attended UNC-Greensboro and The Juilliard School.

Matej met Trevor while teaching summer film & music courses with Digital Media Academy, and is excited to have been able to collaborate on Baba Babee Skazala.

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Marko Farion

Bandurist

Marko is widely respected as an accomplished bandurist, bass soloist, and bandura teacher. The bandura, a 55 stringed instrument that comes from a centuries old minstrel tradition, is known as Ukraine's national instrument. He received bandura and vocal training from the late Hryhory Kytasty, the bandura's pre-eminent composer. He also studied music and voice at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. His accomplishments include performances and recordings with the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, the Detroit Concert Choir, the Millennium Choir, and the Michigan Opera Theatre Chorus.

We are honored to have Marko’s bandura music as part of Baba Babee Skazala!

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Solomiya Ivakhiv

Violinist

Solomiya is known for her work as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed at Carnegie Hall & innumerable other notable locations and is the recipient of several international honors, including the Sergei Prokofiev and Yaroslav Kocian International Competitions, the Fritz Kreisler and Charles Miller Award from the Curtis Institute of Music, Award from the President of the Ukraine and 2016 New Scholar Award from the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts.

We are thrilled to have music from her debut solo album included in Baba Babee Skazala: Ukraine: Journey to Freedom – A Century of Classical Music for Violin and Piano was featured in the Top 5 New Classical Releases on the iTunes billboard.

Solomiya is also Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola and Head of Strings at the University of Connecticut and Professor of Violin at Longy School of Music of Bard College.

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Roksolana Varkhomiy

Singer

Roksolana is a proud owner of numerous opera and pop vocal grands prix, including Ukrainian competitions Sim-Sim & L’vivs’ka fortuna, and television festivals Zirky L’vova & Vivat. Roksolana was born in L’viv, Ukraine, where she is currently studying at L’viv National Mykola Lysenko Musical Academy.

Her professional experience and recognition are demonstrate her persistence and desire for self-improvement. Besides the vast number of awards, Roksolana has recorded several singles in different music styles. As a professional, Roksolana strives to perform on international stages and reach multicultural audiences. Her ultimate goal is to refine her skills and to grow as a cultural figure.

Roksolana’s vocals added the special touch we were seeking for Baba Babee Skazala!

 

Historical Advisors

Andrew Fedynsky

Mr. Fedynsky is the Director & Resident Scholar of the Ukrainian Museum Archives, Cleveland, Ohio, where he has committed years to developing an extensive collection of archival documents from World War II DP camps and Ukrainian refugees who spent time there. In academia, he is: a Fulbright Scholar; holds a MA, History from John Carroll University, Ohio, where he was also a History Instructor and was a Slavic Instructor at Ohio State University. Outside academia, Mr. Fedynsky has extensively lectured and published articles on history, immigration and Ukrainian topics. He was awarded the 2015 Freedom Award of the American Nationalities Movement for his “magnificent lifetime achievements: …talent as a scribe publishing outstanding articles supporting human rights for freedom loving people… and exceptional sensitivity and efforts supporting his rich Ukrainian heritage as director of the [UMA].”

Dr. Alexander Motyl

Dr. Motyl is a Professor, Political Science, at Rutgers University. Excerpting from his university bio: “He is a specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR, and on nationalism, revolutions, empires, and theory. He is the author of 10 books of nonfiction, including … Dilemmas of Independence: Ukraine after Totalitarianism (1993); … the editor of 15 volumes, including The Encyclopedia of Nationalism (2000) and The Holodomor Reader (2012); and a contributor of dozens of articles to academic and policy journals, newspaper op-ed pages, and magazines… [Dr.] Motyl is [also a] novelist, poet, and painter. …Motyl’s artwork has been shown in solo and group shows in New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto. A native New Yorker, Motyl received his Ph.D. in political science, master of philosophy in political science, and master of international affairs from Columbia University. He earned his B.A. in history from Columbia College.”

Advisors

Andrew Mysko

Andrew is a Ukrainian-American film producer (Radioaktive Films [us], 2018 winner of the Shots Awards Production Service Company of the Year), whose credits as Executive Producer include the documentaries: 

The Ground Truth (2006) [Winner, Women’s Film Critic Circle Awards, Best Documentary: Above & Beyond (2006); Nominated, Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize, Documentary (2006)] 
Obstacle (2005)
We Will Not Die Like Dogs (2005)
Palestine Blues (2006)
Pennhurst (2008) 
Additional production credits include numerous films and TV series episodes.

Ihor Figlus

Ihor, Project mentor, is a first-generation Ukrainian-American whose parents are among those who fled Ukraine in World War II. Mr. Figlus collects histories of Ukrainians in the Denver area, his hometown. He also returned to Ukraine after it declared independence in 1991 and lived there for nearly 20 years. During this time, his positions included work at the US Embassy, Executive Director of an investment fund in Ukraine, President and Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce and Chairman, Board of Directors of Plast, National Scouting Organization of Ukraine

 

Interns

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MERRITT GOHN

Merritt is a 2018 graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, CA where she majored in English and Media Studies. She uses her love of language and film to produce impactful and unique content for various types of platforms. Recently she was credited as a junior researcher for the BBC series The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway: The Final CountdownIn her spare time, Merritt enjoys listening to podcasts, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and playing Ultimate Frisbee. 

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Jason Kim

Jason is recent graduate of Boston University, where he majored in Film & TV with a minor in English. Using the two he wants to create his own style of film and television so that everyone is entertained. He has experience making short documentaries, having spent some time working on one about Boston City Council Candidate, Deeqo Jibril. In his spare time, Jason enjoys writing stories, playing video games, reading books, and contemplating what could be done to improve them.

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Weihao Li

Katrina is a 2018 graduate of Boston University, where she majored in Communication, Film & TV, combining an academic background in film production with mass communication to launch a career as filmmaker. She has ample experience in video production and marketing. She has been working at BUTV10, which is the Boston University’s student-run TV station. She also worked as video producer in several Chinese media startups. Katrina is passionate on film and hopes to utilizes her skills to impact people. 

 
 
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MARGARYTA MALIUKOVA

Margaryta is a native of Kharkiv, Ukraine.  She is a recent graduate of Columbia College, studying comparative literature and society, which she attended as a finalist of the USA/USA program, administered through the non-profit Ukrainian Students' Association in the USA whose mission is to develop a core of world class leaders for Ukraine. In her spare time, Margaryta loves writing, languages, philosophy, and travelling all around Ukraine. We are grateful that Margaryta’s internship with us was supported through Columbia University’s Career Education Funding Programs.

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YING ZHOU

Ying combines an academic background in communication studies and broadcast journalism, with professional experience in documentary production to create social documentaries.  She has produced three short documentaries so far, including the recent production, I Is Black Girl. As a graduate student at Boston University College of Communication, Ying also has multiple experiences in the media industry, such as public relations, marketing communication research, and advertising.

 
 
 
 Picture Credit:  Alessandra Sawick

Picture Credit: Alessandra Sawick

Glacier

Mascot

Glacier is known as the “Rockin’ Rescue Dog” and is Matej’s Most Loyal Protector. He traveled from sea to shining sea with Matej, crossing the United States by car two times to support our team’s oral history interviews for Baba Babee Skazala. His favorite location is the mountains of Colorado. 🌄