Sundance & SIFF Winner “Porcelain War” by Aniela Sidorska

Sundance & SIFF Winner “Porcelain War” by Aniela Sidorska

Update: the movie has won the Best Documentary and the Golden Space Needle awards at SIFF and can compete at the 2025 Oscars. Congratulations! The movie streams at SIFF till May 27.

Seattle International Film Festival presents the documentary movie “Porcelain War” co-produced and co-written by the local filmmaker and the member of the Seattle Polish community Aniela Sidorska (Jr.). She was the principal producer and the creative force behind the movie. The film received the US Grand Jury Prize at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival and Best Documentary and People’s Choice Awards at the 2024 Boulder International Film Festival. There is an additional Polish connection with the movie as there is a beautiful animation sequence there done by a Warsaw based company called BluBlu Studios.

As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on, Kharkiv-based Slava Leontyev and Anya Stasenko make tiny porcelain figurines. What does it mean to continue with their artistic passions as the world crumbles around them?

“Ukraine is like porcelain, easy to break, but impossible to destroy.” —Co-director, Brendan Bellomo

Under roaring fighter jets and missile strikes, Ukrainian artists Slava, Anya, and Andrey choose to stay behind and fight, contending with the soldiers they have become. Defiantly finding beauty amid destruction, they show that although it’s easy to make people afraid, it’s hard to destroy their passion for living. The award-winning feature documentary “Porcelain War” argues that, while under a vicious attack, you can learn to fight back using all the tools you have including your art. Imbued with the striking nature of Kharkiv, the film also features music by Ukrainian force of sound DakhaBrakha, which is not easily forgotten. “We’re ordinary people in an extraordinary situation” is how co-director Slava Leontyev describes their current life. Though there is nothing ordinary about them—these artists, farmers, IT specialists—they together to fight their oppressor. “Porcelain War” is a sobering and hopeful cinematic experience. Co-directors Leontyev and Bellomo manage to capture the dissonance between the horrors of war and the fragile, artful beauty of nature. Anya and Slava’s porcelain pieces come to life in intricately crafted animations that offer context to their story and a vital, beautiful outlet for processing grief.  —Eden Sapir.

ANIELA SIDORSKA (Producer, Writer, Editor) is a Polish-born filmmaker whose love of film began when she first experienced cinema in her early childhood. After studying art in San Francisco, she went on to be a visual effects compositor on “Captain America: The First Avenger”, a compositing supervisor on the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner and Oscar nominee for Best Picture “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, and a visual effects producer on such films as Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and “The Expendables 3″. Her small-screen credits include the series “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Blacklist,” “The Americans” and “Elementary.” Most recently, she was involved in creature development for the Netflix “Original Chupa” and was a co-writer on the feature film, “Extra Ordinary”, now in development. Upon discovering porcelain artists in Ukraine, Sidorska went on to develop, write and produce “Porcelain War”, which won the 2024 Sundance Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Documentary. She is a voting member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

The movie is available at two screenings: at SIFF Cinema Downtown (Cinerama) on Sunday, May 12 at 6 pm and at SIFF Cinema Uptown on Monday, May 13 at 4 pm. Later it is available in SIFF streaming from May 20 to May 27.

More: movie at SIFF, official film website


Starts On

May 12, 2024 - 6:00 pm

Ends On

May 27, 2024 - 10:00 pm



Event Tags

Movie, Ukraine, Women