Koly padayut dereva

When the Trees Fall
It’s the summer holidays, and forty days have passed since Larysa’s father died. In a fairy-tale sequence, the young woman traverses a swampy landscape where a group of couples surrender to their sexual desires. Larysa’s boyfriend Scar, a handsome criminal, is caught up in a spiral of crime in which he becomes ever more enmeshed as the story evolves. His is a world of post-Soviet prefab concrete buildings, Larysa’s a deceptively idyllic village community somewhere in the Ukraine. Their relationship soon becomes Larysa’s downfall when, all too soon, the family’s objections to it turn violent. Vitka is a little girl who also refuses to toe the line. Rebelling against her grandmother and her rules and regulations, she daydreams her life away in a fantasy land of surreal images.
The world in Marysia Nikitiuk’s feature film debut feels somehow wired; brutal in its moments of reality and yet beguiling as soon as it veers towards the fantastic. Regarded as the wild new hope of Ukrainian cinema, this writer-director has already won the ScripTeast Award in Cannes for her screenplay for Koly padayut dereva.
by Marysia Nikitiuk
with Anastasia Pustovit, Sofia Khalaimova, Maksym Samchyk, Maria Svizhinska, Petro Pastukhov, Mariia Trepikova, Yevgenii Grygoriev, Aelita-Viktoriia Avierman, Alla Samoilenko, Ivan Blindar
Ukraine / Poland / Macedonia 2018 Ukrainian 87’ Colour World premiere


  • Anastasia Pustovit (Larysa)
  • Sofia Khalaimova (Vitka)
  • Maksym Samchyk (Scar)
  • Maria Svizhinska (Ostapivna)
  • Petro Pastukhov (Vityulya)
  • Mariia Trepikova (Lenka)
  • Yevgenii Grygoriev (Kostik)
  • Aelita-Viktoriia Avierman (Nastya )
  • Alla Samoilenko (Tamara)
  • Ivan Blindar (Sanko)


Written and Directed by Marysia Nikitiuk
Cinematography Michal Englert, Mateusz Wichlacz
Editing Blaze Dulev, Milenia Fiedler, Ivan Bannikov
Music Mykyta Moiseiev
Sound Design Oleksandr Shatkivskyi
Sound Oleksandr Shatkivskyi
Production Design Vlad Dudko
Costumes Kostyantyn Kravets
Make-Up Tetyana Khoroshun, Tetyana Bovt
Casting Alla Samoilenko
Assistant Director Kateryna Stebnovska
Production Manager Dmytro Chervonyi
Producers Igor Savychenko, Roman Klympush, Volodymyr Filippov, Serge Lavrenyuk, Izabela Wojcik, Violetta Kaminska, Dariusz Jablonski, Darko Basheski
Co-Production Message Film Warschau
Fokus In Skopje

Produced by

Directory Films

Marysia Nikitiuk

Born in Ukraine in 1986, she is a director, screenwriter and novelist. She studied at the Taras Shevchenko National University and the Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University, both in Kiev. She has worked as a screenwriter since 2012 and began directing her own films in 2014.


2014 In Trees; short film · Mandragora; short film 2016 Rabies; short film 2017 Koly padayut dereva (When the Trees Fall); Panorama

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018