“They say when you get goosebumps, your soul touches your body.”

It‘s Masha, Yana and Senia‘s last but one year of high school. Among the thriving pot plants in the classroom and to the sound effects of a Biology lesson about physical signs of stress, the young protagonists grapple with themselves and with one another. 16-year-old Masha is the quiet center of Kateryna Gornostai’s feature debut. Steering clear of both simplified narratives and overly simplistic psychology, the film depicts her as introverted, sensitive and in love with Sasha, another classmate whose aloofness and passivity she finds a perpetual challenge. When Masha is dancing alone in her room at night, high above the rooftops of a city somewhere in the Ukraine, nothing about it feels staged. Rather, it is an invocation of the moment, of genuine emotion – and of pain.
by Kateryna Gornostai
with Maria Fedorchenko, Arsenii Markov, Yana Isaienko, Oleksandr Ivanov
Ukraine 2021 Ukrainian 122’ Colour recommendation: 14 years and up

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


  • Maria Fedorchenko (Masha Chernyh)
  • Arsenii Markov (Senia Steshenko)
  • Yana Isaienko (Yana Bratiychuk)
  • Oleksandr Ivanov (Sasha Hanskyi)


Written and Directed by Kateryna Gornostai
Cinematography Oleksandr Roshchyn
Editing Nikon Romanchenko, Kateryna Gornostai
Music Maryana Klochko
Sound Design Mykhailo Zakutskyi
Sound Oleg Goloveshkin
Production Design Maxym Nimenko
Costumes Alyona Gres
Make-Up Mariia Pylunska
Casting Kateryna Gornostai
Production Manager Andrii Naumchuk
Producers Vitalii Sheremetiev, Vika Khomenko, Natalia Libet, Olga Beskhmelnytsina
Executive Producers Gennady Kofman, Oleksii Zgonik

Kateryna Gornostai

The director, writer and editor was born in Lutsk, Ukraine in 1989. She studied at the Marina Razbezhkina and Mikhail Ugarov School of Documentary Film and Theatre in Moscow and began making documentaries in 2012. She later moved into fiction and hybrid forms. Alongside her work as a filmmaker, she also teaches documentary filmmaking in a number of educational projects.


2013 Mizh namy (Between Us); short documentary 2014 Euromaidan. Chornovy montazh (Euromaidan. Rough Cut); documentary 2015 Viddalik (Away); short film · Skriz maidan (Maidan Is Everywhere); documentary 2016 Zgushhonka (Condensed); short film 2017 Buzok (Lilac); short film 2018 Crocodyl (Crocodile); short film 2021 Stop-Zemlia

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021