Berlinale: Programme

Film File


Koly padayut dereva

When the Trees Fall

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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.

Marysia Nikitiuk

Ukraine / Poland / Macedonia 2018


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
Michal Englert, Mateusz Wichlacz
Blaze Dulev, Milenia Fiedler, Ivan Bannikov
Mykyta Moiseiev
Sound Design
Oleksandr Shatkivskyi
Oleksandr Shatkivskyi
Production Design
Vlad Dudko
Kostyantyn Kravets
Tetyana Khoroshun, Tetyana Bovt
Alla Samoilenko
Assistant Director
Kateryna Stebnovska
Production Manager
Dmytro Chervonyi
Igor Savychenko, Roman Klympush, Volodymyr Filippov, Serge Lavrenyuk, Izabela Wojcik, Violetta Kaminska, Dariusz Jablonski, Darko Basheski
Message Film, Warschau
Fokus In, Skopje


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

Produced by

Directory Films

World sales

Latido Films