Berlin-based sales outfit M-Appeal has debuted the trailer (below) for the Israeli-Ukrainian drama “Valeria Is Getting Married,” which will have its world premiere in Venice’s Horizons Extra Friday.
The film will have its North American premiere at Toronto Film Festival on Sept. 14, where it is part of the Contemporary World Cinema lineup.
The film, directed by Israeli female filmmaker Michal Vinik, is shot from the perspective of two Ukrainian sisters, and follows the tense emotional journey that unfolds over the course of one day. Valeria (Dasha Tvoronovich) arrives in Israel to meet the man she is supposed to marry, thanks to a deal made online. She is following in the footsteps of her older sister Christina (Lena Fraifeld), who is happy with her new life in Israel, but Valeria struggles with the decision.
The accessible, emotionally-charged chamber drama, confined to a few interior rooms for a large part of the film, formally reflects the restricted options that both sisters face as a result of the gendered and economic power relations they are living in. As conversations unfold between the main characters, so do the nuanced implications of their choices and expectations.
This is Vinik’s second feature, following her lesbian coming-of-age drama “Barash” (2015), which was also sold by M-Appeal. “Barash” was picked up for distribution in 26 territories, and took home a raft of festival awards.
“Valeria Is Getting Married” is produced by Israel’s Lama Films whose filmography includes “Paradise Now,” “Jellyfish” and “Tel Aviv on Fire.” The film is co-produced by Kyiv-based production company ForeFilms, a company founded in 2020 by Vladimir and Anna Yatsenko, who previously co-produced “Atlantis” and “Reflection.”
The Venice press and industry screening is on Friday at 2:30 p.m. local time in Sala Giardino. The first public screening with a Q&A is Friday at 9:00 p.m. in Sala Giardino.