Address by the President of Ukraine to the guests and participants of the Lithuanian National Film Award Sidabrinė gervė in Vilnius

Greetings from Kyiv!

I will start this address with a short yet very important quote. “If we live in some world, we hear some songs or radio, we watch some movies – this is all that creates us, creates our mentality.” These are the words of Mantas Kvedaravičius. He told them commenting on his film about Mariupol. A film with which he wanted to show how war affects the city. How war changes people.

And these are seemingly simple words. But they are really about how it is determined what kind of life people have and what kind of people they are.

Art itself, culture – in all its forms and in all their senses – shape people, educate them. Or vice versa – close them in the dark, in lies. And it can also be the responsibility of movies, books, songs and radio – everything we hear, see, read.

That is why it is important to bear the truth. It is important to support art that is for life, not for those who want to destroy that life.

Ukrainians will remember Mantas Kvedaravičius as a man who was just like that. He really deserves the Golden Swan. He valued life and always spoke out against what was life-threatening in his view – and that was a very attentive view.

And I ask you to be just as attentive. So that you also support life. And remember Ukraine, Mariupol, and the fact that this war that took Mantas’ life, Russia’s war against Ukraine, must end. End as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Glory to Ukraine!

Info. The Lithuanian National Film Award Sidabrinė gervė was held under the patronage of Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė. The ceremony was broadcast live on Lithuanian national television. This year, the highest award of the ceremony – “Golden Swan” – was given for merits to Lithuanian documentary filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius, who died at the hands of the Russian occupiers in Mariupol.