This is sponsored content provided by the Beverly Hills Film Festival.
Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is running in the presidential election scheduled for March 31 in her country.
VisionaireMedia executive producer Jerome Gary — who produced the Oscar-nominated Schwarzenegger-fueled documentary Pumping Iron — and director-producer Mary Lambert, the renowned Pet Sematary director, have started principal photography on their new documentary, Believe! The Yulia Tymoshenko Story. The film is about Yulia Tymoshenko, centered around her current campaign to be elected president of Ukraine.
Lambert says, “The planet is in a state of peril, and we will research and present Tymoshenko as a candidate who thinks in terms of reforms that can truly change the world and unite people in combating the refugee crisis, wars, dictatorships and corruption on a global scale. We want to raise the consciousness of people in the U.S. regarding this amazing woman and leader, who will implement a new democratic direction for Ukraine and fight for human rights with radical reforms.”
The director believes that Tymoshenko, who twice held the position of prime minister of Ukraine, has become a symbolic leader who fights for progressive and innovative reforms in every field. Tymoshenko has said that she wants Ukraine to become a laboratory for saving the planet, gathering world leaders around one table to discuss the future of a world in crisis, find global solutions and act on them.
Lambert feels strongly that Tymoshenko is a powerful advocate for pro-Western values and that only Tymoshenko, because of her personal history and struggle, is capable of defending democracy in Ukraine and standing as a buffer against the spread of corruption and authoritarianism.
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Lambert continues, “It has been my dream now for more than 10 years to film Yulia. Much of my work as a filmmaker has been focused on woman as the protagonist. I have worked with Madonna, Hillary Clinton, Janet Jackson, Jodie Foster, Ellen Barkin, Annie Lennox, Barbara Boxer, Elisabeth Moss, Whitney Houston, to name a few, and, for me, Yulia is a true hero.
"After the release of my documentary 14 Women, about the women of the U.S. Senate, which featured then-senator Hillary Clinton, I wanted to make a follow-up film about the subject of women in leadership," Lambert adds. "My research led me to Yulia and her compelling story, which is a metaphor for the struggles that women face to achieve leadership positions and an affirmation of something that I truly believe, which is that women’s voices are critical to the survival of Planet Earth.”
Film director, producer and editor Shawn Thompson also has agreed to join the project. Thompson is a Beverly Hills Film Festival three-time Best Documentary winner, for Life After Death, American Caravan and The State of Assyria. Thompson and Lambert previously collaborated on the Sundance Channel series On the Road in America.
Ukraine-based producer Christina Kushch Katrakis will run the project from there. The group will film on location in Ukraine, focusing on the political campaign of Yulia Tymoshenko, as well as Ukrainians who trust and support her candidacy.