August, 2023 | Kyiv, Ukraine

We are waiting.

“We are Waiting” explores war's echoes through three intersecting lives, unveiling the lasting damage on children.

Moschun, a small village 20km outside of Kyiv. Along with its sister village Bucha, they’re known as the shield of Kyiv by the locals, for it was these villages that took the full force of the Russian invasion in February 2022. 

It’s in this village where it’s difficult to find a single wall, gate, or fence that isn’t filled with bullet holes. However, there was one gate which stood out. It glistened with light and colour for it was covered with child-like paintings of hearts and flowers.. with bullet holes at the centre. 

The artist.. Polina, is a young girl who experienced the full force of the Russian invasion in her village and escaped through a series of bunkers. As she grapples with trauma and returns to her destroyed village, facing her fears and hoping that at least something from her home survived. Now, living in a small barn struggling to survive, she can only dream of sitting by the beach for a picnic with her friends again one day. 

“We Are Waiting” is a gripping and heartfelt documentary that intersects the stories of three female characters whose profound and multi-generational perspectives bring depth and dimension to war’s effects on the youngest and most vulnerable – the children. 

The grandmother, Anya, impacted by the murder of her family in front of her as a child struggles to understand why the world hasn’t learnt its lessons with war surrounding her again. She weeps at the thought that she was born into war and will now die in a war. The teenager, Polina, forced to grow up prematurely, confronts the challenges of coming into adolescence in the darkest of circumstances, tortured by distressing dreams of Putin, she tries to . Meanwhile, a mother and psychologist tasked with preserving humanity becomes a beacon of solace while embracing her family trauma, and coming close to ending her own life.

These stories unfold through the empathetic lens of Polish/Australian director Agnes Burrell, who’s family history goes back to the First and Second World War in Poland. “We Are Waiting” exposes the complex nature of war, culture and generational damage. The documentary is shedding light on the war atrocities in Ukraine while also looking inside the profound human capacity to endure, adapt, and ultimately find hope. 

This story speaks to the lives of 468+ million children who are currently affected by war and armed conflicts globally. 

It’s a testament to the unyielding spirit that emerges even in the darkest of times, leaving audiences with a renewed sense of concern, empathy and understanding for those who are facing the unimaginable. The impact of armed conflict on children is everyone’s responsibility. We can start by acknowledging it and understanding their needs. 

They Are Waiting.

Play Video

"We were at home. Then we got called and got told that there will be a war in the morning. "

"Death to the enemy."

As we follow Polina’s journey, we witness how play becomes a therapeutic outlet for these innocent souls to cope with the harsh realities of war.

The children, seeking to understand the world they inhabit, venture into the nearby forest, where they build trenches and checkpoints as imaginative representations of the battles they’ve witnessed. Through their innocent games, they grapple with the complexities of war, attempting to make sense of the chaos that has disrupted their lives.

“We are Waiting” hopes to shed light on the harsh realities of war and explore the resilience and indomitable spirit of children. In the midst of destruction, these young souls embrace their innocence and use it as a powerful weapon to reclaim their childhoods.

Feature Documentary

The stories of Polina, Anya and Olenja will be told through a deep sense of empathy and understanding. Giving the viewer the truest experience possible without over-sensationalizing the issues we’re addressing.

Through the use of cinematic imagery, music, sound design and animation we will bring their worlds alive in an intimate way. 

 

 

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August 2022
Discovery
Our first trip to Ukraine opened our eyes to the reality of this war and gave us a first-hand experience of what had happened and the response of the Ukrainian people.
August 2022
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August 2022
The Gate
On our final days in Ukraine we came across this gate, that left us speechless. We were compelled to find who was behind it.
August 2022
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August 2022
Filming
We were able to spend our final day in Ukraine with the family and children of the village, capturing them painting two more gates, playing in their trenches and fort and gaining a glimpse into how life looks now.
August 2022
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December 2022
Surviving Winter
We followed the family through the winter season with the assistance of a local producer.
December 2022
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January 2023
Development
Since returning back to Australia, we have been in communication with the family and exploring the best pathway to communicate this story.
January 2023
UKRAINE AID 27
November 2023
AID DELIVERY
Launching fundraiser for winter supplies and preparing to return to Ukraine in November 2023. We deliver essential aid to the region of Kherson and partner with local Ukranian organisation My Home Project.

While there, we had a chance to hold some key interviews and learn more of the story we had stumbled upon during our first trip.
November 2023
February 2024
FUNDING and IMPACT
Establishing fundraising channel and begin applying for funding grants. This will allow us to begin establishing the production formally through budgeting, research and building the best team for this story.

We also beging planning and making connections with impact partners so that this story will be seen by the right people and make maximum impact.
February 2024
August 2024
PRODUCTION
We hope to be able to return to Ukraine later this year with a production team to film interviews and supporting footage. This will be guided by the outcomes of the development phase.
August 2024

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