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A short summary


Masha Novikova (Kyiv, 1989) is a writer and director born and raised in a Jewish family of artists in Kyiv, Ukraine.

In 2010, Novikova moved to Magdeburg, Germany to participate in the Voluntary Social Work Year program. She then studied fine arts under Professor Karin Kneffel and Professor Julian Rosefeldt at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany, and earned a degree with distinction in Fine Arts (Meisterschülerin Prof. Karin Kneffel). At the Academy, she discovered a passion for video art. This led her to pursue a MA in Filmmaking at London Film School, studying under directors Richard Kwietniowski and Rafael Kapelinski. She is also an alumna of Berlinale Talents, Sarajevo and Locarno Filmmakers Academy, and a member of Primetime Network, BAFTA Connect Network, and European Women's Audiovisual Network.

Her graduation short film Glorious Revolution (2021) won 3rd prize in the La Cinef section at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, two major awards at Hamptons IFF, the Peter Macgregor-Scott Memorial Award and the University Short Film Award and Best UK Short Film Award at Raindance FF. The film was also shortlisted for the 2022 Yugo BAFTA Student Awards in the Live Action category and selected by more than twenty international film festivals, such as Locarno FF, Sao Paulo IFF, Edinburgh IFF, Poitiers FF, and others. Glorious Revolution will air on France 2 and Canal+ (Poland).

Novikova is currently developing her debut feature film, Pornoland, with the support of Short Circuit’s First Features development fund (Scotland).


My narrative films revolve around Ukraine, exploring the lives of Ukrainians both within the country and abroad, while challenging expectations. My characters are displaced, naive and look at the world with virgin eyes. At the same time, their naivety stresses the established order of the environment in which they enter, thereby opening up a new perspective on the situation or problem. Often, they have doubts and an ambivalent attitude towards reality, they are driven by their desires, which deceive them. 

Each film originates from questions that personally intrigue me. At the heart of my latest short film, Glorious Revolution (2021), is the question: Is it justifiable to fight for good causes, even at the expense of human life? Despite Ukraine's status as a victim of foreign aggression, the film highlights the country's own enduring history of errors, injustices, and deceit. I traveled with it to various film festivals across Europe, engaging broader audiences in discussions. Through interacting with the audience and participating in numerous passionate discussions surrounding the film, I discovered my chosen path—to create subversive films.  

For my upcoming debut feature film Pornoland, I am working closely with my longtime collaborator, Matthew McHaffie. As immigrants—me from Ukraine, residing in Germany, and Matthew from Kenya, residing in Scotland—we often encounter the expectation that the film industry desires narratives revolving around poverty, economic exploitation, and racial oppression. While we understand this impulse, ultimately, we want to be free to complicate the traditional notions of 'good' and 'bad' within our society by creating subversive content that is filled with humor. We hope this film will make our audience laugh as well as think, because that is what all of us need right now more than anything.