HOME GAMES is a broken fairytale depicting a crucial moment in the life of Alina, a 20-year-old "million dollars baby" from Kyiv, whose passion for football has a chance of saving her from poverty. Alina grew up on the streets in a poor suburb of the Ukrainian capital. While her parents were in jail for petty crimes, she started playing football with boys until a women's football trainer noticed her talent and signed her to Atex Kyiv, the only women's club in the city. Alina is now a pro player and it looks likely that she will be called up to play for Ukraine's national team. But suddenly, Alina's mum dies at the age of 39, leaving behind Alina's beloved half-brother and sister, Renat and regina, 6 ans 7 years old. Barely out of adolescence herself, Alina becomes a substitute mother. The children's father disappears. There is no money, and life is a mess. Alina's mother is on hand and tries to help but she's losing her eyesight. The dysfunctional family lives in a cramped one-room apartment. For a while, Alina quits football. She soon returns, but will she find the strength to save her family ans find her personal redemption? HOME GAMES is more than just a film about girls who play football: it’s a film about lost innocence, about responsibilities: how to make your dreams come true when the odds are stacked against you.
- Best European Documentary - Odesa IFF
- Stefan Serhiy Stetsenko
- Alisa Kovalenko
- Olha Zhurba
- Organe Marsilli aka Ladylike Lily
- SYNDICADO FILM SALES
- EAST ROAD FILMS
- STUDIO GARMATA FILM
- DOCEDU FOUNDATION & TELEWIZJA POLSKA
While also focusing on a talented player, who dreams of making it into the national team, the young Ukrainian director seems to be more interested in what happens to her character after the bruises have healed and the game is over.
Alisa Kovalenko’s new film, shown in the European Documentary Competition section of Odesa, focuses on a promising female football player who faces her biggest struggles off the field.
Alisa Kovalenko is an award-winning Ukrainian director, born in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, in 1987. She first studied journalism and then graduated from the Karpenko-Kary theatre & cinema university of Kyiv, specializing in documentary cinema. Alisa also studied at the Andrzej-Wajda cinema school in Warsaw, under the guidance of Marcel Lozinsky, one of the masters of Polish documentary cinema. After her debut documentary SISTER ZO screened in festivals, Alisa was caught (like other Ukrainian directors) in the turmoil of the Ukrainian revolution in 2014 and the subsequent war in Eastern Ukraine. Those events brought her from the barricades of Maidan to the toughest battle of the war, the battle of Donetsk airport, in Donbass. A second full-length documentary resulted from this filmmaker's journey through the bloody events, taking place in her own country, where she was tormented by the tension between filming/observing and becoming a participant. ALISA IN WARLAND premiered in the First Appearance Competition at IDFA in Amsterdam in 2015. So far, it has has screened in over 60 festivals worldwide. Her most recent film, HOME GAMES, will screen at Odesa IFF 2018.