Mykhailo Illienko

Academician of the NAA of Ukraine


Mykhailo Illienko

    born in 1947

Film Director, Screenwriter, Film Producer

    Academician of the NAA of Ukraine (2017)

    Laureate of the Oleksandr Dovzhenko State Prize of Ukraine (2007)

    Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine (2003)

    Associate Professor (2005)

    Member of the National Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine

For 20 years, Mykhailo Illienko was the director of the Dovzhenko Kyiv Film Studio. Since 1994, he has been teaching at the I. K. Karpenko-Kary Kyiv National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television.
The director's creative work includes more than 10 films. Among them are the following: "There, Far Beyond the River" (1975), "Every Hunter Wants to Know" (1985), "Fuzhou 1" and "Fuzhou 2" (1993, prize at the Belgrade International Film Festival, 1999), "The Seventh Route" (1998); television projects: "Boots in a Wear" (1978), "School" (1980, 3 episodes), "Myrhorod and its Residents" (1983, 2 episodes); television documentaries: "The Artist Natalia Rudyuk" (1995), "The Princely Regatta" (1996), "The Way to the Rock" (1997), which M. Illienko created as a scriptwriter, director and cameraman. In 2002, he made the animated film "A Disposable Eternity", the feature film "A Small Trip on a Big Carousel", and the film "To Be Continued" (2014) about the events of the Revolution of Dignity. In 2011, he directed the film "The One Who Walked Through the Fire". The film won the main award at the 3rd International Kyiv Film Festival.
The feature-length film Toloka (2020) was continued in a film story based on the script of the film Toloka, "TOLOKA. A VIEW FROM THE HOUSE WINDOW" (including storyboard fragments with author's comments), published by Folio (2020). With the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, he produced the feature-length documentary TRAVELING WITH AN ILLEGAL, which tells the story of filming one shot for the film THE ONE WHO WENT THROUGH THE FIRE, as well as the three-minute feature films THE VOICE, THE LESSON, THE LIFT, THE WINNER.
He is the author of the scripts for most of his films and other projects, co-author of the script for "The Lady with the Parrot" (1988) directed by A. Prachenko. He is the author of the book "Cinema (Cheatsheet for an Applicant)" (2006) and "The Cure for Phantom Pain", about the shooting of the first scene for the film "The One Who Walked Through the Fire".
In 2002, he lectured on film directing at the Theatre School in Athens, Greece. Along with teaching and working on scripts and films, M. Illienko publishes essays on current issues of Ukrainian cinema, as well as his short stories. Since 1997, for 24 years, M. Illienko has been the initiator and art director of the annual national film and video festival Open Night (issues 1-24), a participant in international film festivals and seminars dedicated to contemporary cinema in Western and Eastern Europe.
Since 2015, M. Illienko has held more than 150 screenings of the films "The One Who Walked Through the Fire", "Toloka", as well as films by his students and the winners of the "Open Night" festival for Ukrainian soldiers on the front line and residents of the frontline zone. These trips resulted in his volunteer documentary short films "Pisky", "Christmas 2015", "Father's Day" (1, 2, 3), "Rotation", and others. These and other films, including reports from the sets of his feature films, are gradually appearing on M. Illienko's YouTube channel (
Recently, M. Illienko has completed work on the scripts for the feature films "Rasinom", "Holiday Season in the Age of the Flood", and "The Smell of the Threshold", which is one of the winners of the Ukrainian Film Academy competition supported by Netflix.
M. Illienko is a member of the jury of the International Film Festival FESTIVAL FILMOWY NNW 27-30.09.2023 Gdynia, Poland. Associate Professor of Film Directing at the Institute of Cinematic Arts of the I. K. Karpenko-Kary Kyiv National University of Theatre, Cinema and Television. Member of the National Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine, 2000-2009 - Secretary of the Board of the NUCU.