The Moderators’ Conference: Learning, Communicating, Sharing Experiences
On June 5-7, 2024, the 7th Conference “Documentaries as Tools for Human Rights Media Education” initiated by the DOCU/CLUB Network took place in Kyiv. 75 moderators from all over Ukraine attended the conference.
21 June 2024

The DOCU/CLUB Network team puts a lot of effort into training and networking of film club moderators. The conference format facilitates the exchange of experience between participants from different regions. During the conference, its participants can develop partnerships, generate ideas, learn about successful practices of their colleagues and, of course, gain new knowledge for the work of their film club.

The conference participants had the opportunity to attend training sessions by invited experts and the Network team, as well as film screenings and meetings with filmmakers during the 21st Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, which took place in Kyiv during these days.

Maria Tsypiashchuk 

Moderators showed great interest in the training session “What are war crimes and why should they be documented,” conducted by Maria Tsypiashchuk, lawyer and partnership coordinator at the War Archive of the NGO Docudays and Infoscope. Maria spoke about various types of war crimes, explained how to document them, and gave advice on communicating with victims of war crimes. After all, many film club viewers have witnessed the war first-hand, and their testimonies can help punish the aggressor. 

Oleksandr Voitenko, human rights and international humanitarian law trainer at the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, told about the basics of international humanitarian law. This knowledge is especially relevant in the context of a full-scale war, when the Russian army violates all possible international norms and threatens human rights. Oleksandr explained why international humanitarian law is of particular importance in times of war and how its norms are used to protect war victims.


Alla Tiutiunnyk

Alla Tiutiunnyk, co-founder of the DOCU/CLUB Network and director of the Strategic Development Department, informed the conference participants about the launch of the information campaign “Sexual Abuse on the Internet: How to Protect Children.” This campaign was launched jointly by the NGO Docudays and the NGO Magnolia. Its task is to inform children, their parents and teachers about online threats and provide effective mechanisms of protection against sexual violence. The Network's film clubs will actively join this work in the near future. 

During the conference, several practical sessions were held to familiarize moderators with new opportunities or share specific recommendations for the work of film clubs. 

For example, Inna Kondratieva, the DOCU/CLUB Network's online development coordinator, together with Kateryna Singurova, the DOCU/CLUB Network's partnerships coordinator, held a workshop on organizing online events and teleconferences, as well as engaging film directors and partners into screenings. During the workshop, moderators came up with several ideas for joint teleconferences, and the “secrets” of Zoom screenings will help them expand their audience and gain more confidence in the technical aspects of moderation of events.

Olha Babchuk

Lina Babych, the Human Rights Coordinator of the DOCU/CLUB Network, spoke about the mechanisms of conducting audience surveys in film clubs. Olha Babchuk and Yaroslava Sheremeta, the Network's communication team, prepared a communication quest for the conference participants to strengthen their skills in promoting film clubs on social media. 


Experienced moderators of the Docudays UA film club at the NGO “Patronus” also shared their work and practical experience during the conference. Nataliya Dobrianska, teacher and a film club moderator, held a workshop on the moderated screening of the film “My Happy Complicated Family” by Tessa Louise Pope. Khrystyna Hatalyak, trainer of dialogue practices, film club moderator and mediator, focused on the possibilities of discussing complex topics on the example of the film “89 Days” by Pavlo Dorohiy. Judging from the active involvement of the audience in the discussions during the workshops, such practical sessions from experienced moderators are useful for our community.  

The conference culminated in the awards ceremony for the winners of the Impact Stories competition. It was not easy for the UNIC team to choose 10 winners from 32 applications. Previously, we’ve written about the selection process and told which impact stories won the competition. At the conference, Alla Tiutiunnyk and Nina Khoma honored the winners and gave them practical gifts for their further work – power banks and hard drives. 

Nina Khoma

Nina Khoma, head of the DOCU/CLUB Network, said at the award ceremony: “We have awarded something more than touching stories of impact that the moderators shared with us. We also took into account how this impact was achieved: which experts have the moderators invited to the events and how often, which partners they involved and how, how often they held film club events and in what format, how they collected and analyzed feedback from their target audience, who they engaged into their teams, etc. Behind each of these impact stories is the great work of the moderators and their teams. With this competition, we wanted to inspire all our moderators to notice and analyze their positive experience of making a difference in the lives of individuals, communities, and societies in general, and share it with the world. I believe that more such stories will emerge, and we will be happy to share them and look for opportunities to appreciate the talents of our colleagues.”

Three days of the conference were not only useful and intense from a professional point of view, but also gave the participants an invaluable opportunity to communicate with each other. Such meetings inspire, fill with strength and energy, and give impetus for development. 

Maria Tymoshchuk and Taras Hrytsiuk 

 The Network team is grateful to the facilitators of the NGO “Other Education” Maria Tymoshchuk and Taras Hrytsiuk for their sensitive moderation of the conference and the warm atmosphere they created. We thank the moderators who were able to come to Kyiv despite the challenges of wartime, since we know it was really difficult for many of them. We hope that the knowledge they’ve has become a valuable asset that will help develop film clubs and attract new audiences for them. 

 The development of the DOCU/CLUB Network is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Fondation de France. 

 The opinions, conclusions, or recommendations are those of the authors and compilers of this publication and do not necessarily reflect the views of the governments or charitable organizations of these countries. The authors and compilers are solely responsible for the content of this publication.

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If you wish to use the film-collection of Docudays UA International Human Rights Film Festival, we invite you to join the network of permanent Docudays UA educational film clubs on human rights