Team

 
Lesya Kalynska    Founder, Director and Producer

Lesya Kalynska is an award-winning director, writer, and producer. Born and raised in Kyiv, she currently lives and works in New York City. Kalynska earned her MFA in film directing and writing from the Department of Film and Television at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She has written, directed, and produced several narrative films and documentaries. Her film The Balloonist featured the renowned Georgian actor Kakhi Kavsadze and was screened widely, winning the Best Student Film Award at the Hope and Dreams Film Festival in New Jersey. Her producing debut The Debt, directed by Levan Koguashvili, was an official selection at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals. It won a production award at the First Run Film Festival in New York as well as several prestigious awards at Manheim IFF, Hampton IFF, and the Los Angeles Annual Showcase "Award Winning Short Films."

In 2011, she directed a TV documentary series entitled Level of Secrecy 18 highlighting atrocities committed by the Soviet government against its own people during World War II. The film premiered in May 2011 on 1+1, a premier Ukrainian national TV channel. Recently Kalynska produced a feature documentary Salt in The Air by Enrico Cullen and co-produced a short narrative film, Ukrainian Lessons, by Ruslan Batytskyj. For several years, Kalynska has been working on developing, producing, and directing the feature documentary In the Land of the Lost Crusaders. It has received multiple grants to date, including funds from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. She is also currently developing her first narrative feature, Halya High-and-Mighty, based on a screenplay by Les Podervyansky, and pursuing her career as the founder of the production company Pomegranate Studios in New York City.

Ruslan Batytskyi    Director, Producer, Director of Photography

Ruslan Batytskyi was born in the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine in 1986. After receiving a master's degree in cybernetics, he started studying cinema at the Kyiv National University of Theater, Cinema, and Television. His first film, "Lethargy," has been presented at IFF in the U.S., France, Poland, Slovakia, and Russia. After completing several short documentaries, Ruslan served as director and DP of the short film "Reed,' which was screened at the IFF, Molodist (Kyiv) and Beginning (Saint Petersburg), winning the Grand Prix of International Tarkovskyi and the Best Film prize at the 10th Mostra International de Filmes de Ecolas Cinema of Porto. Mr. Batytskyi's next film, "Ukrainian Lessons," was made in early 2013 through the financial support of the State Film Agency of Ukraine. This film was officially presented in the Short Film Corner of the 66th Cannes Film Festival in 2013, and won the FIPRESCI prize at the 4th Odessa Film Festival.  

TJ Collins    Producer, Writer, Director

TJ Collins is an award-winning filmmaker producing over a dozen films including short and feature narratives. His feature film debut "WILLETS POINT" received the Audience Award at the Long Island International Film Expo and was theatrically released in the fall of 2010. WILLETS POINT was received to positive reviews in the New York Times, Nov 2010 edition.  

Tamara Gunashvili    Producer

After graduation from the Tbilisi State University (BA in Philology), Tamara had been working as a press journalist for 8 years covering cultural and social issues for major Georgian publishers. In 2004 she was employed by the most popular Georgian TV channel Rustavi2. Having worked there for five years as a Content Producer, Tamara received valuable experience producing some of the internationally recognized game and reality shows, such as "The Brainiest" (Celador Int), "The Weakest Link" (BBC Worldwide), "The Boot Camp" (Granada Int), "The Star Academy" (Endemol Int), etc. Tamara was also one of the Creative Producers for the famous European documentary soap series "The Bar", leading the ratings for four seasons in 2004-2006. In 2010 Tamara graduated from the New York Film Academy's One year Conservatory Producing Program. Having produced short films, music videos & commercials, Tamara now continues to work in NY having several projects in development.  

 

our projects

 
IN THE LAND OF THE LOST CRUSADERS TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES ABSENTEE HELEN NIKO BALLOONIST UKRAINIAN LESSONS HALYA HIGHT-AND-MIGHTY
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