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A film by Oles Sanin

the guide

The Guide

Ukraine, 1930s. American engineer Michael Shamrock (Jeff Burrell) arrives in Kharkiv with his ten-year old son, Peter (Anton Greene) to help "build socialism". He falls in love with an actress Olga (Jamala) who has another admirer, Communist Commissar Vladimir.

Under tragic circumstances, the American is killed and his son is saved from his pursuers by a blind "Kobzar' (Stanislav Boklan). With no other chance to survive in a foreign land, the boy becomes his guide. Their journey, full of dangerous adventures, unfolds against the background of one of the most dramatic pages of Ukrainian history and human destruction.

The film about love, loyalty, betrayal and infamy is based on true events.





A film director, actor, cinematographer, producer, musician, sculptor.

Born in 1972 in Kamin-Kashyrsky, Ukraine. Graduated from Kyiv National Karpenko-Kary University of Dramatic Arts.

Oles Sanin is a winner of the Oleksandr Dovzhenko State Award of Ukraine for his film “Mamay”, which was Ukrainian submission for the Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2003 (read Variety review here).

Watch director's statement here.


Feature films

2014 – The Guide (director, script author)
2003 – Mamay (director, script author, actor)
1995 – Atentat – The Last Murder in Munich (actor) 

Documentary films

2007 – Deserter Biennials (in co-authorship with Mark Harrison) 
2005 – The Seventh Day
2001 – Aquarelle
2000 – Christmas, or How the Hutsuls Were Waiting for the End of the World
1999 – Sin
1999 –Nation. Jews
1999 – Nation. Lemky
1998 – Walrus Dance (in co-authorship)
1996 – Desert
1995 – Zymno
1994 –Storm
1994 – Mother Hope




Born in 1972 in Lutsk, Ukraine. Serhiy Mykhalchuk graduated from Kyiv National Karpenko-Kary University of Dramatic Arts. He has to his credit a number of documentaries and television feature films, music videos, and commercials. In 2002 Serhiy won the Jury Prize for best photography at San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain) for the film Lubovnik (The Lover), with director Valeriy Todorovskiy.

The Guide is his 4th film in competition for the Foreign Language Oscar.


(2015) – Under Electrical Clouds (dir. Olexiy Herman Jr, in production)
2013 – Paradjanov (dir. Serge Avedykian)
2012 – Match (dir. Andriy Malukov, Russia)
2010 – Detyam do 16 (dir. Andriy Kavun, Ukraine)
2008 – Illusion of Fear (dir. Aleksandr Kiriyenko, Ukraine)
2008 – Las Meninas (dir. Igor Podolchak, Ukraine)
2006 – I.D. (dir. Ghasan Shemeit, Syria)
2004 – The Contact (dir. Andrey Novoselov, Russia)
2003 – My Stepbrother Frankenstein (dir. Valeriy Todorovskiy, Russia)
2003 – Mamay (dir. Oles Sanin, Ukraine)
2002 – The Lover (dir. Valeriy Todorovskiy, Russia)
2001 – The Law (TV series) (dir. Oleksandr Veledinskiy, Russia)




Born in 1952 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Serhiy Yakutovych is an artist and book illustrator. He is also an Honored Artist of Ukraine, a member of the Ukrainian Artists’ Union, an Associate Member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts, and a winner of the Taras Shevchenko State Award of Ukraine. He has illustrated numerous works of Ukrainian and world literature.

2009 – Taras Bulba (dir. Volodymyr Bortko, Russia)
2008 – The Last Hetman
2008 – Paradise Lost. Gogol
2002 – A Prayer for Hetman Mazepa (dir. Yury Illyenko, Ukraine)
2002 – When We Were the Cossacks



Born in 1966 in Khmelnytsky, Ukraine.
Alla Zahaikevych graduated from Kyiv State P.I.Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and the Paris Institute of Coordination of Acoustics and Music IRCAM.
She is a composer, and has participated in projects and festivals of modern music in Ukraine, France, Sweden, Japan, China, Russia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Canada, Germany, Poland, USA. She is a winner of numerous awards.
Alla creates works in different academic concert genres (symphonic, chamber, electric acoustic music, chamber opera), as well as modern multidisciplinary projects (audiovisual installations, performances, film music and theater music). She also performs electric acoustic concerts together with performers of new improvisational music.
She has been a curator of the international electric acoustic music projects “Electroacoustica” (since 2003), and “EM-Vision” (since 2005). She is head of the Association of Electric Acoustic Music at the Kyiv Department of the Ukrainian Composers’ Union. She also founded the international project Electroacoustic’s Ensemble.
She works as a lecturer at the Music Information Technologies Department of the National Music Academy of Ukraine (Kyiv), where she founded the Electric Acoustic Music Studio.
In 2004 she won the Alexander Dovzhenko State Award of Ukraine for the film “Mamay”.


2006 – Illusion of Existence (dir. Vadym Jovych)
2004 – SH (dir. Yaroslav Lupiy)
2003 – Mamay (dir. Oles Sanin)
1994 – Tysmenytsa (dir. Nelya Pasichnyk)
1991 – Shelter, (dir. Nelya Pasichnyk)




Born in 1961 in Lviv, Ukraine.

Oleksandr graduated from the Teachers College in Dubno, Ukraine  in 1980, and the Literature Institute in Moscow in 1989. He has worked as a school teacher, served in the Soviet army, worked as a journalist, and as a literature manager in a theater. He is now a lecturer in Ostroh Academy, Ukraine.

In 1985 together with V. Neborak  and Y. Andrukhovych he founded the literary group “Bu-Ba-Bu” (“Burleske-Buffon-Booth”).

His first collection of poems was published in 1987. The author of more than 20 books of poems, prose, dramas and essays, many of his works have been translated into Polish, Croatian, Slovenian and Bielorussian. Olexandr Irvanets also translates literature and dramatic works into Ukrainian from Polish, Russian and Bielorussian. He has published 7 books of his translations from these languages. Many of his translations have also been published in journals, almanacs and anthologies.

Olexandr Irvanets has been a scholarship holder from foundations in Germany, Poland, Austria, Latvia and the USA.





Anton was born in 2002 in the town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, to an American father, a musician, and a Ukrainian mother.

Since his earliest years the boy has shown a gift for acting. He also recites poems and studies music.

Having received the offer to play in the movie, Anton approached this question as though an adult, and his parents supported him. The family made a difficult choice, as Anton had to work on the set for almost two and a half months. During this time Anton put in a lot of hard work. In spite of a lack of work experience in film, he wasn't afraid. He was brave and absolutely dedicated to the process, amazing even experienced actors on the set.

The character, whose name is Peter, came alive thanks to Anton's Ukrainian roots.

Watch interview with Anton here.




Jamala is a Ukrainian singer and composer. Her music is a mix of different styles: pop, soul, jazz, rock, and world music.

A crucial moment in Jamala's career was her performance in an International competition of young performers "New Wave – 2009" in Yurmala, Latvia, where she won the Grand Prize, amazing the jury with her outstanding voice and song performances in different genres.

After the triumph in Yurmala, Jamala became a top-level performer and won many awards. Many times Jamala represented Ukraine abroad taking part in different events, from the finale of EURO 2012 to the celebration of The Day of Moscow; from Venice Biennale to the ceremony in memory of victims of the Nazi invasion of the USSR in Berlin, 2011.

In 2012 Jamala performed three times at the biggest CIS Jazz Fest "Усадьба Jazz" (“Jazz Mansion”) in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. She also played the role of a Cuban singer in Oleksandr Stekolenko's movie The True Story of Scarlet Sails (2010). Jamala has released two albums: For Every Heart (2011) and All Or Nothing (2013)

Watch interview about film with Jamala here.




Stanislav Boklan is an established actor in the theater and cinema. His credits including more than twenty theater roles, he has performed on stage in Ukraine, as well as in Germany and Italy. Stanislav has won two theater awards, a Kyiv Golden Pectoral in 2002, and a prize at the festival “Slavonic Meetings” in Chernihiv, Ukraine, in 2004. He has acted in more than seventy films and TV shows of different genres (melodrama, drama, crime), made in Ukraine and Russia, including two joint Ukrainian-Chinese projects.
His filmography of recent years includes:

2013 – Chapay
2012 – Match
2011 – Champions from Backstreet
2009 – Indian Cinema
2006 – Five Minutes to Metro Station
2006 – Nine Lives of Nestor Makhno

Watch interview with Stanislav Boklan here.




Jeff Burrell is an American actor born in 1968 in New York City. He is known for Pandorum (2009), Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013) and The Ghost (2010).

His filmography consists of close to thirty movies, as well as twenty TV projects. He also works as a theater actor and director, and as a voice-over artist, lending his voice to numerous animated films and television series, as well as working occasionally with orchestras.

In The Guide Jeff plays Peter's father, who dies tragically while on an important mission that could save the country.

It was the American actor’s first experience in a full-length Ukrainian movie. He was impressed by the work of the Ukrainian crew and Oles Sanin's patriotic attitude toward his project.




Aleksandr acts both in theatre and in movies. He was born on may 19, 1976 in Kyiv. There are more than 20 films in his filmography, the latter of which are:

  • “Attraction” 2012, 
  • “Solstice” 2012, 
  • “Death to spies. Hidden enemy” 2012, 
  • “Love with weapon” 2012, 
  • “Match” 2012, 
  • “Fury” 2011, 
  • “Brother for brother” 2010

Aleksandr became a laureate of professional theatre award "Kyivska pektoral" in nomination "The best male leading role" in 2007.

Aleksandr Kobzar is one of those actors who, without exaggeration, can be named a universal one. In the real life he is nice, modest and aristocratic, while in movies he fully transforms in the one he plays and attracts audience's eye by his charisma and talent.




Honorary actor of TV and cinema with a huge list of works. Latest works: 

  • “Moth” 2013, 
  • “Kasym” 2012, 
  • “Firecrosser” 2011, 
  • “Exit” 2009, 
  • “Madhouse” 2006, 
  • “Nine Lives of Nestor Makhno” 2006.

We can say that he is very experienced. Oleg is exactly that type of actor who dedicated his life to the movie and to the theatre. His deep gaze makes the audience feel real emotions of the character on the screen.



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