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An evening with Halya Kuchmij: The Strongest Man in the World dvd release


Sunday, May 1 / 7 pm

Winnipeg Cinematheque, 100 Arthur St, Winnipeg

Directed by Halya Kuchmij
1980, Canada, 28 min

Photo: L to R- Roman Buchok, Bob Lower, Mike Swistun, Elise Swerhone, Halya Kuchmij, Allan Kroeker.

Q & A with Gene Walz and Halya Kuchmij. Reception to follow 

The Strongest Man in the World is now digitized for DVD release and will be available for sale at the screening.

The bittersweet story of strongman and magician Mike Swistun, who for thirty days in 1923, was the strongman with Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. Born in Olha, Manitoba, Swistun was a Ukrainian farm boy, who, for a short moment in time, achieved fame and fortune only to lose it. Narrated by the Ukrainian Hollywood actor Jack Palance, this film won the prestigious Genie Award.

Background: Halya Kuchmij has worked in film and television as a producer/director for thirty five  years, initially as an independent filmmaker and then with the National Film Board of Canada and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She has filmed in the Canadian Arctic, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Germany, Cuba, France and all through out Canada and the United States.Her films have won over thirty national and international awards.

Background: Gene Walz retired in 2012 after 38 years teaching film studies at the University of Manitoba. He has written books on Francois Truffaut and Charlie Thorson and has published four edited anthologies of essays on Canadian Film. Halya was a former student of his and he has written extensively about her work.


Laughter in My Soul / Directed by Halya Kuchmij, 1983, Canada, 27 min

A profile of Winnipeg cartoonist and iconographer Jacob Maydanyk, who was part of the first wave of Ukrainian immigrants to the West. Maydanyk created the legendary cartoon character “Shteef Tabachniuk”, who was known to all Ukrainian immigrants in the first half of the twentieth century. Narrated by Ukrainian-Canadian actor John Colicos.

Reception generously sponsored by Alpha Omega Alumnae. 
Canadian Ukrainian women fostering and preserving Ukrainian culture.




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