Ukrainian Catholic University
Director, Producer and Editor of the Woman Faces of Maidan project
About Olha Onyshko
Olha Onyshko is a documentary filmmaker and media producer in the Washington, DC-metropolitan area. Her documentary-in-progess, Women of Maidan began two days after the November 2013 brutal attack on students protesting the corrupt President Yanukovich’s decision not to join the European Union (EU). Women mobilized to protect the students and make their voices heard. The EuroMaidan Revolution was born.
Olha began her media career as a broadcast journalist on Ukraine’s Radio Lux working on political campaigns for a New Wave political coalition. Through positions in marketing with American corporations based in Ukraine, she became a political activist organizing, lobbying and building coalitions of 300-something NGOs that eventually played an integral role in the 2004 Orange Revolution. While Olha and her husband moved back to the United States in 2002, they returned to Kyiv three days after the Orange Revolution began, with demonstrations against stolen votes for the Presidential elections. Olha organized a Canadian team that registered some 5,000 independent observers for elections and vote counting for the new round during which she had lost friends from brutal beatings at several controversial polling stations. Once back in the United States, Olha decided to return to school for a filmmaking degree that could develop her political voice for social and economic reform in her home country as well as addressing the patriarchal attitude towards gender inequality.
Originally from Lviv, Ukraine, she lived in Kyiv for six years. She has two Masters of Arts degrees in Ukrainian Language and Literature and Psychology from Ivan Franko Lviv State University and was an exchange student in the United States studying Social Psychology and Political Science. In 2009, she earned an MFA in Film and Electronic Media from American University, Washington, DC.
In 2010 along with co director/producer Sarah Frahat, she debuted her documentary, Three Stories of Galicia, a look at Eastern European Jews, Poles and Ukrainians during the Second World War, the choices they made, risking what little they had, surviving atrocious circumstances where human life had no value and the reconciliation attempts for doing what was right instead of what was easy. The film screened in twelve countries, translated into four languages and caused a stir regarding historic memory and the role it may or may not take on for positive change in events worldwide. Along with directing and producing, Olha also edits and edited a feature length documentary, Scoring for Peace about soccer players in the Great Lake Region in Africa who compete for the Peace Cup trying to bring peace to their region.
Olha is currently involved in coordintating the evacuation of the many wounded from the maidan massacre that is overwhelming the state hospitals that are low on trauma treatment expertise, followup and medical supplies.