More than 200 preview screenings of Olga are being held up and down the country as part of the initiative, including the Pavilion Arts Centre on Monday, April 4, at 7.30pm.
Jason Wood, director of public programmes at the British Film Institute, said: “We are all witnessing a horrifying situation unfold, but film has the power to unite people and inspire empathy across cultures.
“I’m really proud that the UK’s film exhibition and distribution community has come together to bring Olga to as many UK cinemas – and audiences – as possible. It gives us a perspective on Ukrainian life, tells a Ukrainian story and actively supports the people of Ukraine through this special film.”
Set in 2013, the film tells the story of the eponymous 15-year-old Olympic hopeful as she trains for the European Championship.
She is forced to move to Switzerland from her home in Kyiv where her mother works as an investigative journalist reporting on the Euromaidan protests – a historic moment for the country which has become ever more pivotal in the years since.
Lead actress Anastasiia Budiashkina, who is a former member of Ukraine’s national gymnastics team, arrived in Poland a few weeks ago after leaving Kharkiv to escape the war.
She said: “I am very glad that Olga will be seen in the UK, and people will see the situation going on with Ukraine.”
The directorial debut of French filmmaker Elie Grappe, the film was given its world premiere in International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival 2021 where it won the SACD award for best screenplay.
Tickets cost £5, or £1 for students and children, available on the door, or in advance from buxtonoperahouse.org.uk, by phone on 01298 72190 and at the box office. For each one sold, a donation will be made to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine crisis appeal.