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    • New Talents Open Call
      Eastern Neighbours Film Festival (ENFF) began in The Netherlands in 2008 with the idea to offer Dutch and international audiences a unique glimpse into the cinema of their neighbors from Eastern and Southern Europe. This annual event presents the most recent, exciting, and thought‐provoking films, from countries with small, but often powerful film industries, that… Read more: New Talents Open Call
    • ENFF 2023 On Demand!
      Unable To attend the festival in person? No problem! From November 27th to December 3rd, we’re thrilled to bring you a curated selection of this year’s films available for online viewing! Catch our captivating Opening Film Ivan’s Land, or the touching Closing Film Seventh Heaven. Or explore a collection of shorts from the New Talents Competition! Follow along… Read more: ENFF 2023 On Demand!
    • What’s up in Slovak Cinema? A conversation with Monika Lostakova
      We talked with Monika Lošťáková about contemporary Slovak cinema.
    • ENFF and the Eastern European Film Festival Network!
      The Eastern European Film Festival Network brings together five film festivals dedicated to promoting and showcasing Eastern European cinema, alongside one partner organisation.
    • Masterclasses
      Through these masterclasses we approach two memory in film from different angles: memories from a personal or collective recollection through archive material.
    • Work in Progress
      In Work in Progress, emerging filmmakers and artists will present their works in development to the audience and engage in discussions with Dutch experts.
    • Festival Timetable Available!
    • Check out the catalogue for our 2023 edition!
    • Music at ENFF
      Every year, ENFF brings special musical guests who bring beauty to the program and further represent the rich cultures of their countries to a Dutch audience.
    • Film Marathon
      Join us for the Film Marathon, a new concept in which we merge two components, Short Films, Big Stories, and New Talents Competition into a whole-day screening of short films!

Diary of a Bride of Christ

Contemporary Ukraine from a less known angle – shot inside a monastery where the director searches for reasons why her young sister and her peers leave families to become nuns. This intimate personal film explores the intricate ties within sisterhood: biological versus religious sisterhood.


Marta and Nastia Smerechynska are the daughters of a Greek Catholic priest and, as such, they both grew up with very strict religious values. However, as adults they took almost conflicting paths. Marta distanced herself from her past and went on to become an actress-filmmaker, while Nastia renounced all human possessions and chose the life of a secluded nun. To better understand her own dissociation from her religious family, Marta approaches Nastia after six years of silence and visits her in the place she now calls home: a convent of the Brides of Christ located in Western Ukraine. The two young women reunite in this isolated world and, however hard they struggle to accept each other’s choices and current realities, their meeting becomes a love letter to all women.


Ukraine | 2022 | 90 min

DIRECTOR: Marta Smerechynska

PRODUCTION: Natalia Libet, Vitalii Sheremetiev – Digital Religion LLC

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sonya Gerasimova

EDITING: Kseniia Shyrokova

SOUND: Karina Rezhevska

MUSIC: Mykyta Moiseiev

SCREENING: Friday 25.11. / 16:30h / Zaal 4 & Saturday 26.11. / 14:30h / Zaal 2


Polina Ohanova, 9 years old music talent from Ukraine, living now in The Netherlands, will have a short music performance before the film. The screening will be followed by Q&A with director Marta Smerechynska.


Director’s statement

I didn’t really know whether the film would be interesting to others, it was just my personal investigation. But when we finished filming, I met our producer who told me that when she was about 13 or 14 years old, she’d also had this desire to become a nun. So we started working together, looking for funding and presenting our film to the film industry and I realised the film was interesting to other people. Then we pitched the project a lot and received several awards, which helped us during the first steps of editing the film. (ScreenDaily)

Director’s bio

Marta Smerechynska is a Ukrainian documentary filmmaker and actress. In 2019, she graduated as an actress from the I.K.Karpenko-Kary University in Kyiv and currently studies documentary directing at La Fémis’ Université d’eté while completing a master’s programme at DocNomads. Marta worked on her debut feature documentary Diary of a Bride of Christ for over 5 years.

Festivals & Awards (selection)

Sarajevo Film Festival, 2022 | Baltic Sea Docs, 2020 – Post-Production Award | DocuDays, Ukraine 2020  – East Silver Caravan Award, DOK Leipzig Award