Zakarpattia (2018) is a feature-length ethnographic film that examines issues of place, identity, and traditionality among wedding musicians in the borderlands of Transcarpathia, Ukraine. The film follows the Manyo Family Band from the small town of Tiachiv as they embark on their annual tour of Hungary, and explores these musicians’ complex relationships with their own Ruthenian-Romani identities as they struggle to make a living within a post-socialist “world music” context. Along the way, we meet other musicians whose stories shed light on the experiences of Romani musicians under communism and post-Soviet transition.
2015 Opre Khetanes, New York University (work-in-progress screening)
2017.10 Institut für Volksmusikforschung und Ethnomusicologie, Vienna, Austria (preview screening)
2018.11 Culese din Balkani, Bucharest, Romania (world premiere)
2019 TBA Tiachiv, Ukraine (Ukraine premiere)
Shaun Williams is a musician, ethnographer, and filmmaker from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Indiana University and is currently based in Bucharest, Romania. From 2008-2012, Shaun served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the Transcarpathia and Pokuttia regions of western Ukraine, where he worked with Romani rights and disability rights organizations. He has worked on several short films, documentaries, and independent feature films as an editor and sound designer since 2006. “Zakarpattia” (2018) is his feature directorial debut.