copyright: Ola Zarko Thoughts and Reflections on the Tandem Ukraine Partner Forum April in Kyiv, Tandem Ukraine kick-starts in a new round of cultural exchange. 41 participants from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova and the European Union have come together for a 4-day Partner Forum. This first meeting of each Tandem programme round is where cultural managers from different places and different disciplines meet, get to know each other and start developing collaborations in a Tandem. On the last day of the Partner Forum, Gulio from La Guarimba International Film Festival (Amantea, Italy) and Ustin from the First Kherson Film School (Kherson, Ukraine), as a newly formed tandem, have taken a few moments to reflect on their expectations prior to the meeting and on their actual experience, including a few useful tips and tricks for future participants. Ustin asks Giulio: Looking back at your own experience of this recent meeting, what advice would you give to a future participant before joining a Partner Forum? I would advise them to check very well underneath all the requirements and to be ready and awake at all times. Next time you go to a Partner Forum, what would you take in your suitcase? A better sweater. And some typical products of Calabria. Would you like to join a Partner Forum again and why? Yes, I would. I think it’s a great chance for networking and for developing projects here. How did you feel or think when you met the group? I thought it would be like a camp, not very serious. But then I noticed that it is very serious. Looking back at the Partner Forum in two years' time, what pictures will come to your mind? It will probably be the process. Also that it was a very positive experience for me. And all the logistical process. What would you tell your best friend about the Partner Forum? I would tell them about the suggested system to find a partner. Giulio asks Ustin What would your grandma say if she was a participant of the Partner Forum? My grandma is from Russia, so I think she would be afraid to go to Ukraine in the first place. Now, she would say that we are some agents of the West, spying against Russia. Before, say three or six years ago, she would have said there are great people here. What did you tell people about where you were going before arriving here? And what would you say now? I felt a little bit more confident when I was coming here. I expected it would be like a walk in the park: you go, find a partner and make a project. Now I see that it is much more complicated, there are many different temptations, but at the same time there are more possibilities then I had imagined. I get familiar with many ideas I found useful for my activities and I also found partners to work with outside of this programme. So, there are much more possibilities than I thought, but at the same time there are also much more difficulties. When was the moment when you felt "this could be my tandem partner"? It was even before the Forum, when we were exchanging letters. And then we met and I discovered that there were even more fields where our interests overlap. What was the most random idea you brainstormed on? And why didn’t you follow it? I don't think there are any random ideas I couldn't be able to follow up on. Crazy ideas are pretty much what I like to work on. I think the right question would be: what is the most random idea you will follow up on? One of them is the idea to create a project based on post-apocalyptical and post-industrial structures. It’s my dream project now, but it seemed very random when it started. I spoke about it with other participants and we will try to realise it. What was the most unexpected thing? Common cooking. But it turned out great.