28 Sept 2022

WATCH: Ukrainian life in Kyiv explored in film produced by Laois man

Kachalka from Gar O'Rourke on Vimeo.

An award winning Laois film maker recently screened and spoke about Ukraine in his home town Portarlington at a recent fundraiser for Ukraine.

Ken Wardrop was producer of Kachalka a film made in 2019 about 'the world's most hardcore gym' in Kyiv. Ken has also worked on the hit films Making the Grade, Mom and Me and His & Hers.

The Ukrainian film joined the gym's caretaker as he takes us through the enormous scrap-metal site, allowing us a glimpse into the unique community and ingenuity from which it was created.

Director - Gar O'Rourke spoke about the film in March 2022 after war broke out.

"Kachalka was made in Kyiv a couple of summers ago, in a moment in time which seems a far cry away from the tragedy which is currently taking place. Although this film shows a very different reality to what we are currently seeing in Kyiv and around the rest of Ukraine, I hope this short film helps to shine a light on the Ukrainian spirit and what makes it truly unique.

"The intention behind this film was to capture the incredible sense of community and ingenuity that exists at the heart of this Kyiv gym and I think this is something which speaks to the stories we are hearing from Ukraine in this present time," he appealed to people to support the Ukraine Red Cross by donating at

Kachalka was funded through Screen Ireland and produced by Venom Films.

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