Veselka: The Movie

Press Clips Round-up

RT Imdb Fandango


Synopsis: For 70 years, Veselka has been best known for its borscht and varenyky, but it has become a beacon of hope for Ukraine. As the second-generation owner Tom Birchard reluctantly retires after 54 years, his son Jason faces the pressures of stepping into his father’s shoes as the war in Ukraine impacts his family and staff. Narrated by David Duchovny.


Columbus, OH - Gateway Film Center
May 24-30th
New Paltz, NY, Denizen Theatre
May 24th
New York City - New Plaza Cinema
May 25 — 2:45pm

Filmmaker Q&A to Follow

Rochester, NY The Little Theatre
June 8th
San Diego, CA Digital Gym Cinema
June 7th & 8th

Past Showings:

Feb 23 - Mar 28: NYC - Village East Cinema By Angelika

Feb 23 - Mar 21: Los Angeles, CA - Laemmle NoHo 7 and Laemmle Glendale

Mar 20 - 24: Boulder, CO - Dairy Arts Center

Feb 23 - Apr 4: Bernardsville, NJ - Bernardsville Cinema 3

Apr 5 - 11: Sacramento, CA - Tower Theater

Apr 4 - 11: Portland, OR - Portland Cinema 21

Apr 8: Chicago, IL - Gene Siskel Film Center

Apr 13: Washington, DC - Ukraine Action Summit 2024

April 21st: NJ - The Film Society of Summit

April 12th- 22nd Toronto - Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

MAY 3 - 9 Charlotte, NC - The Independent Picture House

May 10-11 TORONTO - Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

May 15-16 East Hampton, NY - Regal UA East Hampton

May 18 New Paltz, NY, Denizen Theatre



The Village Sun

“It was important that we captured what was going on,” said Jason, who often appears in the film wearing a vyshyvanka, a traditional Ukrainian shirt meant to show hope and pride. “This continued war is raging, but it was important to show how it affects this small little hamlet and the employees on an emotional scale.”


“… being in the heart of Little Ukraine, that one person can make a difference.”


"Veselka: The Rainbow on the Corner at the Center of the World” pays enthusiastic tribute to Veselka’s place in the city, and to its 70-year history as a family restaurant."

New York Post

"While “Veselka” is first and foremost a deeply affecting story of a family-run restaurant, at the film’s best it also serves as a vital reminder — and a wake-up call for some — of what’s at stake in Ukraine’s ongoing war against Russia and of New York’s strong connection to a valiant fight for survival 4,700 miles away."


"Every New Yorker has a Veselka story. A new documentary follows second-generation owner Tom Birchard, as he plans to retire from running the beloved Ukrainian restaurant, an East Village staple."


"Its message is clear: in times of terror, pain, and hardship, the human spirit prevails, often around a table of shared meals and stories. The film not only highlights the resilience of the Ukrainian people but also serves as a reminder of the power of community and cultural preservation in the face of adversity."


"... demonstrates the power of food and a particular community; however, every tenet of the film details ideas and themes that affect everyone. Just as every culture has a version of a pierogi...every viewer of the film will see their father, son, friend, and neighborhood in the people on the screen."

Movie Jawn

"... when the family of Veselka is shown, and the impact the restaurant has had on lives — bringing them from the war front to safety, and to a ready-built support system — is deeply moving."

Temple of Geek

"Between Fiore’s storytelling, Duchovny’s narration, Shore’s score, and the Birchard’s open hearts, VESELKA has the power to reignite their very worthy cause."

New York Times

"The film (in theaters now) starts as a fun story about a New York institution, and its tone is resolutely hopeful and convivial. But it rapidly becomes a demonstration of a community’s efforts to support loved ones under siege."

Awards Radar

"... the doc is about much more than a Ukrainian diner. It’s about no less than the need for compassion in this world. The way it conveys this makes it one of the most satisfying films of the year so far."

CBS News New York

"... it's been there for 70 years and is considered a beacon of hope for Ukraine. Not just a beacon of hope, but it also has some great food."

JB Spins

"... there are a lot of poignant moments in Veselka, because the drama is real and the potential for tragedy back home is a constant threat they must live with."