Directed by Tymur Tsapliienko (Ukraine)

Ukrainian War / Fossil Fuel Dependence

Premieres nationally on public television beginning November 1 (check local listings). In the New York metro area, RETURN DATE: UNKNOWN airs on Saturday, November 11, at 7:00 p.m., on THIRTEEN.

Tymur Tsapliienko, 17, a Ukrainian refugee, shares his view on the cost of war and the price of the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Tymur helps us to begin to understand the impact of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine’s exiles as well as what led to this crisis. He makes a connection between the war and Europe’s dependence on Russia’s fossil fuels.

His film travels a reverse journey, from Germany back through Poland to meet his father, who was injured in a Russian bombardment while reporting for a Ukrainian news channel and whom he hasn’t seen in months. Along the way, he interviews other teenage refugees. Each conversation helps him understand the conflict and his own feelings toward it. Through Tymur’s eyes we glimpse displays of human solidarity and even hope for a chance at a new life.


“The process of making this movie was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. The chance to tell my own story as well as the story of my nation, Ukraine, proved itself incredible. Working alongside my mentor, Rom Barnea, broadened my vision on filmmaking and storytelling, creating amazing emotions and days to remember.”
—Tymur Tsapliienko


“This film touches on subjects that are simultaneously universal and personal. It’s a tale of war and how one copes with it, in an attempt to make peace within yourself while your country is falling apart; how to still breathe life into your dreams while the unknown is hovering not too far off. Tymur has taught me a lot, and I’m sure he’ll do the same to anyone watching this film.”
—Rom Barnea