It's almost impossible to believe a feature film could be shooting in Ukraine but cameras are rolling on what's understood to be the first movie shot in the war-torn country since Russia invaded.
Mamas Production is working up The Day I Met Spiderman , which is billed as a joint project of the Organization of Ukrainian Producers (OUP) and AMO Pictures. It tells a story of a volunteer who discovers supernatural powers within her and saves the future of a boy from Bucha.
The OUP was established in March and comprises seven experienced Ukrainian producers. It was created to makes documentaries and features about the premise, course and consequences of Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine.
Production in Ukraine stopped following the invasion, with only the ingenuity of some keeping certain projects going, as Deadline has reported. However, the creators of The Day I Met Spiderman were able to piece together resources and began shooting in early May, with filming continuing in Lviv, Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.
"Being the first in war-torn Ukraine to shoot a fiction movie is a challenge for the OUP. Originally the organization was aimed at shooting documentaries," said Alla Lipovetska, co-founder of the OUP and Mamas Production.
Elithaveta Zaitseva, Olexandr Rudynsky, Olesya Zhurakivska and Kateryna Kysen star and widescale distribution on streaming services, broadcasters, cinemas and festivals is planned, with a fall release scheduled.
Anton Skrypets created the concept and is a co-producer on the film. "You may know the story of Peter Parker, who became Spider-Man. You may have heard the story of Bruce Wayne wearing a Batman outfit. We will tell you the story of Katya — a volunteer who felt an inner superpower," he said.
"When Anton came up with this tough, but very lyrical story, it seemed crazy to start shooting a feature," added Lipovetska. "But my confidence grew with each new day of discussion about unusual film formats and each new day of scriptwriting. When AMO Pictures became interested in the project, I was certain that it wouldn't leave cold even as a script. The only option is launch."
AMO Chief Operating Officer Anatoly Dudinsky said his company was helping with the shoot and sharing expertise in distribution on streaming services such as YouTube and Facebook. "We are interested in supporting Ukrainian cinema. We have been aiming to do this for a long time, and the start of film production has coincided with our plans," he added.
"The project first caught our attention for its script, the director, and professionals ready to come together and create quality goods in our country. The film has a very unusual format and, above all, this is the first feature film about the large-scale war of 2022. And we, as a company in the creative sector, believe that our nation should portray its problems not only through a documentary prism but also through the experiences and emotions that you can discover thanks to the tools of a feature film."
Director Eva Strelnikova said the film would "speak to the audience in a comprehensible language."
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