For the first time since the start of the war, a feature film is filming in Ukraine

many in Ukraine thought they would never hear “Action!” again after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army on February 24, film production across the country was immediately halted. While some non-fiction projects continued – many Ukrainian filmmakers began documenting crimes and atrocities committed by invading troops – producing a feature film in the middle of a war zone seemed impossible.

Not anymore.

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Since the beginning of May, the Ukrainian shingle Mamas Production has been shooting the feature film The day I met Spider-Man in and around several Ukrainian cities, including Lviv, Kyiv and Irpin. The project, jointly supported by the Organization of Ukrainian Producers (OUP) and AMO Pictures, is the first fiction film to start production since the start of the war.

The film’s plot follows a war volunteer who discovers supernatural powers within herself that allow her to save a boy from the massacre in Bucha, the suburb of Kyiv where, according to significant photographic, video and satellite imagery evidence, the Russian forces systematically murdered civilians. as they retreated from the city.

“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 are going to tell you the story of Katya, a volunteer who felt an inner superpower,” said Anton Skrypets, co-producer of The day I met Spider-Manwho had the original idea for the film.

Elithaveta Zaitseva, Olexandr Rudynsky, Olesya Zhurakivska and Kateryna Kysen star in the film, which is shot in a documentary style in and around various Ukrainian cities.

The project is carried out under the auspices of OUP, a group of seven Ukrainian production companies established in the aftermath of the Russian invasion whose initial goal was to produce documentaries and educational films to show the world the causes of the war and the consequences of Russian aggression on the ground.

“Being the first in war-torn Ukraine to shoot a fiction film is a challenge for the OUP, originally the Organization aimed to shoot documentaries,” notes Alla Lipovetska, co-founder of OUP and by Mamas Production. “When Anton came up with this difficult but very lyrical story, it seemed crazy to start shooting a feature film. But my confidence grew with each new day of the discussion. [and] each new day of screenwriting.

The project became reality when AMO Pictures, a digital production and distribution company that develops content primarily for online channels and platforms, joined us. The day I met Spider-Man as co-producer.

“This is the first full-scale war feature film of 2022,” said Anatoly Dudinsky, COO of AMO Pictures. “As a business in the creative sector, I believe our nation should portray its issues not just through a documentary lens but also through the experiences and emotions you can uncover through the tools of a feature film.”

The producers plan to release The day I met Spider-Man on every possible platform – from film festivals to cinemas, TV channels and streaming services – this fall.

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