EXCLUSIVE: The first Ukrainian fiction feature since the start of the war, The Day I Met Spider-Man, is in the works
- Eva Strelnikova’s film tells the story of a volunteer who discovers supernatural powers within herself and saves the future of a boy from Bucha
The cameras are rolling on the first Ukrainian fiction feature since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The first project to enter production is Eva Strelnikova’s The Day I Met Spider-Man, a war drama with supernatural elements staged by Mamas Productions. The movie entered production in early May, and filming is continuing as we speak in Lviv, Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. Before embarking on the direction of this project, Strelnikova worked on several TV productions, such as A Long Way to Happiness (2020) and Mama moey docheri (2019).
The Day I Met Spider-Man tells the story of a volunteer who discovers supernatural powers within herself and saves the future of a boy from Bucha. “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,” said Anton Skrypets, author of the idea and co-producer.
“Being the first in war-torn Ukraine to shoot a fiction movie is a challenge for the OUP [the Organization of Ukrainian Producers]. Originally, the organisation aimed to shoot documentaries,” explained Alla Lipovetska, co-founder of the OUP and Mamas Production. “When Anton [Skrypets] came up with this tough, but very lyrical, story, it seemed crazy to start shooting a fiction feature. But my confidence grew with each new day of the discussion about unusual film formats and each new day of writing. When AMO Pictures became interested in the project, I was certain that it wouldn’t leave people cold, even as a script,” she added.
AMO Pictures then joined the project alongside the OUP and Mamas Productions. “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. AMO Pictures is the main partner on the project. […] It first caught our attention thanks to its script, its director and the professionals ready to come on board to create quality content in our country. The film has a very unusual format, and above all else, 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 one can discover thanks to the tools of fiction,” commented AMO Pictures chief operating officer Anatoly Dudinsky.
The team disclosed that such a format has never been used before in Ukraine, and through their bold narrative choices, they aim to intercept international audiences: “At the development stage, we, together with Anton, discussed in great detail the format in which we had decided to tell our story. We wanted the film to resonate with everyone, so we will speak to the audience in a comprehensible language. Expressive arthouse methods are being thrown out of the window!” revealed Strelnikova.
The Day I Met Spider-Man stars Elithaveta Zaitseva, Olexandr Rudynsky, Olesya Zhurakivska and Kateryna Kysen in the leading roles. The release is slated for autumn 2022. Distribution channels will include streaming platforms, broadcasters, theatres and festivals.
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