The first narrative feature film production in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion has begun, telling the story of a female superhero who saves lives from Russian attack.
“The Day I Met Spider-Man” is starting production in early May, with Ukrainian production company Mamas Production filming in Kyiv, Lviv, and Irpin. The film is jointly backed by AMO Pictures and the Organization of Ukrainian Producers (OUP), a group of seven Ukrainian production companies set up in the wake of the Russian invasion.
“The Day I Met Spider-Man” follows a war volunteer who discovers she has supernatural powers after she saves a boy from a massacre in Bucha, a Kyiv suburb that saw Russia murdering civilians trying to escape 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 will tell you the story of Katya — a volunteer who felt an inner superpower,” co-producer Anton Skrypets said in a press statement.
Alla Lipovetska, co-founder of the OUP and Mamas Production, added, “Being the first in war-torn Ukraine who shoot a fiction movie is a challenge for the OUP, originally the Organization [that] was aimed at shooting documentaries. When Anton came up with this tough but very lyrical story, it seemed crazy to start shooting a feature. But my confidence grew with each new day of the discussion [and] each new day of scriptwriting.”
The cast includes Elithaveta Zaitseva, Olexandr Rudynsky, Olesya Zhurakivska and Kateryna Kysen, and the film is being shot documentary-style on location.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, shutting down nonfiction film production across the nation with documentarians turning their cameras to capture the start of war. Sean Penn, who was helming a documentary in Ukraine prior to the Russian invasion, was told by U.S. military personnel to return to America.
“This is the first feature film about the large-scale war of 2022,” AMO Pictures Chief Operating Officer Anatoly Dudinsky said. “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.”
“The Day I Met Spider-Man” will be released across all possible platforms, from film festivals to streaming channels, this fall.