Kino Lorber has acquired all North American distribution rights to Elie Grappe’s Ukrainian gymnast drama “Olga,” which world premiered at Cannes Critics’ Week last year and won a prize. Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release on June 24, with 10% of proceeds to be donated to Direct Relief in Ukraine.
Grappe’s debut feature, “Olga” stars former Ukrainian National Team gymnast Anastasia Budiashkina in her first film role. The film, which was produced by Tom Dercourt and Jean Marc Fröhle, revolves around Olga, a talented teenage Ukrainian gymnast exiled in Switzerland and trying to fit in with her new team in her new home.
As Olga prepares for the European Championships, the Ukrainian people back home in Kyiv rise up in what has become known as the Maidan Revolution, suddenly involving everyone she cares about. Meanwhile, her mother, an investigative journalist, challenges the brutal Yanukovich regime. The film weaves documentary footage from the 2013 uprising.
“In making a film about exile, with a heroine torn between several loyalties and faced with a geopolitical situation bigger than her, I wanted to film the passion of a teenager, and confront her personal issues with collective ones,” said Grappe.
“I hope that ‘Olga’ can bring some context to what is going on today, promote empathy with all Ukrainians who are now outside of their home, and encourage the American audience to support Ukraine with concrete actions,” added the young filmmaker.
The deal for “Olga” was negotiated by Kino Lorber senior VP Wendy Lidell and Pulsar Content co-founder Gilles Sousa.
“After having been acclaimed at Critics Week last year, the film now has a new resonance and with Kino Lorber we are sure it will find its audience,” said Soussa.
Lidell pointed out “Olga” tells a “powerful story of resilience and identity” and delivers a “stirring portrayal of a young Ukrainian woman in exile from her family, friends, and homeland, and one that has sadly now taken on worldwide relevance.”
The executive said “‘Olga’ offers a glimmer of hope for the next generation, even in adversity, and announces the arrival of an incredible young talent in the film debut of gymnast Anastasiia Budiashkina.”