Alexander Rodnyansky, the Oscar-nominated producer behind “Leviathan” and “Loveless,” has boarded “The Dissident,” a Cold War drama that follows a former Ukrainian resistance fighter trying to rebuild his life after his release from a Soviet prison camp.
The film marks the fiction feature debut of directors Andriy Alferov, a renowned Ukrainian film critic, and Stas Gurenko, a veteran commercial and music video director. Rodnyansky is producing alongside Oleksandr Omelyanov.
Set in 1960s Ukraine, at a time when many in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc were re-evaluating the socialist system, pic follows Oleg, a former soldier in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army that fought against both Nazi Germany and the communist Soviet Union for Ukrainian independence during World War II. After an amnesty deal is reached, Oleg is released from prison camp and returns to Ukraine, where he tries but fails to find his place in peacetime society.
Though based on historical events, Rodnyansky noted that the story behind “The Dissident” isn’t widely known. “These people were not portrayed in film, and it feels important for me to help the authors to bridge this gap and show the story that played a huge part in the Ukrainian independence,” he said.
“The Dissident” marks the second Ukrainian film being produced by Rodnyansky this year, along with a new feature from Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi, the director of the 2014 Cannes Critics’ Week title “The Tribe.” Produced with Anonymous Content, it tells the story of a Ukrainian family living in a village under Russian occupation.
“For the past few years, it was important for me to work more with young directors and to be more focused on debut films,” said Rodnyansky. “Now, when Ukraine is at war for its independence again, it is especially important to me to help and support Ukrainian filmmakers.”