An international coalition of producers and distributors have come together to deliver “Citizens at War: A Year in Ukraine.” The six-part documentary series is expected include interviews with Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, survivors of a mass execution and a beauty queen who becomes a sniper.
The series is backed by Canada’s Blue Ant International, Ukraine’s Film.UA, Tilt Media in Australia, and GTV Docs from the U.K. The deal was assembled by Lilla Hurst, global head of acquisitions & partnerships at Blue Ant.
The completed series is set to be delivered by next month, on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The production leans on the filmmakers of Kyiv’s most prestigious film production house who fanned out to record the fate of their nation. They accessed the Ukraine government, Ukrainian military and the personal stories of Ukrainian citizens. It combines the fresh professional footage with material from Ukrainian people’s personal archives.
The hour-long episodes include: “The First Ten Days,” “Zelensky,” “Women at War,” “The Volunteer Army,” “The Siege of Mariupol” and “The Russians.”
The Australian, Ukrainian and British co-production is executive produced by Chris Hilton, Tilman Remme, Victor Mirsky and Kateryna Vyshnevska and was commissioned by Germany’s ZDF. Pre-sales negotiations with other European networks are ongoing.
“With a very short production schedule, I knew finding the right partners was crucial to bring this project together,” said Chris Hilton, CEO and executive producer at Tilt Media. “GTV Docs, Film.UA and ZDF enabled us to tell this critical story and award-winning German – British filmmaker, Tilman Remme is the ideal storyteller with his vast experience in films about the history of warfare.”
“How the people of a free and democratic society in modern-day Europe rallied, in order to defend their country and national identity against a foreign aggressor, is the most important story of our time,” said Kateryna Vyshnevska, head of development and co-productions at Film.UA Group. “All the partners agree the documentary needed to be told in a way that showed the lives of people behind the headlines.”
“This project is unlike any other and reveals the heartache and inspiring determination of the Ukrainian people, a nation that has banded together to resist the military takeover of their country,” said Remme, partner and creative director, GTV Docs.