Blue Ant International announced a distribution and co-production financing deal with Film.UA for a six-part documentary series, "Citizens AT War: A Year in Ukraine." “We are thrilled to collaborating with the biggest production company in Ukraine for this premium documentary series that offers rare access to Zelensky as well as unique footage of the people who are on the front lines of the invasion in Ukraine,” said Lilla Hurst, Global Head of Acquisitions & Partnerships Blue Ant International. “This project exemplifies our solutions-based approach as a distributor, combined with our commitment to premium, access-driven storytelling.”
The Australian, Ukrainian and British co-production is executive produced by Chris Hilton, Tilman Remme, Victor Mirsky and Kateryna Vyshnevska. Commissioned by ZDF, and with pre-sales in negotiation with additional European networks, each of the six, one-hour episodes features citizens telling their stories of survival and endurance. Episodes include: The First Ten Days, Zelensky, Women at War, The Volunteer Army, The Siege of Mariupol and The Russians.
Filmakers have worked for the past year to capture footage of the unfortunate siutation. With access to Volodymyr Zelensky and his government, to the Ukrainian military and by employing dozens of production staff on the ground in Ukraine, the series documents the lives of Ukrainian citizens and of some of its leaders. "With a very short production schedule, I knew finding the right partners was crucial to bring this project together,” says Chris Hilton, CEO and Executive Producer, 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.”
The series features exclusive and very personal interviews with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, and his wife, Olena and details the trauma and triumphs of the war-torn Ukrainian nation and of its people. It includes powerful interviews with men and women whose lives were turned upside down by the war including a Ukrainian beauty queen turned deadly sniper, a Russian soldier terrified by unexpected Ukrainian resistance against his convoy en route to Kyiv and the sole Ukrainian survivor of a mass execution committed by Russian soldiers in Bucha. Set to launch in February 2023, on the first anniversary of the invasion, the deal was brokered by Lilla Hurst, Global Head of Acquisitions & Partnerships, Blue Ant International.
The title details the events following 24th February, 2022, when Vladimir Putin ordered an unprovoked attack on Ukraine, resulting in the Russian invasion, and an influx of fleeing residents.“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,” says Tilman Remme, Partner and Creative Director, GTV Docs. “I am grateful for the collaborative spirit of all partners and to ZDF for coming in as the main broadcaster.”