Ukraine War Drama ‘Stay Online,’ Shot Using Innovative Screenlife Format, Secures North American Distribution (EXCLUSIVE)

Rexa Vella

Ukraine War Drama ‘Stay Online,’ Shot Using Innovative Screenlife Format, Secures North American Distribution (EXCLUSIVE)

“Stay Online,” a Ukraine war drama from director Yeva Strielnikova which uses the innovative Screenlife format, has been acquired for North American distribution by Dark Star Pictures, Variety has learned. The L.A.-based company is planning a U.S. release for late Q2 2024. The deal was brokered by XYZ Films.

Set after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the film begins when a young woman (Liza Zaitseva) volunteering in Kyiv is given one of the thousands of laptops donated by ordinary Ukrainians to support the war effort. She’s asked to install a sensitive military application and deliver the laptop to her brother serving on the frontline.

But the woman receives a mysterious video call from a young boy searching for his father, the laptop’s previous owner, who went missing during the Russian army’s brutal massacre of innocent civilians in Bucha. Reluctantly, she agrees to help find his missing parents — a decision that will ultimately force her to risk the lives of her own loved ones.

“Stay Online” was written by Strielnikova and Anton Skrypets and produced by AMO Pictures, Mamas Production and the Organization of Ukrainian Producers’ fiction arm, OUP Fiction. The producers are Skrypets, Anatolii Dudinskyi, Maryna Kvasova and Alla Lipovetska.

“Dark Star could not be more proud to be working with OUP and XYZ to release ‘Stay Online,’” said the company’s president, Michael Repsch. “The film is an important piece of content that will offer audiences a unique look into the atrocities that are happening in the Ukraine now, and our hope is that our release will not only help raise awareness around these injustices but also rally more international support for our Ukrainian brethren.”

OUP co-founder Igor Storchak said: “The U.S. is a crucial market for us, and we’re thrilled with the enthusiasm and interest from Dark Star Pictures and Michael Repsch for ‘Stay Online.’ We’re confident that American audiences will engage with the film, both in cinemas and online, and gain insight into the experiences of Ukrainians during the early stages of the war.”

“Stay Online” was made using the Screenlife format, which takes place almost entirely on characters’ smartphones and computer screens. The film’s creators said that allowed them to immerse viewers in the perspective of millions of Ukrainians who have relied on their phones and laptops for survival since the outbreak of war two years ago.

The production faced numerous challenges, including air raids, missile attacks and power outages, but the crew persisted in filming on location in Ukraine to maintain the authenticity of the depicted events. The ruins of the Kyiv region shown in the film reflect the real-life experiences of the film’s creators and characters during the war.

“Producing ‘Stay Online’ in the midst of conflict was a formidable challenge,” said Alla Lipovetska, co-founder of OUP and Mamas Production. “The experiences of the film’s characters mirror those of our team. We believe the film’s authenticity will resonate deeply with viewers. The support from prominent American distributors is vital for us to convey the realities of this unjust war to a broad American audience.”

SOURCE

MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MLB MLB MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL

Leave a Comment

MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL