Highly Anticipated Documentary On Ukraine War And Zelenskyy To Premiere At This Film Festival

Zinger Key Points
  • Prior to becoming president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy was an actor and comedian.
  • A documentary following Zelenskyy during the early days of its conflict with Russia will debut at an international film festival.

A leading film festival could include one of the most talked about films of the year thanks to the person behind the camera and the subject of the documentary. Here are the details of a documentary about the war in Ukraine.

What Happened: Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn shot a movie in Ukraine during the invasion by Russia that began in February 2022.

As Benzinga previously reported, Penn was in Ukraine to film a documentary centered on the conflict between the two countries. The film is produced by Vice Studios, Vice World News and Endeavor Content, a unit of Endeavor Group Holdings Inc EDR.

Penn first traveled to Ukraine in November 2021, prior to the invasion.

The documentary will debut at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival, which will be held from Feb. 16 through Feb. 26. Deadline reports the documentary is titled “Superpower” and will feature content focused on the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The movie will feature Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a difficult time for his country and people. The film footage includes Zelenskyy in Kyiv when the invasion began and footage of Penn in Ukraine in November 2021 prior to the beginning of the war.

Penn shares a directing credit on the documentary with Aaron Kaufman.

Berlin Film Festival artistic director Carlo Chatrian highlighted the storytelling of the film.

“This is a documentary film done under very difficult circumstances, but it is also a film that tells the role of art and artists in difficult times,” Chatrian said.

“Superpower” will be one of the headline movies during the Berlinale Special Gala series of the film festival. The screening will coincide with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nine additional Ukrainian films will also screen at the festival, and around 50 Ukrainian film professionals will travel to the event with financing covered by Berlin’s European Film Market.

Related Link: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President Of Ukraine

Why It’s Important: Zelenskyy is connected to the film industry in several ways. Prior to becoming the president of Ukraine, Zelenskyy was an actor and comedian.

Zelenskyy became best known for his role playing a fictional president on the series “Servant of the People,” which streamed in the U.S. on Netflix Inc NFLX).

The satirical show starred Zelenskyy as a teacher who accidentally becomes the president of Ukraine. The character on the show is elected after a rant about corruption goes viral on social media and inspires the country. Zelenskyy announced his candidacy in the 2019 presidential elections, and went on to run as a nominee of a party named after the show.

Zelenskyy was also the co-founder of comedy troupe Kvartal 95 and voiced the title role of Paddington Bear in the dubbed versions of “Paddington” and “Paddington 2” in Ukraine.

Penn also gifted one of his Academy Award trophies to Zelenskyy.

“It’s just a symbolic silly thing, but if I know this is here then I’ll feel better and strong enough for the fights,” Penn told Zelenskyy at the time. “When you win, bring it back to Malibu, because I’ll feel much better knowing there’s a piece of me here.”

Penn was given the Order of Merit in Ukraine by Zelenskyy “for his sincere support and significant contribution to the popularization of Ukraine in the world.”

The documentary could be one of the most talked about at the Berlin Film Festival, which is considered one of the five biggest annual film festivals. Movie companies and streaming companies often buy the theatrical and streaming rights to well-received movies at film festivals. “Superpower” could be one of the movies circled by media companies, given its likelihood to generate strong viewership in theaters and on streaming platforms around the world.

Read Next: How The Film Industry Will Honor Ukraine

Photo: Shutterstock

Posted In: EntertainmentNewsGeneralBerlin Film FestivaldocumentariesRussiaSean Pennstreaming platformsUkraineVolodymyr ZelenskyVolodymyr Zelenskyy