Ukrainian War Anthology ‘Those Who Stayed’ Enters Production

Ukrainian War Anthology ‘Those Who Stayed’ Enters Production

The first international show to be greenlit in Ukraine since the start of the war has entered production.

Red Arrow Studios International-backed anthology series Those Who Stayed, which Deadline first revealed in August, started the first filming block of three of its six episodes last week. The second block will begin next month and delivery is planned for the autumn.

A number of Nordic networks have already boarded Those Who Stayed and Deadline understands more network deals are close.

From Film.UA and Red Arrow Studios International, the comedy-drama anthology tells stories from the early days of Russia’s attack on its neighbor more than one year ago. Three production teams are working side by side in Kyiv, adhering to strict safety protocols and dealing with the daily challenges of filming amidst the war.

The three episodes currently being filmed are titled Kyiv-Berlin, Homeless and In the Zoo. The first episode tells a story of a homeless person who joins the Territorial Defences and finally gains visibility and purpose in life. The second spotlights a cleaner in a private zoo who saves animals when the Russians invade, while the third introduces Klaus from Germany, who arrives to whisk away to safety the girl he met in Berlin but ultimately decides to stay and help, finding his own sense in life.

Showrunner Anastasiia Lodkina said “we wanted to share the light of our people during our darkest moments.”

“We wanted to share the stories of Ukrainians who remained in Kyiv during the most uncertain and dangerous time, in the initial months of the war,” she added.

“While every second person left, every second person stayed – because something kept them: duty, love, responsibility, principle. In these dark times, we wanted to show the world the light of Ukrainian talent: actors, directors, cameramen, and artists.”

Anna Eliseeva, who co-created the series with Lodkina, and Kateryna Vyshnevska are producers.