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"The Challenge", the first Russian film to be shot in space: behind the camera Klim Shipenko

“The Challenge”, the first Russian film to be shot in space: behind the camera Klim Shipenko

With 2001: space flightwithout moving from the ground Stanley Kubrick He masterfully recounted life inside a space station, at most using projectors to reconstruct backdrops or a large rotating cylinder to give the impression of zero gravity. However, Russians love to do big things, so a squad formed by the director and the film’s hero is about to blast off into space to make parts of a film in progress in orbit, a pioneering project also designed to increase the prestige of Russia’s space program.

In short, the space race seems to be resuming, if only in a cinematic way, and in this case Russia beat America, anticipating it. actress Yulia Peresild and the manager Shipenko . climb She will depart on Tuesday, October 5, for the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz spacecraft with the astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran who has already participated in three space expeditions. After 12 days in the orbital station, which is the time that filming will take, Peresild and Shipenko will return to Earth with another Russian cosmonaut.


Hopefully, the Russians have successfully anticipated Hollywood’s plan announced earlier this year to engage the star. Mission: Impossible Tom Cruise on a cinematic expedition that sees NASA and Space X together Elon Musk. The Russian space crew will make parts to be assembled into a new movie titled challenge Which tells about a surgeon called to rescue a crew member suffering from heart disease on a space station. Speaking at a press conference at the Russian launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Yulia Peresild She described the training for the task as “stressful” but also added that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her. It is actually the first time in cinema history that a feature film has been shot in space.

“It’s a miracle, and an incredible possibility,” said Peresild, 37. “We worked really hard and we’re really tired, although we stayed in a good mood and smiled,” he said. It was psychologically, physically and morally difficult. But I think once we reach the goal, we will have left all this behind and will remember it with a smile.”


Training at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the oldest and most widely used launch base in the world, built at the time of the Soviet Union in Kazakhstan, was rigorous and the crew had to adapt to strict discipline. “It was very difficult at first when you didn’t have a lot of options: go, run, go faster, wait, keep going. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.” For her, the most challenging part of preparing for the flight was managing the spacecraft: “I studied for two weeks until 4am.” Peresild also took part in a diving trip to let those inside experience 20-second weightlessness.

Director Shipenko . climb, 38 years old, has made many successful films including serfComedy set a record at the Russian box office in 2019, with 42.5 million dollars against a budget of about 2.5 million, and Salyut 7A film that tells the true story of the Soviet space mission in 1985, when two cosmonauts are sent to an abandoned space station to recover. Training was difficult for Shipenko too: “We didn’t manage to do many things on the first try, sometimes the second and third try were really bad, but we were told it was normal.” Shipenko said he is thrilled to be the first director to make a film in space and is keen to try the lighting and shooting aspects for the first time.

Yulia Peresild, cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and director Klim Shipenko (AFP)

Astronaut Anton Shkaplerov He noted that the two crews are fully prepared to fly despite their rapid training: “No one has ever had an experience like this before, which is preparing people who have nothing to do with a space program for a space flight.” This unpublished test may also be useful in the future. Dmitriy RogozinThe head of the Russian space company Roscosmos, spoke of making the world’s first feature film in space as an opportunity to increase the prestige of the space nation, despite the bewilderment of some Russian media and the doubts expressed by members of the Russian space program.

The Russian part of the ISS is less spacious than the American part, and it will not be easy for the crew to move around it for filming. Once they reach the space station, the three newcomers will join Thomas Bisket European Space Agency and NASA Mark Vandy helloAnd Shane Kimbrough NS Megan McArthur; a Aki Hoshide Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and astronauts Roscosmos Oleg Novitsky NS Peter Dubrov. Shipenko has already announced that he wants to involve them in the filming: Shkaplerov, Novitsky and Dubrov will participate. challenge. Nowitzki, who will play a sick astronaut in the film, will take the captain’s place in the Soyuz capsule upon completion of filming to bring the crew back to Earth on October 17.

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