Blue Ant Signs Deal for Ukrainian War Docuseries


Blue Ant International has signed a distribution and co-production financing deal with Film.UA in Ukraine, Tilt Media in Australia and GTV Docs in London for CITIZENS AT WAR: A Year in Ukraine.

The six-part docuseries features interviews with those whose lives were turned upside down by the war, including a Ukrainian beauty queen who became a sniper, a Russian soldier terrified by unexpected resistance against his convoy and the sole survivor of a mass execution in Bucha. Personal interviews with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife are also featured.

CITIZENS AT WAR: A Year in Ukraine is set to launch in February, on the first anniversary of the invasion. When Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on February 24, 2022, many observers believed Ukraine would topple in days, but many Ukrainians stayed behind to fight the invaders and are still holding their resistance.

The series is executive produced by Chris Hilton, Tilman Remme, Victor Mirsky and Kateryna Vyshnevska. It was commissioned by ZDF.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with the biggest production company in Ukraine for this premium documentary series that offers rare access to Zelensky as well as unique footage to the people who are on the front lines of the invasion in Ukraine,” said Lilla Hurst, global head of acquisitions and partnerships at Blue Ant International. “This project exemplifies our solutions-based approach as a distributor, combined with our commitment to premium, access-driven storytelling.”

“How the people of a free and democratic society in modern-day Europe rallied, in order to defend their country and national identity against a foreign aggressor, is the most important story of our time,” said Vyshnevska, head of development and co-productions at Film.UA Group. “All the partners agree the documentary needed to be told in a way that showed the lives of people behind the headlines.”

“With a very short production schedule, I knew finding the right partners was crucial to bring this project together,” added Hilton, CEO and executive producer at 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.”

“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,” Remme, partner and creative director at GTV Docs, said. “I am grateful for the collaborative spirit of all partners and to ZDF for coming in as the main broadcaster.”