Ukraine Film Production Grinds to a Halt as European Filmmakers Scramble to Help

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The producer of “Flee” is among those leading efforts to move Ukrainians away from the front lines

Ukraine Protesters London
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Ukrainians demonstrate in Whitehall outside of Downing Street, the residence of the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on February 25, 2022 in London, England. Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine, with Russian troops invading the country from the north, east and south, accompanied by air strikes and shelling. The offensive prompted a wave of sanctions from the U.S. and European governments. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Film and TV production in Ukraine — which has been a growing hub for European shoots in recent years — has ground to a halt as Vladimir Putin’s Russian army has launched an invasion that has killed scores of people and seized control of substantial sections of the country.

“It’s not a situation where one can think of filming something,” Darya Bassel, a Ukrainian film producer and a programmer with the country’s largest documentary film festival, told TheWrap. “It’s not even like it was in the Ukrainian revolution in 2013. It’s much much worse. People are terrified, and they’re just trying to be safe.