September 27, 2020

First Artistic Film from Space


First Artistic Film from Space
The International Space Station could be the setting for a new artistic film. Image by NASA via Wikimedia Commons

Roscosmos, Russia’s state space agency, has announced plans to shoot an artistic film about the International Space Station (ISS) from the station itself. The film is tentatively titled Challenge («Вызов»), and some space experts think the project is a call out to Elon Musk.

So far, there is no specific information about when the film will be available to the public, but shooting is planned for fall 2021. The main actor and his understudy will be selected via an open competition, then will head to the ISS via the Soyuz-MS. The film’s director will be Klim Shipenko, and the producers are Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, and Konstantin Ernst, the General Director for Channel One (Первый канал).

While the details for Roscosmos’ project remain unclear, there is some information from NASA and SpaceX as regards their project to shoot a film in space. Back in May, NASA announced that they were working with Tom Cruise to have him act in a film from the ISS itself.

Reactions to Roscosmos’ announcement are mixed. Russian astronaut Sergey Ryazansky commented that Roscosmos is correct that “all means are good” to help popularize space travel in Russia. Former astronaut turned politician Yelena Serova stated that she does not see any difficulties in this project, as even astronauts themselves are used to filming their daily life onboard the ISS.

Yet not everyone is as supportive of the project. Space expert Vadim Lukashevich believes that the film is simply an expression of the director’s jealousy of Elon Musk. Alexander Golubchikov, director of development for Cinema and TV Shows at Salo marketing agency, said he believes the project is simply a PR stunt: “By and large, there is no sense in this, this is purely a PR story. For an actor to fly into space, he must have remarkable health, undergo training at the Cosmonaut Training Center, this is too complicated a story to do a similar project within a year or two.”

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