The first movie for children in 23 years of independence of Ukraine has hit the big screens

The first children's movie in 23 years of Ukraine's existence in separation from the Soviet Union was released for showing in movie theaters. The film, ordered by the state, tells a story of a strongman from Zakarpatye Ivan Sila.

A real circus artist, the strongest man in the world as of 1928, Ivan Fritsak became a prototype of the main character of the movie, starring the artist of Simferopol State Circus Dmitry Khaladji.

According to the scriptwriter and director of the movie, Ukrainian artist and showman Viktor Andrienko, the main role in the movie based on the book of Alexander Gavrosh Incredible Adventures of Ivan Sila initially was planned to be given to another Ukrainian strongman – Vasily Virastiuk; however, when it appeared that the main character Ivan Fritsak and Dmitry Khaladji looked alike, the authors of the movie had no doubts that they found the right actor.

"Moreover, Khaladji is a circus artist and he also performs those stunts which he does in the movie in his regular life," said Andrienko.

"My great grandfather was a circus athlete. He did a number of wrestling the bear for the emperor Nicolas the Second, for what the tsar presented him with one hundred ruble bill. So my strength goes from the genes. I tried to embody the features of many strongmen in my character, so my image is a collective one, assembled form the features of Ivan Poddubny, Ivan Zaikin, Ivan Shemyakin and Ivan Fritsak," said Dmitry Khaladji.

Besides Khaladji and Virastiuk other professional athletes were in the movie; since the scenario was written for particular people many actors, who are friends of Andrienko – Olga Sumskaya, Igor Pismenny, Bogdan Beniuk, Evgeny Paperny and others – were in the movie.

The State Cinema of Ukraine fully financed the creation of the movie. In total 16 million hryvnas were spent on the movie, which was prepared for 1.5 years, while actual filming took 45 days in the native village of Fritsak in Czech Republic and in Kiev.

"None of the oligarchs, who work in sports, gave us any money for the promo. I was asking and writing that the film would help us to set the sport back to its feet, but nobody was interested. We travel around the country at own expense. All of this is done only to attract the spectators back to the cinema. I made a movie for Ukraine, but not to make money," said Andrienko.

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