Russia Releases Trailer for The Challenge, First Film Shot on the International Space Station


Russia has released a trailer for The Challenge film made on the International Space Station (ISS). Photo/TASS/Daily Mail

MOSCOW – The war with Ukraine does not seem to be a significant distraction for a country of Russia’s class. Without much fanfare, Russia released the trailer for The Challenge film set on the International Space Station (ISS).

The launch of The Challenge is officially scheduled for April 20, 2023 and will be the first feature-length film that the actors and director have flown directly into space to shoot. The film The Challenge was recorded at the International Space Station (ISS) which is at an altitude of 250 miles or 400 km above Earth.

Of course this news has beaten Tom Cruise’s project to make the first feature-length film made in outer space directed by Doug Liman. Though The Mission Impossible star was first revealed to be taking part in a collaboration with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA in May 2020.

Russia, which did not have much fanfare, six months later, through the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos announced that it would select a ‘superwoman’ to star in the first film made on the International Space Station.

The actress chosen is Yulia Peresild, playing a heart surgeon named Zhenya who is sent to the ISS to save the life of an astronaut. Apart from carrying out complicated procedures in zero gravity, the character must struggle to be taken seriously by the rest of the male crew.

All preparatory stages for the film were shown on the state-controlled Channel One TV channel. This film was made to popularize Russian space activities and glorify the cosmonaut profession.

Uniquely, The Challenge film was made on the ISS in October 2021, or just a few months before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Roscomos head Dmitry Rogozin, appointed himself producer of The Challenge.

The film The Challenge cost around 1.115 billion rubles (£12.4 million), while Cruise is said to have had a more ambitious budget of $200 million (£170 million).

Russia Releases Trailer for The Challenge, First Film Shot on the International Space Station

The stars of The Challenge, such as Yulia Peresild and her director and co-star Klim Shipenko, were launched to the ISS with two Russian cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft. Peresild was a stage and film actress who briefly studied philology in the city of Pskov before moving to Moscow to pursue acting. He made his debut in the TV series Land in 2003 and made his breakthrough in 2010 with a supporting role in The Edge.

Shipenko has previously described space-based films as experimental due to the zero-gravity conditions on the ISS. “No single cameraman can answer how to work with the light from the porthole,” he was quoted as saying on the Daily Mail page, Thursday (9/3/2023).

Although The Challenge was the first film in which the cast was flown into space to shoot, Russia is no stranger to filming in space. In 1984, the Soviet Union made the science fiction film Return from Orbit which was shot on the Salyut 7 space station.


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