First Blockbuster Filmed In Space Premieres In Theaters

“The Challenge,” the first blockbuster filmed in space, premiered in Russian theaters with actress Yulia Peresild starring as a surgeon.

Russia has officially released the first-ever feature movie to have been partially filmed in space. Shot aboard the International Space Station (ISS), ‘The Challenge’, which premiered on Thursday in Russian cinemas, is being celebrated as a groundbreaking achievement in film-making. 

The film focuses on a surgeon played by actress Yulia Peresild, who is sent to the ISS to perform an operation on a cosmonaut injured during a spacewalk.

In order to film the scenes in space, the actress, together with film director Klim Shipenko, had to undergo rigorous training for four months before traveling to the ISS, accompanied by cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, for a 12-day stay in October 2021. Shipenko was in charge of the camera, lighting, and sound while in orbit. The director brought a total of 30 hours of footage back from the trip, 50 minutes of which ended up in the final cut of the movie. 

During his speech at the Kremlin dedicated to Cosmonautics Day on April 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the ‘Challenge’ film crew had performed “a real civil, human deed” and realized a “wonderful scientific and educational project.” He called the movie a “unique event for world cinema” and noted that “we are the first to have shot a feature film in orbit, aboard a spacecraft. Once again, the first.” 

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