Anatolii Dudinskyi, Maryna Kvasova, Alla Lipovetska
Anton Skrypets, Eva Strelnikova
Hordii Dziubynskyi, Roman Liakh, Oleksandr Rudynskyi, Yelyzaveta Zaitseva, Olesia Zhurakivska
Mamas Production LLC
STAY ONLINE, the feature-film debut of Ukrainian filmmaker Yeva Strelnikova, follows Katya (Liza Zaitseva), a volunteer from Kyiv who is fighting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While using a laptop donated to the resistance, she comes into contact with the original owner's superhero-obsessed son, who is looking for his lost parents. In an effort to make a positive change in this boy’s life and pull herself out of a destructive cycle, Katya risks all that she holds dear to locate his parents.
As the first Ukrainian feature film to have been shot since the beginning of the ongoing Russian invasion, STAY ONLINE is a necessary piece of protest art that commands and deserves your attention. The focus on seeking and dispersing information through the internet is as pertinent as it has ever been. Considering the invasion has essentially lost its time in the limelight on North American news outlets, people have had to shift to alternative sources, such as TikTok, to procure information. Using the screenlife format to full effect, Strelnikova crafts a somber but honest story that will leave your heart in your throat and your eyes on the screen. Evoking the likes of Aneesh Chaganty’s SEARCHING and Mick Jackson’s THREADS, STAY ONLINE twists and turns through the war-torn streets of Ukraine, giving its audience a harrowing glimpse into life during wartime. – Vincenzo Nappi
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