The Rising Hawk historical action feature film shared first details about project work

• 02.11.2018

The team of The Rising Hawk historical action directed by Akhtem Seitablayev based on Ivan Franko’s novella with the same title shared the first details about their work on the project.

 50 filming shifts, including 24 at night, over 300 experts on the team, actors from Ukraine, the USA, the UK, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, 250 mass scene artists, over 3,000 hand-made costumes, hundreds of weapon units specially crafted for film characters, sets built for Tukhlya village, Tugar Vovk’s mansion and a spectacular mountain gorge, impressive battle scenes – and this is just a tiny portion of The Rising Hawk world to be seen on wide screens the following year.

The film produced by Kinorob and CinemaDay with the support of Ukrainian State Film Agency will be released in Ukraine on October 10, 2019. And the project’s general media partner is Ukraina TV channel.

This was a very challenging but fascinating process. A lot of things were a first for me: for the first time I worked at the set with such amount of international actors; for the first time I had so much process shooting for further creation of computer graphics; and for the first time I worked on the project with a co-director. And I am extremely thankful to our whole team for their professionalism and dedication,” says Akhtem Seitablayev. “Now post-production is ongoing, and a lot of work is ahead of us. However, I am convinced this will be a beautiful, dynamic and emotional genre movie passing all the main messages of Ivan Franko’s original work not only to Ukrainian audience but also beyond.”

Mostly the film was shot in summer close to Synevir clearing in Transcarpathia and not far from Kyiv where the main set was built.

Our aspiration was to create a unique world of The Rising Hawk, a bit of fantasy but fully real at the same time, to immerse the audience into a totally new ambience. That is why we made everything for the film: starting from crockery and pottery and up to the construction of villages where the characters lived and other locations,” says film artistic director Vlad Odudenko. “However, the hardest task was to create a mountain gorge as replicating something that nature had been shaping for thousands of centuries is practically impossible.”


The set for the mountain gorge where the main events of the film take place was built on the nature set of FILM.UA Group. According to Vlad Odudenko, first the 3D model of cliffs was created, then the main construction erected, then they worked with volume and texture, and the final masterful touch of set designers was to give a natural look to artificial stones.

No less impressive work was done by costume workshop headed by costume designer Antonina Belinska. Only for the film’s main characters, before approving final looks, Tonya developed more than a dozen sketches each. In total, over 600 original costumes were made for filming, and this is more than 3,000 clothing items.

Before starting work we went on several expeditions to the western Ukraine. We were looking for old fabrics and sheets we’d be able to use and then did use them for main characters’ clothing. For example, we got old homespun cloth to make outerwear for Zakhar Berkut; I think this fabric is more than a hundred years old. When Robert Patrick tried it on for the first time, he said, ‘This is fantastic! It doesn’t just look real, it smells real!’” says Antonina Belinska. “In general, we studied a lot of material. I consulted different historians who helped me imagine the visuals of the 13th century. To do this, I had to go much deeper to understand which items of clothing could come from where, to rethink our cultural heritage so that I could trace its transformations into Ukrainian costume. This all doesn’t just come from nowhere, everything has its roots.”

In Transcarpathia, overcoats made using old technologies were ordered along with homespun cloths; the team learned original traditional printing techniques; sheepskin arrived from Rakhiv and Kosiv districts; and metal elements were forged by Lviv craftspeople. “We had craftspeople from all over Ukraine working with us: from Donetsk and Luhansk region, from western and central Ukraine, even Crimean girls got involved in the project,” says Tonya.  

For big mass scenes, makeup artist Alla Leonova and her team had to prepare over 320 actors for the shot. But the most time, according to Alla, was spent on the makeup for Andriy Isayenko who played Petro in the film.

“We spent the most time on it because his look was gathered literally bit by bit. Andriy was fully transformed: there was one person sitting down in the chair and a totally different one entering the set,” says Alla. “We even had several funny instances when our actors did not recognize Andriy without makeup. And only when he put his wig on, and this is almost the final part of the make-up, they understood who was sitting in the chair next to them.”  

The Rising Hawk action film features a large international cast. In particular, the audience will see the following actors on the big screen: Andriy Isayenko (Cyborgs), Oleg Voloschenko (The Stronghold), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Die Hard 2, Last Action Hero, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle),  Tsegmid Tserenbold(Zhauzhürek myng bala) Tommy Flanagan (Braveheart, Gladiator, Sin City), Poppy Drayton (The Downtown Abbey, The Little Mermaid), Ayan Utepbergen (Zhauzhürek myng bala, Diamond Sword), Alex MacNicoll (The 5th Wave, A.X.L.), Viktor Zhdanov (Cyborgs), Yerzhan Nurymbet (The Stronghold, Sardar, The Winning Sword, The Bride), Alison Doody (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, A View to a Kill), Alina Kovalenko, Dualet  Abdygaparov(The Nomad, The Liquidator, The Horde), Rocky Myers, Oleg Stefanov, Nurken Tumatayev(McMafia), Oliver Trevena, Maryna Koshkina, Marat Abdulayev (The Liquidator, Taraz), Stanislav Lozovsky, Daniyar Akhmetov, Viktoria Kleshenko-Pylypchuk, and others.  

Another note: John Wynn worked on the film as co-director together with Akhtem Seitablayev. From the Ukrainian side, the film is produced by Egor Olesov, and from the American side, by Jeff Rice, Yuriy Karnovsky and Rajah Collins. The DOP is Yuriy Korol. The screenwriters are Yaroslav Voytseshek and Richard Ronat. Casting director from the Ukrainian side is Olga Klymenko. The film partner and consultant is Ivan Franko International Foundation. The film’s distributor in Ukraine is Ukrainian Film Distribution.

Today we have only lifted the veil on the film’s making-of. So in the following posts you can expect new details about the work of our whole big team: the stunt guys headed by Pavlo Avilov and Dmytro Rudyi, the SFX guru Oleksandr Suvorov, the skillful horsemen from Oleg Yurchyshyn’s team, the sound king of the set Oleksandr Tytarenko, and the experts from all other departments.  

More project news on its official pages:




Title: The Rising Hawk

Slogan: Freedom is my nature

Synopsis: The year is 1241. The Mongol horde lead by cruel khan Burunda moves west, destroying everything in its path. Reaching the Carpathian mountains, the troops camp right below. However, at night several local hunters, the Berkut brothers, secretly enter the camp and free the hostages. Consumed with rage, the khan decides to take revenge and destroy the Carpathian settlements. A traitor amongst the locals tells the Mongols about a secret passage inside the mountains. Nevertheless, a small group of mountain hunters led by Zakhar Berkut has its plan to stop the enemy horde once and for all.

Director: Akhtem Seitablayev

Co-director: John Wynn

DOP: Yuriy Korol

Producers: Egor Olesov, Yuriy Karnovsky, Jeff Rice, Rajah Collins  

Screenwriters: Yaroslav Voytseshek and Richard Ronat, working from Ivan Franko’s novella Zakhar Berkut

Artistic director: Vladyslav Odudenko

Costume designer: Antonina Belinska

Cast:  Robert Patrick, Andriy Isayenko,  Tsegmid Tserenbold, Tommy Flanagan, Oleg Voloschenko, Poppy Drayton, Ayan Utepbergen, Alex MacNicoll, Viktor Zhdanov, Yerzhan Nurymbet, Alison Doody, Alina Kovalenko, Dualet Abdygaparov,  Rocky Myers, Oleg Stefanov, Nurken Tumatayev, Oliver Trevena, Maryna Koshkina, Marat Abdulayev, Stanislav Lozovsky, Daniyar Akhmetov, Viktoria Kleshenko-Pylypchuk, Mykhaylo Korzhenivsky, Andriy Storozh, Yuriy Yerko, Mykhaylo Chernyakov, Alina Dovbush, Yevgen Lebedyn, and others

Genre: action, historical drama

Ukrainian premiere: October 10, 2019


Broadcaster: Ukraina

Production: Kinorob, Cinema Day

With the support of Ukrainian State Film Agency

Timing: 110 mins