Documentary “The First Code,” which explores how Ukrainian techies are an integral pillar of the global IT industry, will debut in the spring.
The film, from EASE (the European Association of Software Engineering), chronicles the birth and formation of Ukrainian IT, from the creation of the first computer by Ukrainian engineers in the 1950s to the present day, where it has become a powerful industry and an important front in the war with Russia.
The film was made based on interviews with representatives of leading Ukrainian IT companies, including EPAM Ukraine, 3DLOOK, ELEKS, Looksery, Techiia holding, Sigma Software Group, SoftServe, Uklon, Infopulse Ukraine and Preply. The V. M. Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, have also participated in the film.
“The First Code” is directed by Arthur Lerman, with Lyubov Mochalova serving as creative producer and Yevhen Usanov as DoP. Tetyana Burenko and global IT entrepreneur Vladyslav Savchenko share writing credits with the latter also being the producer.
The film, which is currently in post, was started in late 2021 and continued despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is budgeted at UAH8 million ($217,000).
“Ukrainian IT specialists and development engineers participated in almost all significant global projects — from writing systems for the most famous German IT company SAP to the first release of Windows. Our IT has long been a part of the global ecosystem. But more importantly, it is our ability to maintain productivity and continue to grow despite everything, even now. Such events have not happened yet. This is a phenomenon when there is a full-scale war going on in the country, and we continue to act and give results to the whole world. especially now you understand how necessary and relevant it is to record every second that we live. Therefore, this film is our attempt to capture for a global audience all that we went through in the formative phase and continue to struggle with today,” said Savchenko.
“We collected almost a thousand facts, and it was very difficult to combine them into one idea and into the plane of the film. That’s why we consulted with film specialists, documentary filmmaking experts, and researchers, and were testing information carriers from different eras. Actors were chosen based on photos of their IT prototypes in their youth, and there was no need to look for props – the old equipment is still available,” Savchenko added.
The film’s music by Tvorchi – who will represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest in May – features the single “Hidden Code.” “The ‘Hidden Code’ track is about the supermen of the IT industry who are working non-stop behind the scenes, creating a new history of Ukrainian resistance to the enemy. From the first day of the full-scale war, our cyber troops have demonstrated unreal strength and unity for a common victory,” Tvorchi said.
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