A heartfelt, heartwarming new drama about dignity, humanity and hope 

Those Who Stayed
 is a unique drama anthology series for our time, inspired by true events which happened in Kyiv in the first few weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. As the brutal war got underway, every second person left Kyiv. Yet every second person remained. These are their stories – variously moving, funny, sad, stark, unsettling, and uplifting.

Each episode has a different gifted Ukrainian filmmaker at the helm, along with its own set of main characters and a unique story. However, sometimes the paths of characters from other episodes cross through chance encounters, creating a memorable shared universe and unity of time and place.

Amongst the dramatic and sometimes humorous stories are Olga, her two kids and her husband, forced to live in one room with her ex-husband; Klaus, a young German doctor who travels to Ukraine to rescue a friend, only to find out she has no intention of leaving, and Verka Serduchka, a famous singer and drag act who stays put, without his usual entourage, and creates daily online posts that become a symbol of Kyiv’s resistance and faith in future triumph.

6 x 30′


  • Those Who Stayed brings together some of the brightest and most gifted voices in Ukrainian filmmaking
  • Each episode showcases the distinctive vision of its creators
  • A sincere, genuine series that will speak to viewers all over the world
  • Heartfelt and heartwarming comedy drama about dignity, humanity and hope, set against the dramatic backdrop of war

Starring Oleksandr Rudynskyy, Slava Babenkov, Antonina Khyzhnyak, Oksana Zhdanova, Roman Lutskyi, Taras Tsimbalyuk

Directed by Oleksii Yesakov, Artem Lytvynenko, Pavlo Ostrikov, Tala Prystaetska, Valentyn Shpakov, Katya Tsarik

Written by Anastasiia Lodkina, Artem Lytvynenko, Pavlo Ostrikov, Tala Prystaetska, Sergii Lushchik

Produced by FILM.UA Group in coproduction with SVT (Sweden), YLE (Finland), NRK (Norway) for 1 + 1 Media (Ukraine)

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