In November 2020, the Russian space agency and the national Channel One broadcaster launched an open competition for participation in the first feature film in space known by the working title "Challenge." In March, the competition shortlisted 20 finalists, who were subjected to pass medical review.
"As a result of medical and creative selection, the State Commission recommended nominating Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko as the prime crew and Alyona Mordovina and Alexey Dudin as the backup crew. The filming will take place at the International Space Station," the agency said in a statement.
The expedition is scheduled to launch on October 5 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in southern Kazakhstan, when the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft will fly the crew to the ISS.
Starting June 1, all the candidates will undergo special training, including "centrifuge tests, vibration stand tests … flights on a zero-gravity plane," as well as parachute training.
"All this [training] will be covered by Channel One," the agency specified.
"We are proud that Roscosmos invited us to do this, and we will not let our colleagues down," Konstantin Ernst, General Director of Channel One, said.
The plot of the film will revolve around a young female surgeon flying to the ISS, who will have to perform an operation on a sick cosmonaut whose medical condition does not allow him to return to Earth, a source told Sputnik.
The movie is a part of a massive educational and scientific project, which also aims to film some documentaries about specialists manufacturing rockets and other space vehicles, as well as rocket and space industries companies, according to Roscosmos.