EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has landed the Sundance Film Festival buzz title documentary Skywalkers: A Love Story. The film premiered January 18 at The Ray Theatre.
The film focuses on the boundary-pushing couple Angela Nikolau and Ivan Beerkus from Moscow, and a desperate climb to save their relationship. Directed by Jeff Zimbalist and co-directed by Maria Bukhonina, the film is reminiscent of pics like the Robert Zemeckis-The Walk and the Jimmy Chin/Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi-directed Free Solo, in that you can feel the dizzying heights and the risks just watching.
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It took the filmmakers seven years to chronicle it all, as the climbers scaled some of the some of the world’s highest skyscrapers and sharing intimate photos with their millions of followers on social media. The couple’s relationship was in danger of a freefall when their goals began to differ, as they continued to escape law enforcement to dangle off the skyscrapers, captured with drone and GoPro cameras.
A couple variables put extra pressure on their relationship: between the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine War prompted Russia to shut down social media, the Russian couple’s sponsors dropped out. They decided to take on a major risky stunt: knowing that security cameras were going to be put in place, they risked all by scaling the Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and performing a bold acrobatic stunt at the very top of the spire, making it their last death-defying climb.
Zimbalist and Bukhonina produced with Tamir Ardon and Chris Smith, and Nick Spicer is exec producer.
XYZ Films’ Nate Bolotin and Pip Ngo brokered the deal.
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