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About the film

The prototype of the film’s main character was the Ukrainian circus strong man Ivan Firtsak, who was acknowledged the strongest man of the Earth in 1928. It happened on the peak of his career, in 1928, when he stopped to perform abroad and returned to his native land.

The film presents some pages of Ivan’ young life, when he went through many trials with dignity, steeled heart and became an invincible giant of strength and spirit.


The film action started in Europe at the beginning of XX century, that’s why all people in the shot, including numerous crowds, were dressed in historical suits, given for the movie by the Czech Barrandov studio. There were no sceneries in the film — all stages were screened in natural buildings and true indoor scenes of the epoch, in a real fortress, in the present circus. Besides, all entertaining and strength tricks were performed alive in the film.

Script-writers and producers

Viktor ANDRIYENKO and Ihor PYSMENNY (based on Oleksandr Gavrosh’s book «Ivan Syla’s Incredible Adventures»)


Bohdan Benyuk Kovalsky
Oleh Primohenov Main moving man
Dmytro Timchev Stanislav (Novak’s pupil)
Mykola Svitlytsky Korneliy (Novak’s pupil)
Vasyl Bendas Patient in the hospital
Vadym Tupchіy Doctor
Volidymyr Svistunov Mahdebura
Mykola Lutsenko Radiobroadcaster
Ihor Arnautov Tomash
Serhiy Konyushok Champion of France
Oleksiy Vertynsky Hyusto
Yevhen Paperny President of France
Oleksandr Lobanov Toni Marchinelli
Serhiy Shmyhora Jabson
Yehor Krutoholov Jabson’s Supporter
Ihor Kistol Prince of Wales


Our film reproduces not only some pages of Ivan Firtsak’ life — the strongest man of the Earth in the XX century. Due to the participation in it of the prominent athletes of today — Dmytro Khaladzhi, Vasyl Virastyuk and others — we artistically succeeded to bring together time and space. Our heroes are exactly in these measures – at least they are unified by the whole age. We consciously pushed the envelope of the main hero’s vital story, because Firtsak, Khaladzhi or Virastyuk, that is each of them can become a proving example for a young man — how to set a goal and how to achieve it, reckoning upon his own forces.

Ihor Pysmenny:

We produced a nice story about a good fellow. We showed the real vital situations when each of us can get into, and searched for some way out — not only right, but estimable.

As the film is focused on children and young people (although I’m sure, that it has become the family film in the result), I’d like to point that there is no didacticism in the movie. All the heroes reveal themselves through actions.

Dmytro Khaladzhi:

During the movie process I understood, how difficult it was for a sportsman to be in the film and simultaneously to maintain high physical fitness. I realized that it wasn’t easy for Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Lee. Primarily because I had to perform difficult power acts. Sometimes I forced myself to muster all strength...

This film is about the forgotten history of the Ukrainians. I would even say — about folk-lore. For example, the Chinese shoot dozens of films only about Bruce Lee up to nowadays. And we have such people to be proud of — I. Piddubny, I. Firtsak and many others, whose names at their time were sounded in the whole world! But for some reason we hide it, it’s buried somewhere, it’s hidden...

Vasyl Virastyuk:

Victor Andriyenko phoned me. We met that day. He told me about the scenario with such an excitement and emotions, that I consented without hesitation! Moreover, the story tells about a fellow from a village who, for no reason at all, left for a strange city to find the best life. Believe me, but I saw a lot of common with my life, because long ago I also went to unknown Lviv in search of happiness.

That’s why I simply was myself in the movie! We often joked on the film location, for example, if I had been invited to screen in an erotic film, I would have felt myself exactly «like a fish out of water». Actually each of us worked there according to his kind of sport.

Volodymyr Svistunov:

Actually, I performed myself — as a weight-lifter. I was engaged into heavy athletics for 7 years, so I simply had to cast my mind back. And that’s all! Certainly, there is a difference between power-lifting, which I go in for now, and heavy athletics. The first is more strength kind of sport, and the second is a speedy one. In two weeks prior to film-shooting I practiced previous exercises and worked on speed a bit in order to feel.

There was a contact moment, when I had to kick my coach not much. That is to «put him at his place» — as if to ask, «Who are you?». I planned to do it very slightly, not to injure anything. But suddenly Victor Andriyenko appeared and ordered to smash and make him double over for a spectator to feel the moment! We were amused strongly then.

Camera-man Oleksandr KRYSHTALOVYCH, art-director Ihor FILIPOV, music by Ihor STETSYUK, sound producer Oleh KULCHYTSKY, film editor Victor MALYARENKO, song FAGOTT (Oleh MYKHAILYUTA).

The movie was made by the studio «Insight Media» Producer center through the request of the Ukrainian national agency in cinema issues.

Interesting Facts


The movie started its production on August 21, 2012. Shooting had been lasted for three months and a half. During the time the production team visited Tchernivtsi three times, several stages were screened in Kamyanets-Podilsky and in Irshavsky district in Zakarpattya (just there, in the village of Bilky, Ivan Firtsak was born and finished his vital way). The considerable part of the movie was filmed in «Shapito» Kiev circus and all its actors were involved into camera-recording.

More than 4 thousand people participated in crowd scenes — both professional actors and ordinary inhabitants.