Hours after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine, Vice Studios has confirmed that Sean Penn is on location in the country filming a documentary about the invasion and about Ukraine’s struggle to remain a sovereign nation. According to Variety, the Gaslit actor also made an appearance at a press briefing in the capital city, Kyiv, to listen to government officials discuss the rapidly escalating crisis.
Penn has also met directly with local journalists and with Ukraine’s deputy prime minster Iryna Vereshchuk, and according to Deadline, President Volodymyr Zelensky also posted a video on Instagram with Penn. The caption of that video read, “The more people know about the war in the Ukraine, the higher the likelihood of stopping Russia!”
Though Penn returned to Ukraine this week, his last trip to the country was in November 2021—he was prepping for the forthcoming documentary even back then. During that trip, Penn spoke to members of the Ukrainian military.
Though the situation between Ukraine and Russian has intensified overnight, Penn will continue his work on the project, and in a statement translated by Newsweek, the Ukrainian government expressed their support for the documentary.
“The director specially came to Kyiv to record all the events that are currently happening in Ukraine and to tell the world the truth about Russia’s invasion of our country,” the translated statement reads. “Sean Penn is among those who support Ukraine in Ukraine today. Our country is grateful to him for such a show of courage and honesty.”
The statement adds, “Sean Penn is demonstrating bravery that many others have been lacking, in particular some Western politicians. The more people like that — true friends of Ukraine, who support the fight for freedom — the quicker we can stop this heinous invasion by Russia.”
Penn’s documentary on Ukraine is being produced by Vice Studios, in association with Endeavor Content. However, as of right now, no release date has been set.