Private Project

Zero Zone

Zero Zone takes us to the Eastern front of the war in Ukraine, where during late 2022, the Ukrainian army bravely liberated villages and cities from Russian occupation. Here, the film delves into the deep wounds left by the Russian occupation in the lives of the Ukrainian people.

The film documents the struggle of Ukrainian survivors to rebuild their lives after the devastating destruction of their communities. Through their own voices and personal narratives, we witness their experiences, empathise with their suffering, and gain an understanding of their reality that surpasses that of any news report.

While the film primarily reflects on the war through the perspectives of those intimately affected by it, Zero Zone also captures the daily struggles of life on the front line. The war unfolds across a landscape strewn with trenches, tanks and artillery that evoke memories of the WWII.

Through poignant interviews with soldiers, commanders and civilians, we gain insights into their thoughts about the war and comprehend the daily sacrifices they must make not just to survive, but to fight for the freedom of their homeland.

  • Mark Hammond
  • Mevlut Akkaya
  • Kestutis Drazdauskas
  • Andriy Suyarko
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    War Crime
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 32 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 25, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    150,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Russian, Ukrainian
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Mark Hammond

Since attending NYU Film School, Mark Hammond has worked as a director, producer and writer of films, television, and theater for the past 25 years. Mr. Hammond has extensive experience in putting together international co- productions including broadcast documentaries; Japan: Food for the Spirit, (1988); The Silent Invasion, (1989); Paper Clouds, (1990); Koyasan, (1991); Mini-Dragons, (1993) and In No Uncertain Terms, (1996). From 2007–2017 Mr. Hammond worked as a director/producer for the World Health Organization as a UN contractor producing documentaries on an array of Public Health issues across Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. In addition, he has produced a wide range of documentaries on immigration, fake medicine, and the challenges of containing and treating various tropical diseases. Clients have included WHO (wpro), WHO (searo), USAID, Kenan Foundation, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jacques Chirac Foundation, US Pharmacopeia et al.

Mr. Hammond also co-produced the Jamaican feature production One Love, a romantic drama starring Bob Marley's son, Ky-Mani Marley. He produced the multiple award-winning short films Driving Fish and Waves, a UK/Italian co- production starring Peter Mullen and Lorenza Indovina. He also directed Stolen Song for Sony and Johnny Was, a UK/ Irish/Danish co-production starring Vinnie Jones,Samantha Mumba and Patrick Bergin and produced L’Amour Caché, a French-language feature starring Isabelle Huppert and Greta Scacchi which premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. More recently he completed Pharmacide, a four-part documentary series on counterfeit medicine and The Traitor, a 1971-set political thriller filmed on location in Ukraine.

He is currently finished filming Zero Zone, a feature documentary on the Eastern front in Ukraine.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

During October and November 2022, I travelled the entire length of Ukraine’s Eastern front line, from Kharkiv to Kherson, filming in cities and villages directly impacted by the war. Most were previously occupied by the Russians and had only recently been liberated. It was through the assistance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that I was able to film in these restricted military areas.

The recently completed film does more than visually document the near total destruction of life in this region. It’s a human story, one that gives voice to a cross-section of civilian women and men, and to the soldiers who are fighting to live through this war. Time and time again, they openly shared their personal stories with me, hoping that others might come to understand the reality of this war and the profound impact it has had on their lives.

Zero Zone also brings the viewer up close, directly to the frontline where battles are still taking place, where despite the mud and the cold and the incredible odds stacked against them, the fight for Ukraine’s sovereignty continues.

I dedicate this film to the indomitable spirit and generosity of the Ukrainian people.