The movie is inspired by the true story of the making of "Moscow Strikes Back", a documentary film directed by Ilya Kopalin and Leonid Varlamov that was shot and produced in an unprecedentedly short timeframe. It won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature at the 1943 Academy Award ceremony, the first such event ever to give awards for documentaries.
The film follows two student cinematographers who, as the war approaches Moscow, refuse to be evacuated and instead volunteer to be front-line cameramen capturing the horrors of war and heroism of the soviet soldiers. At the same time, we witness another storyline taking place in the US. After the premiere screening of the already completed documentary “Moscow Strikes Back”, one of the members of the Academy Awards selection committee is trying to persuade his fellow colleagues to establish a new category of Best Documentary in the upcoming Oscars event.