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Ukrainian journalist’s film on Mariupol nominated for Oscar

Documentary “20 Days in Mariupol,” capturing the devastating siege of the Ukrainian city by Russian forces, has earned a significant Oscar nomination.
Ukraine vs Russia
Russian missiles target a children’s hospital in Mariupol. Photo: Yevheniy Maloletka

The documentary “20 Days in Mariupol,” directed by Mstyslav Chernov and featuring the work of Ukrainian photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and Ukrainian field producer Vasilisa Stepanenko, has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Feature category.

The Oscar nomination of “20 Days in Mariupol” brings global attention to the siege of Mariupol, a critical episode in the Russia-Ukraine war, highlighting the human tragedy and resilience in the face of relentless military aggression

The film, a co-production between the AP and PBS’ “Frontline,” captures the harrowing early weeks of Russia’s war against Ukraine in 2022. Chernov and his team documented the siege of Mariupol, including the tragic death of a young girl, the creation of mass graves, and the bombing of a maternity hospital. Their work unflinchingly portrayed the grim realities of the siege, providing a crucial window into the war as it unfolded.

“20 Days in Mariupol” has not only garnered critical acclaim at film festivals but has also been recognized with a Pulitzer Prize for public service and for breaking news photography. The documentary has been acknowledged as one of the most significant nonfiction films of the year and has received multiple nominations, including from the BAFTAs, the Producers Guild, and the Directors Guild. This Oscar nomination marks first Associated Press’ Oscar nomination in its 178-year history.

This recognition at the Oscars is particularly noteworthy as it comes nearly two years into the ongoing full-scale Russia’s war against Ukraine. The film’s team faced immense challenges, including the Russian blockade of Mariupol, which cut off essential resources like water, food, and internet access.

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