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“20 Days in Mariupol” wins BAFTA “Best Documentary” award

Ukrainian documentary ’20 Days in Mariupol” telling the story of the first weeks of fighting in the encircled city in 2022 has won the BAFTA award for best documentary
Credit: “20 Days in Mariupol” Facebook account
“20 Days in Mariupol” wins BAFTA “Best Documentary” award

On 18 February, the film “20 Days in Mariupol” directed by Mstislav Chernov won the Best Documentary category at the BAFTA Awards, according to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts’ official website.

Russia destroyed and overran Mariupol, a port city on the Azov Sea coast in Donetsk Oblast, home to nearly 500,000 people, early in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Most Mariupolites did not have a chance to evacuate, and the exact number of civilian casualties, estimated in the tens of thousands, remains unknown to this day.

The Ukrainian documentary tells the story of the first weeks of fighting in Mariupol. It includes footage of Russian shelling and the bombing of a maternity hospital.

The film was created by director and photographer Mstyslav Chernov, photographer Yevhen Malolietka, and producer and journalist Vasylisa Stepanenko.

“20 Days in Mariupol,” combining footage from Frontline and the Associated Press, premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, winning the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

The documentary was chosen as Ukraine’s submission for the Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards and received a Best Documentary Feature nomination. Additionally, it won the Directors Guild of America Awards, and was named one of the top 5 documentaries of 2023 by the National Board of Review. The film was screened at the 78th UN General Assembly and has garnered over 20 awards and 40 nominations.

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