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Shortened Oscar Show to be recut to include “20 Days in Mariupol” after outage

The Academy will recut the Oscars’ international broadcast to restore the Best Documentary Feature category, won by 20 Days in Mariupol, after protests from Ukraine’s Suspilne TV over its omission and the exclusion of Mstyslav Chernov’s speech.
Credit: “20 Days in Mariupol” Facebook account
Shortened Oscar Show to be recut to include “20 Days in Mariupol” after outage

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plans to recut the 90-minute Oscars broadcast for international licensees to include the Best Documentary Feature category, won by the Ukraine war-themed film 20 Days in Mariupol, which was initially omitted from the original package, according to Deadline.

Disney, the broadcaster of the 2024 Oscars, cut the award presentation and acceptance speech for the documentary 20 Days in Mariupol, which showcases the early stages of the all-out war in Mariupol during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, from the international TV version of the Oscars, despite the film winning Ukraine’s first Academy Award for Best Documentary on 11 March.

Before falling to the Russians, Mariupol faced Russia’s devastating attacks, resulting in tens of thousands of civilian casualties. Occupied individuals underwent “filtration” checks, often leading to imprisonment or deportation. Russia now conceals war crimes by rebuilding and portraying normalcy in the city.

Disney cuts awarding of Ukrainian film “20 Days in Mariupol” in Best Documentary nomination from international TV version of Oscars

The decision to recut the Oscars broadcast came after Suspilne TV, the Ukrainian public broadcaster, protested the exclusion of the Best Documentary Feature category from the 90-minute version. They expressed being “shocked and deeply disappointed” that the decision also omitted the acceptance speech by Ukrainian filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov, according to Deadline.

In his Oscar acceptance speech, Chernov mourned the civilian lives lost due to Russia’s invasion, urged the film community to ensure the truth prevails, and emphasized that the people of Mariupol and the fallen will never be forgotten.

Suspilne TV broadcasted the Oscar show live in Ukraine as per its agreement with Disney, responsible for global licensing on behalf of the Academy. Due to the time difference, the telecast started at 1 a.m. local time and ended around 4:30 a.m., reducing the live audience. Suspilne intended to air the 90-minute version in primetime evening but contacted Disney upon realizing the Best Documentary category and Chernov’s remarks were omitted.

The National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine sent a strong protest to Disney, expressing disbelief that the omission of the Documentary Feature category, which awarded a film on the horrors of war, could be a politically motivated decision approved by the company’s management, especially during a time when democracies are resisting military aggression threatening global peace.

“It seems the Academy has agreed. All of the Oscars’ global licensees will receive the updated version, we understand from sources — not just Ukraine’s Suspilne TV,” Deadline says.

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