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The film «20 Days in Mariupol» won the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary

Photo: Kate Greene/BAFTA/Getty Images for BAFTA

The film "20 Days in Mariupol" by documentary filmmaker, director and founder of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers Mstyslav Chernov won the Best Documentary category at the prestigious British BAFTA Film Awards. The award is presented by the British Academy of Television and Film Arts.

Mstyslav Chernov's film was nominated for the award in two categories at once - Best Non-English Language Film and Best Documentary. 

Mstyslav Chernov took the stage to receive the award with producer Vasylisa Stepanenko and photojournalist Evgeniy Maloletka, with whom he worked together in besieged Mariupol in 2022.

"This is not about us. This is about Ukraine, about the people of Mariupol, and I want to focus on that. Yesterday (February 17 - ed.), another Ukrainian city fell - Russia occupied Avdiivka and many cities before that. Therefore, the history of Mariupol is a symbol of everything that happened. A symbol of struggle, a symbol of faith," Chernov said in his speech. He also thanked the audience for the opportunity to speak and urged them to continue fighting.

Mstyslav Chernov took to the stage to receive the award with producer Vasylisa Stepanenko, with whom he and photojournalist Evgeniy Maloletka worked in besieged Mariupol in 2022. 

The BAFTA Film Awards is an annual award that is also called the British equivalent of the Oscars. In addition, 20 Days in Mariupol is nominated for an "Oscar" in the Best Documentary category.

The day before, Mstyslav Chernov received the US Director's Guild Award (DGA Awards). According to the press service, Chernov was awarded for "outstanding directorial achievements in documentary filmmaking."

In March 2022, Mstyslav Chernov and his colleagues from the Associated Press were the only international team of journalists working in Mariupol and sending materials from there. The documentary shows the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, the lives of civilians in Mariupol under siege, the bombing of a maternity hospital and residential areas of the city, and mass graves. The team shot all the footage during their 20-day stay in Mariupol. In 2023, the authors of the film won the Pulitzer Prize in the category of Public Service.


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