AP receives its first Oscar nomination for ’20 Days in Mariupol’ documentary: How to watch

NEW YORK (AP) — “20 Days in Mariupol,” Mstyslav Chernov’s harrowing chronicle of the besieged Ukrainian metropolis and the worldwide journalists who remained there after Russia’s invasion, has been nominated for finest documentary on the Academy Awards, handing The Associated Press its first Oscar nomination in the 178-year-old information group’s historical past.

The movie, a co-production between the AP and PBS’ “Frontline,” was shot throughout the first three weeks of the conflict in Ukraine, in early 2022. Chernov, a Ukrainian journalist and filmmaker, arrived in Mariupol one hour earlier than Russia started bombarding the port metropolis. With him have been photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and discipline producer Vasilisa Stepanenko.

The photographs and tales they captured — the dying of a 4-year-old lady, freshly dug mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital — unflinchingly documented the grim, relentless realities of the unfolding siege.

More from AP leisure correspondent Margie Szaroleta.

“It is a bittersweet feeling because we know this film represents a huge tragedy for humanity, for Ukrainians it’s a huge loss of lives,” Chernov stated in an interview. “All we can do is try to make sure this tragedy is not going to be forgotten. Every single nomination, every single prize, every single recognition for this film means that we are able to tell this story to more people, to make sure it’s not going to be forgotten.”

Chernov spoke Tuesday after arriving in Paris for a screening of “20 Days in Mariupol.” On the identical day the place he might have fun the movie’s Oscar nomination, he discovered that his hometown of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine had been bombed earlier in the day by Russian forces. The missile attacks killed six people and injured 57, including eight children, the United Nations said. The bombings also damaged about 30 residential buildings.

That news weighed heavily on Chernov.

“My hometown got bombarded,” he said. “I keep seeing the images of what’s in the film and what is happening right now in Ukraine — not only in Kharkiv but also Kyiv and other cities — and they are the same images. The same things are happening over and over.”

“Every day, a city somewhere in Ukraine suffers a fate that is very similar to what happened to Mariupol,” added Chernov. “Throughout the two years this film has journeyed, it became a symbol of more than just Mariupol. It became a symbol of every Ukrainian city that got destroyed and wiped out by Russian bombs.”

More than 10,000 civilians have been killed and nearly 20,000 injured since Russia’s full-scale invasion began, the U.N. said.

The work of Chernov, Maloletka, Stepanenko and Lori Hinnant last year won the Pulitzer Prize for public service and featured prominently in a Pulitzer for breaking news photography. Since the Sundance Film Festival premiere of “20 Days in Mariupol” a year ago, Chernov’s film — now available to watch for free in North America on YouTube,PBS and different streaming companies — has been hailed as one of many most essential nonfiction movies of the yr. It’s additionally been nominated by the BAFTAs, the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild for finest documentary, and the Academy additionally shortlisted it for finest worldwide movie.

“20 Days in Mariupol” director and Associated Press journalist Mstyslav Chernov joined the 2023 AP Sundance Studio. Watch the total interview, in which he spoke concerning the Ukraine conflict documentary’s origins, viewers response and his plans for persevering with conflict protection.

Meanwhile, the conflict in Ukraine is nearing the two-year mark. Fighting by way of the winter is mired alongside a 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) entrance line. In latest months, Russian aerial assaults have sharply elevated civilian casualties.

The conflict in Ukraine and different conflicts, together with the conflict between Israel and Hamas, have been significantly harmful for journalists. In December, the International Federation of Journalists stated 94 journalists have been killed world wide in 2023 and nearly 400 have been imprisoned.

In “20 Days in Mariupol,” Chernov, Maloletka and Stepanenko are challenged not simply by the artillery shells falling round them however by the Russian blockade of the town. Water, meals provides and, critically, the web have been lower from Mariupol days into the invasion. The journalists had to search for locations to file their dispatches from, sending minutes of their hours of footage.

“Despite extremely challenging and deeply personal circumstances, AP’s Mariupol team offered the world an essential window into the Russia-Ukraine war as it was beginning to unfold,” AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Julie Pace stated in an announcement. “That the academy has chosen to recognize ‘20 Days in Mariupol’ is a testament to the power of eyewitness journalism and the bravery of the journalists on the ground.”

The different nominees for documentary characteristic are: “Four Daughters,” “Bobi Wine: The People’s President,” “The Eternal Memory” and “To Kill a Tiger.”

As documentary filmmaking has proliferated in latest years, information organizations have performed distinguished roles in Oscar-nominated documentaries. Last yr, CNN Films received its first Oscar for the Alexei Navalny documentary “Navalny.” In 2022, the New York Times took its first Academy Award for the documentary quick “The Queen of Basketball.” Last yr, 4 New Yorker shorts obtained 4 Oscar nominations.

The 96th Oscars are on March 10.


For extra protection of the 2024 Oscars, go to

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