15:44 28 Sep 2023

"The Lost Souls of Bucha": Ukrainian documentary filmmakers win Emmy Award

The 44th Emmy Awards determined winners in the news and documentary category. Among them are projects that highlight Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

The CBS project "The Lost Souls of Bucha," about the Russian crimes in the city, won the award for the best screenplay. The idea of the film belongs to the author and correspondent of "60 Minutes" Scott Pelley. He was in Bucha when Ukrainian law enforcement officers exhumed 116 bodies from a mass grave.

He invited Ukrainian journalist Sofia Kochmar-Tymoshenko to be his local producer. She had already conducted a two-month investigation into war crimes committed by the Russians in Bucha at that point, but the topic of the mass grave, as she herself notes, became a professional challenge.

"First, as of August 2022, no law enforcement agency or city government had final lists of the dead," Kochmar-Tymoshenko said. "That's why I and other journalists — Yevhen Spirin and Kamila Hrubchuk — took upon ourselves to help the Bucha city council unify a single list of the dead who were found [in a mass grave] under the church."

The journalist says the 13-minute film "The Lost Souls of Bucha" is a story about those whom the Russians killed and their wives, sons, husbands, and parents — those who still love them and continue to live in the same town. This story is about those who risked their own lives to "return the dignity to the deceased and bury them in our own way, in a Christian way." 

The New York Times' investigation of the Russian unit also covered crimes in Bucha. The report won the award in the Best Editing category.

The award was also received by director Azad Safarov, who works as a producer in the Sky News team at the program "Battle for Bucha and Irpin."

Among the interviews, the CBS program "60 Minutes" was awarded for the episode with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The NBC News documentary "Ukraine: Mother's War," which tells the stories of five Ukrainian women, received the award for a special news project.

The Emmy Award for the best news and documentary programs has been awarded by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences since 1980.

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