Photo 08:40 11 Mar 2024

Historic win: Ukrainian film "20 Day in Mariupol" wins Best Feature Documentary at Oscar's

The jury of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the winners of the 96th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars in Los Angeles. 

The Ukrainian film "20 Days in Mariupol" received the Best Feature Documentary award. This is the first Ukrainian film to win this prestigious award from the American Film Academy, Rubryka reports, referring to the broadcast of the ceremony presented in Ukrainian by Suspilne. Kultura.

The team of the "20 days in Mariupol". Photo: AP Photo / John Locher

"20 Days in Mariupol" is a documentary by director and war correspondent Mstyslav Chernov. In March 2022, he and his colleague, photographer Yevhen Maloletka, were the last civilian journalists remaining in Mariupol, which was under complete blockade by Russian forces.

During the award ceremony, Chernov mentioned that the Oscar for his film is a significant moment for Ukrainian cinema. However, he also admitted that he would have preferred never to make this film and would exchange the award for peace in Ukraine before the Russian invasion.

The team of the "20 days in Mariupol" on the red carpet. Photo: AP Photo / John Locher

"I wish I had never made this film. I wish to be able to exchange this for Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities," Chernov said in the acceptance speech.

He continued, "Russians are killing tens of thousands of my fellow Ukrainians. I wish for them to release all the hostages, all the soldiers who are protecting their lands, all the civilians who are now in their jails. But I cannot change the history. I cannot change the past."

Chernov then called on Hollywood figures to use their voices to support Ukraine. He said, "We altogether: you. I'm calling on you, some of the most talented people in the world. We can make sure that the history record is set straight and that the truth will prevail and that the people of Mariupol and those who have given their lives will never be forgotten because cinema forms memories and memories form history."

Alongside him during the award presentation were other creators of the film, photographer Yevhen Maloletka, journalist Vasylisa Stepanenko, and producers Rainey Aronson-Rath, Michelle Mizner, and Derl McCrudden.

The winner of Best Picture was the film "Oppenheimer." The creative team took home seven Oscars, including Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Score, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography.

Emma Stone rightfully earned the title of Best Actress for her role in the film "Poor Things."

Full list of Oscars 2024 winners:

  • Best picture: "Oppenheimer"
  • Best director: Christopher Nolan, "Oppenheimer"
  • Best actress: Emma Stone, "Poor Things."
  • Best actor: Cillian Murphy, "Oppenheimer"
  • Best supporting actress: Da'Vine Joy Randolph, "The Holdovers"
  • Best supporting actor: Robert Downey Jr., "Oppenheimer"
  • Best original screenplay: Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, "Anatomy of a Fall"
  • Best adapted screenplay: Cord Jefferson, "American Fiction"
  • Best animated feature: "The Boy and the Heron"
  • Best animated short: "War is Over! Inspired by the Music of John Lennon and Yoko Ono"
  • Best international feature: "The Zone of Interest" (United Kingdom)
  • Best documentary feature: "20 Days in Mariupol"
  • Best documentary short: "The Last Repair Shop"
  • Best live-action short: "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar"
  • Best score: Ludwig Göransson, "Oppenheimer" 
  • Best original song: Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell, "What Was I Made For?" from "Barbie"
  • Best sound: Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn, "The Zone of Interest"
  • Best production design: James Price, Shona Heath and Zsuzsa Mihalek, "Poor Things"
  • Best cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema, "Oppenheimer"
  • Best makeup and hairstyling: Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston, "Poor Things"
  • Best costume design: Holly Waddington, "Poor Things"
  • Best editing: Jennifer Lame, "Oppenheimer"
  • Best visual effects: Takashi Yamazaki, Kiyoko Shibuya, Masaki Takahashi, and Tatsuji Nojima, "Godzilla Minus One"

Last year, the documentary "A House Made of Splinters" about Ukraine also competed for an Oscar in the Best Feature Documentary Film category. This film was shot for over two years in Donbas in cooperation between Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. It tells real stories from the lives of children and educators at the Lysychansk Center for Social and Psychological Assistance.

Mstyslav Chernov's film "20 Days in Mariupol" received the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for Best Documentary Film. The film also received the Directors Guild of America (DGA Awards).

Mstyslav Chernov's film "20 Days in Mariupol" became the highest-grossing documentary film at the Ukrainian box office.

The world premiere of "20 Days in Mariupol" took place at the Sundance Film Festival in the USA in 2023, where the film received the Audience Award.

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