Ukraine has picked Mstyslav Chernov’s documentary 20 Days in Mariupol
to represent the country in the 2024 Oscar race in the best international feature category.
Former Associated Press journalist and native Ukrainian Chernov and his colleague, photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, document the destruction of the port city under Russian bombardment in early 2022. 20 Days in Mariupol is a first-person account of the 20 days they spent recording the atrocities they witnessed, including Russian troops targeting civilians, including children and the elderly, and the bombing of a maternity hospital.
The Hollywood Reporter, in its review of the film, called it “grueling but necessary viewing.”
The documentary, Chernov’s directorial debut, was co-presented by AP and PBS’ Frontline and had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema documentary prize.
Chernov and Maloletka, along with colleagues Vasilisa Stepanenko and Lori Hinnant, also won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service this year for their reporting in Mariupol.
Dogwoof is handling world sales on the film outside North America, where PBS Distribution has domestic rights.
The deadline for submission to the best international feature film category is Oct. 2.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the films on the 2024 Oscar shortlist, including the best international film contenders, on Dec. 21. The final five nominees will be announced on Jan. 23, 2024. The 95th Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 10, 2024.
Check out the trailer for 20 Days in Mariupol below.