LOS ANGELES, USA, March 11 — The film received the best award in the feature documentary category. For the first time in cinema history, a Ukrainian film won the most prestigious award, the Oscar 2024. The documentary film 20 Days in Mariupol by director and videographer Mstyslav Chernov won in the Best Feature Documentary category. This was announced during the Oscar 2024 live broadcast on March 11.

The plot of the film 20 Days in Mariupol covers the beginning of the full-scale invasion when Russia began to destroy civilian cities in Ukraine. In particular, the film depicts the first days of the siege of Mariupol. The documentary contains footage of Russian shelling and bombing of a maternity hospital. Thus, Russia’s crimes and terrorism are exposed to the world community.

The Ukrainian documentary has previously received many prestigious awards and nominations. In particular, 20 Days in Mariupol won awards at the BAFTA Film Awards, Sundance, Cinema for Peace 2023, and won the Directors Guild of America Award, among others. In January 2024 alone, the film appeared in 40 nominations and won over 20 awards.

The director and the team took to the stage of the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and thanked famous stars and filmmakers for their worldwide recognition. During their speech, with the statue in hand, they reminded the world once again of Russia’s crimes and terrorism.

“I wish to be able to exchange this for Russia never attacking Ukraine, never invading our cities. I wish to be able to exchange this for Russian not killing 10,000 of my fellow Ukrainians.”

Chernov said he also would love to be able to swap the honour for Russia “releasing the hostages” as well as “the civilians who are now in their jails.”

The film became the highest-grossing documentary in Ukraine last year, grossing 500,000 UAH in its first weekend of release.

About the Oscars 2024

The 96th Academy Awards took place on the night of March 10-11 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. For the fourth time, the ceremony was hosted by comedian and TV presenter Jimmy Kimmel.

The winners were announced by the stars of the film world, including actress and singer Dune star Zendaya, cult director Steven Spielberg, actor Nicolas Cage, Barbie star Ryan Gosling, legendary actor Al Pacino and others.

The biopic Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, claimed the most statuettes, it was nominated in 13 categories. In second place with 11 nominations was the film Poor Creatures by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. Martin Scorsese’s drama “Full Moon Killers” had 10 nominations, and Greta Gerwig’s 2023 Barbie box office hit had 8.

More from Gwara

“Everything You’ve Seen in the Movie is Everyday Reality in Ukraine.” Gwara visited 20 Days in Mariupol premiere in Kharkiv on August 31, 2023.