«20 days in Mariupol” has got the first Oscar in Ukrainian history

In one of the most competitive races in years, «20 Days in Mariupol» won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature ladt night.

In accepting the best documentary award for “20 Days in Mariupol, Director Mstislav Chernov’s speech was stunningly emotional.

“I wish to be able to exchange this for Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities,” Chernov said, speaking deliberately and clutching his Oscar statuette. “I wish to give all the recognition to Russia not killing tens of thousands of my fellow Ukrainians. I wish for them to release all the hostages, all the soldiers who are protecting the land, all the civilians who are now in their jails.But I cannot change the history, I cannot change the past.”

Chernov ended his speech by switching to his native language, uttering his nation’s salute, “Slava Ukraini,” which means “Glory to Ukraine.”

We will remind you that “20 Days in Mariupol” is the first film in the history of Ukraine to win an Oscar. The tape tells about the first weeks of fighting in Mariupol, Donetsk region, during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Director and photographer Mstislav Chernov, photographer Yevhen Maloletka and producer and journalist Vasylyna Stepanenko worked on the film. They became the last journalists to cover the beginning of Russia’s destruction of Mariupol — for which all three won the Pulitzer Prize.

Also, in 2024, they were awarded the Shevchenko Prize for a series of journalistic materials about the siege of Mariupol, in particular for the film “20 Days in Mariupol”.

The film also won the Best Documentary Award at the British BAFTA Film Awards, and director Mstislav Chernov won the Directors Guild of America Award.