20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL, the feature documentary from the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE, and The Associated Press, has been honored with a 2024 EE BAFTA Film Award in the Best Documentary category. The awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, were presented earlier today at a ceremony at The Royal Festival Hall in London.


A powerful, first-person view of the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL is told through the perspective of Ukrainian filmmaker and AP video journalist Mstyslav Chernov. After nearly a decade covering international conflicts, including the Russia-Ukraine war, for The Associated Press, the Oscar-nominated documentary is Mstyslav Chernov’s first feature film.

In accepting today’s award, Chernov reminded us that the war continues, saying “This is not about us. This is about Ukraine, about the people of Mariupol. The story of Mariupol is a symbol of everything that has happened. A symbol of struggle. A symbol of faith. Thank you for empowering our voice and… let’s just keep fighting.”

Described as “essential” and “a relentless and truly important documentary” by The New York Times and “a brave, visceral, merciless masterpiece” by The Guardian, the film follows Chernov and his AP colleagues Evgeniy Maloletka and Vasilisa Stepanenko as they become the last international journalists reporting from Mariupol amid Russian troops’ siege. Together, the journalists, who would go on to win a 2023 Pulitzer Prize, documented what would become indelible images of the war: dying children, mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital, and more.

Following a decorated run on the film festival circuit, 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL had its U.S. broadcast premiere on PBS stations in November 2023 and is now available to stream online at pbs.org/frontline, in the PBS App, on FRONTLINE’s YouTube channel and on the PBS Documentaries Amazon Prime Channel. The documentary is distributed domestically by PBS Distribution and internationally by Dogwoof.

FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston.20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL is directed, written and produced by Chernov, and produced and edited by FRONTLINE’s Michelle Mizner alongside producers Raney Aronson-Rath (FRONTLINE’s editor-in-chief and executive producer) and Derl McCrudden (AP’s vice president of news). The documentary draws on Chernov’s daily news dispatches and personal footage of his own country at war. The result is a raw and haunting account of a journalist risking his life to share the truth of the conflict with the world.

“As we approach the two-year anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine, it’s clear that 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL was just the first chapter of the tragedy and terror that continues today. The recognition from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts ensures that we will continue to focus our attention on the people of Ukraine,” said Aronson-Rath. “This film would never have happened without the commitment by the Associated Press’ Mstyslav Chernov, Evgeniy Maloletka and Vasilisa Stepanenko to telling this story. I share this honor with director and producer Mstyslav, Michelle, Derl, our partners at The Associated Press, as well as with PBS Distribution, GBH, PBS and CPB.”

“We are so appreciative of the recognition for this essential film and for the role of independent journalism. The work of this brave team was - and continues to be - vital to the world’s understanding of what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine.” said AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Julie Pace.

“The recognition today by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts shines a spotlight on the people of Ukraine and a war that continues today,” said GBH CEO Susan Goldberg. “FRONTLINE has never backed down in the face of a difficult story and today, fact-based, courageous journalism is more important than ever. Congratulations to Raney Aronson-Rath, Michelle Mizner, Mstyslav Chernov, Evgeniy Maloletka, Vasilisa Stepanenko and everyone involved in producing this incredible film.”

“We are extremely honored to have 20 Days in Mariupol recognized with the BAFTA award,” said Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS. “PBS has always been the home of significant documentaries, and we are so proud to be able to share this landmark film with our audiences on PBS. Congratulations to Raney Aronson-Rath, Mstyslav Chernov, Evgeniy Maloletka and Vasilisa Stepanenko, and all of the other partners who earned this recognition.”

20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL made its world premiere in January 2023 at the Sundance Film Festival and was the recipient of the festival’s World Cinema Documentary Competition Audience Award. In addition to today’s BAFTA wine, the film has received numerous accolades, including a 2024 Academy Award nomination, twoCritics Choice Documentary Awards, a Cinema Eye Honors Award, a duPont-Columbia Award, and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)’s NPO Audience Award.

About GBH
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