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AP, Frontline documentary ’20 Days in Mariupol’ wins ‘Best Documentary’ at 2024 BAFTA film awards

“20 Days in Mariupol,” the feature documentary from The Associated Press and PBS “Frontline” has earned a 2024 EE BAFTA Film Award in the Best Documentary category.

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.

In accepting the award, Chernov said: “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.”

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 defining 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 The documentary is distributed domestically by PBS Distribution and internationally by Dogwoof.

“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 editor-in-chief and executive producer, and Derl McCrudden, AP vice president and head of global news production.

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.

“It is an incredible honor that the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has recognized ‘20 Days in Mariupol,’ a film that has been crucial in educating global audiences about the war in Ukraine,” said AP President and CEO Daisy Veerasingham. “We are so proud of the AP and Frontline team who brought this documentary to the world. The impact of eyewitness journalism cannot be overstated.”

“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.

“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.”

“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.”

The awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, were presented Sunday at a ceremony in London.

“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 win, the film has received numerous accolades, including a 2024 Academy Award nomination, two Critics Choice Documentary Awards, a Cinema Eye Honors Award, a duPont-Columbia Award nomination and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)’s NPO Audience Award.

About AP

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Online:


FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 104 Emmy Awards and 28 Peabody Awards. Visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional support for FRONTLINE is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Park Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund, with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.


Nicole Meir
Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press

Maria Diokno

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