“20 Days in Mariupol” — the acclaimed feature film from Frontline, the award-winning PBS documentary series housed at GBH in Boston, and The Associated Press — will make its European premiere at the international film festival CPH:DOX this March in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The documentary will be featured in the festival’s F:act Award competition.
The news comes on the heels of the “20 Days in Mariupol” world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival last month in Park City, Utah, where the film was honored with Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Competition Audience Award.
Told from the perspective of Ukrainian-born director and AP video journalist Mstyslav Chernov, “20 Days in Mariupol” is a visceral, first-person account of the early days of Russia’s invasion of the city of Mariupol, Ukraine.
Chernov and his colleagues, photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and field producer Vasilisa Stepanenko, were the last international reporters to remain in Mariupol as Russian troops attacked the city. Together they documented what would become defining images of the war: dying children, mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital and more.
Produced and edited by Frontline’s Michelle Mizner, “20 Days in Mariupol” draws on Chernov’s daily news dispatches and personal footage of his own country in the midst of war.
Bearing witness to the horrors that enveloped the city, “20 Days in Mariupol” captures the beginning of the war through the lens of a Ukrainian journalist documenting the devastation of his home country. The result is a raw and haunting account of a journalist risking his life to share the truth of the conflict with the world.
“I am honored that ‘20 Days in Mariupol’ will make its European premiere at CPH:DOX and be able to reach a wider international audience,” said Chernov. “As journalists reporting on the front lines of the war, it is our duty to share what happened to the people of Ukraine. I hope that this film will serve as a historical document for audiences around the world to understand how Russia's full-scale invasion in Ukraine began and to preserve the stories of the people of Mariupol.”
“One year into the war, we are proud to continue to share ‘20 Days in Mariupol’ with audiences across the world and to shed light on what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine,” said Raney Aronson-Rath, editor-in-chief and executive producer of Frontline. “We are grateful to CPH:DOX for including '20 Days in Mariupol' in this year’s festival lineup; to our colleagues at The Associated Press for their partnership on this film; and to GBH and PBS for supporting our storytelling.”
“We are so pleased to share ‘20 Days in Mariupol’ with European audiences at CPH:DOX and expand the reach of this important eyewitness journalism,” said AP Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Julie Pace. “As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, it’s crucial that the world understand what is happening on the ground. That’s what this documentary is about: shining a light on facts that would not otherwise be known."
According to CPH:DOX's official announcement, “this year’s festival theme ‘Predicting the Past, Rewriting the Future’ explores how both the past and the future play a crucial role in our present.” The festival will feature a program of 200 films and run from March 15-26, 2023.
Described as “a fearless, front-line witness to history” by Screen Daily and a “strikingly immediate record of citizens under siege” by Variety, “20 Days in Mariupol” is part of a larger editorial collaboration between Frontline and AP that examines Russia’s war in Ukraine.