“Best Documentary” Goes To Ukrainian-Born Journalist

March 11, 2024

… Cinema forms memory, and memories form history.

AP video journalist and director Mstyslav Chernov during his acceptance speech for “Best Documentary” at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

Why It Matters: Chernov became the first Ukrainian-born recipient of an Oscar; a first as well for the Associated Press (in 178 years). The AP and PBS Frontline collaborated to support the documentary “20 days in Mariupul,” which captures the experience of a team of journalists who arrived in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol shortly before Russia attacked the city; the team left 20 days later as one of the last press crew to evacuate.

Chernov honored the historic moment by adding: “This is the first Oscar in Ukrainian history, and I’m honored. Probably I will be the first director on this stage to say I wish I’d never made this film, I wish to be able to exchange this to Russia never attacking Ukraine.” 

Read More: ‘20 Days in Mariupol’ wins best documentary Oscar, a first for AP and PBS’ ‘Frontline’ (The Associated Press)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas