Press & media

Esker Arts Centre to screen Oscar-winning Ukrainian documentary

June 28, 2024
Bare tree in a foggy wasteland with a soldier beside it

By Kayley Hardiman

Esker Arts Centre's Film Club will next week screen the documentary '20 Days in Mariupol', which won the Oscar for 'Best Documentary Feature Film' earlier this year.

The film will be shown in the arts centre in Tullamore on Tuesday, July 2, at 8pm.

The work of Ukrainian filmmaker and journalist Mstyslav Chernov, it offers a window into the practices of conflict zone reporters and an unflinching, anguishing account of the 20 days he and colleagues Evgeniy Maloletka and Vasilisa Stepanenko spent covering Mariupol.

Their footage, widely disseminated through news media, not only documents the death and destruction, corpses in the streets and mass graves, the bombing of apartment buildings and a maternity ward, and doctors despairing over children they couldn't save, it also directly refutes Russian misinformation.

On the eve of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a team of Ukrainian journalists enter the strategic eastern port city of Mariupol. During the subsequent siege and assault, as bombs fall, inhabitants flee, and access to electricity, food, water, and medicine are severed, the team, the only international journalists left, struggles to cover the war atrocities and to transmit their footage out. Eventually surrounded by Russian soldiers, they shelter in a hospital, unsure of how they'll escape.

The film had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition. It was also nominated for two BAFTAs and won one of them along with a Directors Guild of America Award.

Tickets for the film cost €7 plus a booking fee. To purchase visit

Originally published by Offaly Independent