Espreso. Global

After Ukrainian outrage, Oscar adds 20 Days in Mariupol awards to shortened version of broadcast

15 March, 2024 Friday
13:00

The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts plans to re-edit the Oscar 2024 ceremony to include an award ceremony and a speech by Ukrainian film director Mstyslav Chernov

Deadline reports.

The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plans to re-edit the 90-minute version of the Oscar broadcast it provided to international licensees to restore a key moment it left out of the original package - the victory of 20 Days in Mariupol, a film about the seizure of a Ukrainian port city by Russia, in the Best Documentary Feature category.

The change came after Suspilne TV, the broadcaster that holds rights to air the Oscar show in Ukraine, protested the omission of the category from the 90-minute version, saying it was “shocked and deeply disappointed” by the decision. In addition to awarding a statuette to a Ukrainian filmmaker, the decision also cut out a powerful speech by Mstyslav Chernov.

In that speech, Chernov said he would like to be able to exchange his Oscar for Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying Ukrainian cities, and never killing tens of thousands of citizens in Ukraine.

Deadline spoke with Lukian Halkin, executive producer of Suspilne Kultura TV channel, who reiterated that the category was included in a 90-minute abridged version last year. And Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of Alexei Navalny, took the stage with director Daniel Roer and directly condemned the Kremlin. 

"I don’t really believe that Disney plans the script of the 90-minute version without taking into account the predictions of the winners — it sounds unconvincing for the high-performing show. 20 Days in Mariupol is not only an outstanding documentary, its unique testimony about Russian crimes, and the whole team literally risked their lives to film it. That is why it seems extremely important to have this historic event and the historic speech of Mstyslav Chernov in all versions," said Halkin.

The winners of the 96th Academy Awards have been announced in Los Angeles. Christopher Nolan's film Oppenheimer won the main and top awards. Ukraine won an Oscar for the first time - Mstyslav Chernov's film 20 Days in Mariupol won in the Best Feature Documentary category.

The nomination in which 20 Days in Mariupol won was cut from the international TV version of the Oscars 2024. Disney Entertainment explained this by time constraints, as the broadcast lasts 90 minutes. The choice of nominations to be included in the shortened version was determined in advance - several weeks ago. 

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