’20 Days in Mariupol’ wins Sundance audience award

Mstyslav Chernov’s documentary “20 Days in Mariupol,” a first-person account of the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, won the audience prize for world cinema documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Juries for the various sections at the festival announced the winners at an awards ceremony Friday in Park City, Utah.

“I want to thank everyone who believed in us: AP, Frontline and Sundance and all the audiences who did not turn away,” Chernov said. “This is not an achievement, this is a privilege.”

“20 Days in Mariupol” was a joint project between The Associated Press and PBS “Frontline,” and comprised of the 30 hours of footage Chernov and his colleagues shot in the city under siege before they were extracted.

Other audience award winners included “The Persian Version,” for U.S. Dramatic, “Beyond Utopia,” for U.S. Documentary and “Shayda” for World Cinema Dramatic. The “festival favorite” award went to “Radical,” starring Eugenio Derbez as an inspirational teacher in a Mexican border town.

In total, 12 films premiered in the world cinema documentary section, including films about climate change, Syria, growing up during apartheid and the International Chopin Piano Competition. “The Eternal Memory,” about a couple dealing with Alzheimer’s, won the category’s grand jury prize.

Other prize winners in the category included “Fantastic Machine,” for creative vision, “Against the Tide” for verité filmmaker, and “Some Sauna Sisterhood” for directing.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.