20 Days in Mariupol

7:00 PM, Friday, August 25, 2023 PST
Location: (click for map)

Join Meaningful Movies Project, Meaningful Movies Kirkland, Ukrainian Association of Washington State and the Seattle International Film Festival for the in-person screening at SIFF Uptown Cinema in Seattle for 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL

An apartment building explodes after a Russian army tank fires in Mariupol, Ukraine, Friday, March 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

February, 2022. A Russian assault on the Ukrainian coastal city of Mariupol is imminent. Associated Press video journalist Mstyslav Chernov, photographer Evgeniy Mololteka, and field producer Vasilisa Stepanenko are all that remain of the international media. Once the barrage begins, the journalists find themselves cut off from the rest of the world. Basics like food, water, and electricity are scarce to non-existent, but their mission remains unchanged: document the horrors of the invasion and get their reports to the outside world. Surrounded and under siege, they never stop recording the harrowing efforts of soldiers at the front lines and the doctors and nurses trying to staunch the casualties. They are lucky to get out with their lives after 20 days trapped in Mariupol and a perilous escape. Just as vital is the evidence that escapes with them. They have risked everything to capture the truth of Putin’s crimes, standing as an incandescent refutation to his propagandistic lies about the early days of the Russian invasion. 

We are honored to have, Stacee Fida, to open the event with a performance.  Stacee is a singer, songwriter, performer and piano player from Ukraine. She writes her how own songs and has performed at festivals, events and other venues. She enjoys using music as a way to give positive emotions to her audience. Stacee will sing  Пливе кача / “Plyve Kacha” 

The song “Plyve Kacha Po Tysyni” first was recorded by the folklorist in the Carpathian Mountains in the 1940s.
“Plyve Kacha” or “Plyve Kacha Po Tysyni” can be directly translated as “the duckling swims,” but its lyrics portray a conversation between a mother and her son who is going off to war, as outlined by the BBC’s Irena Taranyuk. In this poignant song, two particularly touching lines are translated as follows:

“Beloved mother, what fate awaits me if I perish in a distant land?”
“Dearest child, others will lay you to rest, my love.”


Join us for a panel discussion following the film.

Ivan Zavrazhnov is a TV director from Mariupol, in the profession for 17 years. Six months before the start of the big war, in September 2021, Ivan became a laureate of the film festival “Cinema and You” with the film “Mirror of Azovmash” about the bankruptcy of a machine-building plant. Since the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022, he has been actively informing Mariupol residents about bomb shelters in different parts of the city, as well as how to protect themselves during the bombing. On March 2, 2022, the supply of electricity, water, gas and heat was cut off in Mariupol. The TV channel’s office was burned down, and for the next 7 weeks Ivan and the rest of Mariupol tried to survive in a complete information vacuum. When Ivan’s house was bombed by a Russian air bomb, he managed to leave Mariupol, surrounded on all sides by Russians. In October last year, Ivan and his mother came to the United States. Currently, he is a resident of Washington State.


Vlad Bobrovnyk is a distinguished member of the Ukrainian Association of Washington State and a true trailblazer in the realm of community advocacy and humanitarian efforts, will talk about the humanitarian needs for Ukraine and ways to help through the UAWS’ humanitarian initiatives. Within UAWS, Vlad wears many hats. His focus on local and national political issues serves as a beacon, illuminating the path toward effective change. His involvement in the Association’s outreach to local representatives underscores his dedication to amplifying the voices and concerns of the Ukrainian community. In his personal life, Vlad is also involved in directly supporting local organizations on the ground in Ukraine focused on providing medical services, and he also runs a Venture Capital firm which invests in Ukrainian startups.


TICKETS: In the spirit of Meaningful Movies Project’s no cost screenings, the Seattle International Film Festival has provided a promo code for you to use, MMP for the Friday, August 25th screening at 7PM (only). To get your ticket for this screening go to 20 Days in Mariupol (siff.net), pick the August 25th showing and use the promo code provided (MMP).


This event is made possible by the following sponsors:

SIFF believes in film’s unique power to share original stories, diverse perspectives, and rich emotional journeys. Beginning in 1976 with the annual Seattle International Film Festival, then expanding into year-round programming, and our five-screen SIFF Cinema, we have offered experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world for nearly five decades. Our audiences allow us to take risks, host complex conversations, and truly appreciate film.

The Ukrainian Association of Washington State is a longstanding volunteer-based not-for-profit organization that has been dedicated to serving the Ukrainian community for over half a century, aiming to create a special place where the Ukrainian American community can come together, exchange experiences and preserve Ukrainian heritage. Since 2014, in response to the Russian brutal invasion of Ukraine, UAWS has played an active role in helping and supplying critical humanitarian aid to city, regional, and maternity hospitals; communities, and orphans and families affected by Russian aggression.


Sponsors: Meaningful Movies Project, Meaningful Movies Kirkland, Ukrainian Association of Washington State and the Seattle International Film Festival

Release Year: 2023

Running Time: 94

Director: Mstyslav Chernov

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