The 2024 Oscars are behind us, but there’s still much to consider — including a historic first Ukraine with the Oscar for “20 Days in Mariupol.” On this week’s episode of “Screen Talk,” Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio review the night’s triumphs, before Anne talks with the documentary’s Oscar-winning producer, Raney Aronson-Rath.

After nine years of helming PBS and WGBH’s documentary investigative series “Frontline,” Raney Aronson-Rath was onstage on Oscar night to accept the Academy Award for “20 Days in Mariupol” with rookie filmmaker Mystyslav Chernov. The movie previously won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance 2023, the DGA for Documentary Directing, the BAFTA for Best Documentary, and a Pulitzer Prize for reporting. On March 10, the film marked Ukraine’s first Oscar.

Frontline had been moving into theatrical documentaries, including Steve James’ “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” and “For Sama,” from Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts. Frontline jumped on board “20 Days at Mariupol” after director Chernov escaped from the war-torn city with his footage, and brought him into their editing room to find and shape the movie. “My biggest joy,” said Aronson-Rath, “is helping authors and directors find their voice and then bringing it into the world at large. That’s the job of the producer and editor-in-chief at Frontline.”

The movie is available now on PBS Documentaries on Amazon Prime and YouTube and PBS, for free. “That’s what special about public media,” said Aronson-Rath. “I asked all my public media partners to come together, with the AP. I saw a non-profit mission-oriented model work with a documentary. When we stand together, we have a way to amplify the film.”

Watch the full episode above or listen to it below.

Screen Talk is produced by Azwan Badruzaman and available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify, and hosted by Megaphone. Browse previous episodes here, subscribe here, and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. 

Leave a comment