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Documentary about a mass grave in Bucha wins an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing

28.09.2023, 16:47

A documentary about a mass grave next to the St. Andrew's Church in Bucha won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing.

This was announced on September 27 at the presentation of the winners of the 44th News & Documentary Emmy Award, chosen by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), in New York (USA), writes the Religious Information Service of Ukraine.

The documentary was first conceived by the "60 Minutes" columnist and correspondent Scott Pelley. He was in Bucha when the Ukrainian police exhumed 116 bodies from a mass grave. Back then, in April 2022, the horrifying footage gained global traction; Pelley was shocked by what he saw and promised himself to come to Ukraine in a few months to find out who were the people for whom the entire world was grieving. The film was produced by Maria Gavrilovic and Alex Ortiz.

Pelley invited Ukrainian journalist Sofya Kochmar-Tymoshenko, who had previously did a two-month investigation into the Russian war crimes in Bucha, as a local producer, but the subject of the mass grave, as she herself notes, was a professional challenge for her as well.

"First of all, because as of August 2022, neither the police or city authorities had the complete lists of the deceased," Sofia Kochmar-Tymoshenko told RISU. "That is why I and other Ukrainian journalists, Yevhen Spirin and Kamila Hrabchuk, took it upon ourselves to help the Bucha City Council compile a unified list of the deceased who were found next to the church."

The 13-minute documentary "The Lost Souls of Bucha" is a story about those who were killed by the Russians, and whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave near the church after the deoccupation of Kyiv oblast.

"This is a story about their wives, sons, husbands and parents – those who still love them and continue to live in the same town. It is also a story about those who risked their own lives to 'restore the dignity of the deceased' and bury them 'the proper way, the Christian way,'" the journalist notes.

Sofia Kochmar-Tymoshenko is a graduate of the Journalism and Communications School at the UCU and the Religious Journalism School at the UCU Institute of Ecumenical Studies.

"My switch from Ukrainian to international reporting happened because of the war. Being in a journalistic environment, I was expecting a full-scale war a month before it came to pass. And I knew that it would happen a week before it did. My boss, tutor and mentor in journalism gathered our team and told us about it. We jokingly called him Drama Queen, but then we realized he was right," Sofia Kochmar-Tymoshenko said.

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