News agency 'Vchasno'

Documentary Film About a Boy from Donbas Won the Prize at Prestigious Film Festival in Sweden

A tape about a 10-year-old boy living next to the front line received the award for the best documentary film at the Swedish film festival.

A documentary about the boy from Donbas, The Distant Barking of Dogs, won at the Gothenburg Film Festival in Sweden. The film was awarded The Dragon Award for Best Nordic Dox for the best Scandinavian documentary. Assistant director of the film, Azad Safarov, reported this on his Facebook page.

The Gothenburg Film Festival is currently the largest in Scandinavia. Each year about 450 films from 60 countries of the world for are shown there for 10 days in January-February.

The events in the film unfold in the east of Ukraine near the front line.

Ten-year-old Oleg lives in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine — a warzone that often echoes with anti-aircraft fire and missile strikes. Sometimes these sounds are in the distance, while other times they’re frighteningly close. At school, Oleg learns about the bomb shelter and what to do when encountering a landmine. While many have left this dangerous area, Oleg remains with his grandmother, who has taken care of him since the death of his mother. This observational film follows a year in the life of Oleg, and emphasizes the warm bond he has with his grandmother. He also has a close friendship with his cousin Yarik, who's more disturbed by all the sudden noises—or perhaps he’s not as good as Oleg at hiding his fear. Meanwhile, the boys also find the war exciting, especially when a neighbor teaches them how to use a gun. By sticking close to Oleg, The Distant Barking of Dogs shows the effect of conflict on children.

The film is a joint project of Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Work on it lasted from 2015 to 2017. Directed by Simon Lereng Wilmont.

Previously, the tape was awarded with the award for the best debut at the IDFA Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).