In 2022, Mantas Kvedaravičius went back to Ukraine, Mariupol, at the heart of the war, to be with the people he had met and filmed in 2015. Following his death, his producers and collaborators have put all their strength into continuing the dissemination of his work, his vision and his films. Also a PhD in Anthropology, Kvedaravičius wished to share his testimony as a filmmaker: one as far removed as possible from the agitation of the media and the politicians. With huge power and sensitivity, depicts life as it continues amidst the bombing and reveals images that convey both tragedy and hope.
He was a Lithuanian-born filmmaker with a degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University. His first documentary film, ‘Barzakh’ was selected in numerous festivals and won several awards, including the Amnesty International Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Berlinale in 2011. His following two films, ‘Mariupolis’ (2016) and ‘Parthenon’ (2019) were selected at the Berlinale and the Venice International Critics’ Week, respectively. Mantas Kvedaravičius was captured and killed by Russian Forces at the end of March, 2022 in Mariupol while documenting Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian territory. His fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova (actress in ‘Parthenon’), who was with him at the time, was able to bring back the footage filmed there and edited it with Mantas’ editor Dounia Sichov.