Abacus Media Rights (AMR), an Amcomri Entertainment company, has acquired the dramatic film Mariupol: The People’s Story (w/t) from award-winning independent producers, Top Hat Productions, for worldwide distribution, excluding UK and Northern Ireland.

Commissioned by the BBC’s flagship current affairs series, Panorama, Mariupol: The People’s Story (w/t), available as a 60 and 90 minute feature documentary, is the definitive story of the destruction of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol told with access to the people who lived there.  It is a deeply personal human story told with the highest documentary values.

AMR has secured multiple sales of the film, directed by BAFTA, Emmy, RTS and Peabody award winner Robin Barnwell, and produced by multi-award winner Hilary Andersson, to SBS (Australia), CBC Gem (Canada), Quebecor Content (French Canada), SWR (Germany) and ARTE (Germany, France), RTE (Ireland), TV4 (Sweden), MTV (Finland), VPRO (Netherlands), TV2 (Denmark), TV2 (Norway), VRT (Belgium), HBO Europe (CEE & Baltics) and BBC Select (USA).

Jonathan Ford, Managing Director at AMR comments, “It is a privilege to represent this programme and to offer it to our clients around the world who agree that this shocking story needs to be shared with as wide an audience as possible.  This is a very personal film about courageous, ordinary individuals, set against an epic backdrop of utter destruction and carnage, told by the people who lived in Mariupol and called it their home.”

Mariupol is a symbol of what has happened to Ukraine. It was a modern European city of 400,000 people, easily recognizable to viewers as a place similar to where they themselves might live. Over two months, it has been destroyed with Ukrainian officials estimating more than 20,000 of its inhabitants have been killed.

Mariupol: The People’s Story (w/t) tells the story, end to end, from the first shells and bombs to the final days of the besieged Azovstal Steel Works and the fall of the city.

During the siege, the producers were in contact with people inside Mariupol who had themselves been filming. They range from a schoolgirl who witnesses the destruction of her city, including her father being injured, to the civilians hiding inside the Azovstal Steel Works as the Russians bombard. The film marks defining moments such as the destruction of the theatre and the final assault on the steel works, but everything is told through the inhabitants of Mariupol, the people who were actually there.

It is a story of war crimes and suffering but is also a story of people who showed amazing courage in the face of overwhelming odds, incredible daring in escape and an undaunted spirit.