Q&A with 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL Filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov,
Co-Presented by PEN America
Sunday, July 16
Moderated by Summer Lopez, Chief Program Officer, Free Expression
NOTE: This screening is SOLD OUT.
A standby line will form at the box office 30 minutes prior to showtime.
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. They champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. PEN America’s mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
Mstyslav Chernov is a Ukrainian war correspondent, filmmaker, photographer, and novelist known for his coverage of the Ukrainian revolution, the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the war in Iraq, Syria, and Nagorno-Karabakh, and Afghanistan under Taliban rule after the U.S. withdrawal, as well as for his art installations and exhibitions. Chernov is an Associated Press journalist and the President of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers (UAPP). He has won several prestigious awards, including two from the Royal Television Society for his coverage of the downing of flight MH17, and the Georgy Gongadze Prize, ICFJ Knight awards, and DW Freedom of Speech Award for documenting the siege in Mariupol as one of three remaining international journalists in the city. He was nominated for international prizes such as the Livingston Award for his work on the civil unrest in Belarus in 2021, and the Rory Peck Award for his coverage of the Battle of Mosul. He was Ukrainian Photographer of the Year in 2013 and 2015. Chernov's first novel The Dreamtime was published in October 2022 by Cherry Orchard Books in Brookline, Massachusetts. The book draws heavily on his experience as a war correspondent, including his coverage of the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Chernov and his Associated Press colleagues Evgeniy Maloletka, Vasilisa Stepanenko, and Lori Hinnant were awarded the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in Journalism. Photo credit: Associated Press / Evgeniy Maloletka
Summer Lopez joined PEN America in 2017 and now serves as the chief program officer of Free Expression Programs. She previously worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for eight years, and was most recently posted to Zimbabwe, where she served as the deputy director of the Office of Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance at the USAID Mission in Harare. Earlier, she was at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C., focused on the Middle East and Asia in the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance. In that position, she played a leading role in advocating for effective integration and promotion of democratic and human rights principles in U.S. policy, strategy, and programming in the Middle East and Asia, including during the period of the Arab Spring. She also represented USAID in the development of the first U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, issued in 2011. Before entering government, Lopez was the vice president of operations at The AjA Project, a nonprofit organization that provides media-based programs for refugee, displaced, and immigrant youth in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to Zimbabwe, she has lived and worked in Egypt, Ghana, India, and Nepal. She holds a BA in English and American literature and language from Harvard and a master in public affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.