Winner 2019

POV: The Distant Barking of Dogs

Final Cut for Real, Mouka Filmi, STORY, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE, American Documentary | POV

Without a word of narration, Simon Lereng Wilmont’s beautiful, moving, and nuanced documentary The Distant Barking of Dogs chronicles life in a war zone through the eyes of a child. The film brings viewers into the daily life of an Eastern Ukrainian boy, Oleg Afanasyev, and his fiercely devoted grandmother, Alexandra, who is raising the 10-year-old alone in a small village on the frontlines of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. Spanning a year in their life, The Distant Barking of Dogs pits the harsh realities of war against the innocence of childhood in a gracefully edited collection of cinéma vérité moments. The deep bond between Oleg and his grandmother is at the core of this film; a love so strong it feels like a protective shield against the dangers outside their door. Whether Oleg is visiting his mother’s grave, falling asleep to the sound of gunfire, or tuning out the constant chorus of feral dogs, the film is poignant and empathetic. For emoting slivers of hope and torrents of resilience inside the dark venue of war, The Distant Barking of Dogs is a Peabody winner.


Executive Producers: Justine Nagan, Chris White, Philippa Kowarsky, Signe Byrge Sørensen. Associate Producer: Monica Hellström. Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont. Writer: Simon Lereng Wilmont. Editor: Michael Aaglund. Photography: Simon Lereng Wilmont. Design and Technical Staff: Maria Krististensen. Cinematography: Simon Lereng Wilmont. Sound/Music: Pietu Korhonen, Heikki Kossi, Peter Albrechtsen, Uno Helmersson, Erik Enocksson.