About

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing

Searing urgency is a guiding force as Welcome to Chechnya shadows a group of activists who risk unimaginable peril to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ+ pogrom raging in the repressive and closed Russian republic. Since 2016, Chechnya’s tyrannical leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has waged a depraved operation to “cleanse the blood” of LGBTQ+ Chechens, overseeing a government-directed campaign to detain, torture, and execute them. With no help from the Kremlin and only faint global condemnation of the violence, a vast and secretive network of activists takes matters into its own hands.

With unfettered access, Academy Award nominee David France (How to Survive a Plague, 2012 Sundance Film Festival) chronicles a modern-day underground railroad, using a remarkable approach to protect the anonymity of his subjects. France is the perfect filmmaker to tell this story. He’s a warrior with a camera and the ultimate purveyor of the imperative of documentary to expose atrocity and ignite change. With scorching power that will leave you quaking in your seat, Welcome to Chechnya dares to confront genocide in the making.

YEAR 2020

CATEGORY U.S. Documentary Competition

COUNTRY U.S.A.

RUN TIME 107 min

LANGUAGE English and Russian

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

COMPANY Public Square Films

EMAIL alice@publicsquarefilms.com

PHONE (212) 633-0144

Credits

Director
Producers
Written by
Editor
Co-Producers
Cinematography
Executive Producers
Music by
Visual Effects Supervisor

Artist Bio

David France

David France is an investigative journalist who has written for Newsweek, the New York Times, and New York magazine. He directed the award-winning 2017 documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson and the Academy Award–nominated 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague, which received a Peabody Award, an IFP Gotham Award for Best Documentary, and numerous festival honors. His subsequent book, How to Survive a Plague, won the Baillie Gifford Prize.