Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Film poster for "A House Made of Splinters."



Film Screening & Discussion. A House Made of Splinters, 2022
Reserve Your Seat

Important Note

Registration required. Please note that all attendees must follow Columbia’s COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines. Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community.  To that end, all visiting alumni and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status in order to attend in-person events.  Vaccination cards may be checked upon entry to all venues. 

The Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University will screen and discuss the new feature documentary A House Made of Splinters, 2022, by director Simon Lereng Wilmont. Yuri Shevchuk will introduce the program and lead the post-screening discussion.

This film about Ukrainian children was nominated for an Oscar.

On February 24, it was announced that the film A House Made of Splinters directed by Simon Lereng Vilmont, jointly produced by Ukraine, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, was nominated for the Oscar award as the Best Documentary Feature.

This is a film about children from the East of Ukraine, who found themselves between two wars – in their country, due to the invasion of Russia, and in their families, due to the indifference of their parents. Eva, Sasha and Kolya are waiting for their fate to be decided in a temporary children’s shelter, whose teachers and carers give the children moments of joy and peace.

There was neither a script, nor rehearsals, nor even takes when filming A House Made of Splinters. “There was only me, the camera and my assistant. So it became easier for children to open up and be themselves. They often forgot that we were around and just lived their lives,” Simon Lereng Wilmont says.

The most important thing is that the film has already influenced the fate of the characters. Thanks to one of the closed screenings the teenager, Kolya was adopted by a family that was impressed by the boy’s story,” Azad Safarov said, the film’s assistant director and line producer.

Thanks to Lena Rozvadovska, a psychologist and a human rights activist, all doors to the children’s world were opened for the film crew. It was with her advice and psychological support that the directors were able to become children’s people.

In 2019, during the filming of A House Made of Splinters, Azad Safarov and Olena Rozvadovska created the Voices of Children Charitable Foundation,  the work of which was recognized by the world media – BBC, CNN and others, as well as such celebrities as Madonna and Oprah Winfrey.

The premiere of A House Made of Splinters took place at the 2022 Sundance Festival, and the film has already received a number of awards:

  • 2021 Best Directing in the category “World Cinema Documentary” – Sundance Independent Film Festival, USA
  • 2022 The Dragon Award Best Nordic Documentary – Gothenburg Film Festival, Sweden
  • 2022 The Golden Alexander for the Best Documentary – IFF in Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 2022 Prix FIPRESCI – International Film Festival in Thessaloniki, Greece

On March 12, 2023, at the 95th Academy Awards ceremony, the film will compete for the statuette in Los Angeles.

The film is in Russian with English subtitles.

 Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Simon Lereng Wilmont graduated as
 a Documentary Film Director from The National Film School of Denmark in 2009. His first feature documentary film The Distant Barking of Dogs (2017), premiered at IDFA (2017), and was awarded Best First Appearance. It has since then won 35+ awards worldwide, among these the McBaine Documentary Feature Award at San Francisco’s SFFILM Festival, it was nominated for a European Film Award (EFA 2018), an Emmy (2020), and shortlisted for an Oscar (2019). The film also won a Peabody Award (2020). As a director, his films also include Dormitory Master (2009), Above Ground, Beneath the Sky (2008), Chikara – The Sumo Wrestler’s Son (2013) and The Fencing Champion (2014).



Nominated for Academy Award® 2023 – Best Documentary Feature
Sundance Film Festival 2022 –World Cinema Documentary: Best Directing
Gothenburg Film Festival 2022 – Best Nordic Documentary
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2022 – The Golden Alexander + The FIPRESCI Award
CPH:DOX 2022 – Politiken:DOX Award
Zagreb Dox 2022 – Movies that Matter Award


Sundance Film Festival 2022
Göteborg Film Festival 2022
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2022
DocuDays UA 2022
CPH:DOX 2022 Visions du Réel 2022 One World 2022 ZagrebDox 2022 Hotdocs Festival 2022 DOK.fest München 2022 Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival 2022 Doc10 Film Festival 2022 Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival 2022 Sydney Film Festival 2022 Encounters South African International Documentary Festival 2022 IceDocs – Iceland Documentary Film Festival


A House Made of Splinters (2022) Trailer