New York, N.Y. — June 6, 2023 — Following its award winning festival run, the Oscar® nominated A House Made of Splinters directed by POV alum Simon Lemeng Wilmont (The Distant Barking of Dogs) and produced by Oscars® nominee Monica Hellström (Flee) will make its national broadcast premiere on Monday, July 17, 2023 (check local listings) and will be available to stream until October 15, 2023 at pbs.org, and the PBS App. In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.
Now in its historic 36th season, POV marks its place as America’s longest running non-fiction series with an in-depth look at the lives of children whose world is upended by poverty, addiction and the unfolding war in Ukraine as their caretakers grapple with the everyday struggles to keep them safe.
A House Made of Splinters made its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival where it won the best director prize in the World-Cinema Documentary competition. The celebrated film was an Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature Film for the 2023 Oscars® and has continued to be a word-of-mouth success and essential to dialogues around crisis caregiving and the Russian-led invasion of Ukraine.
Filmmaker Simon Lereng Wilmont’s film, a follow up to his 2018 Oscars® shortlisted Best Documentary Feature, The Distant Barking of Dogs, offers a unique look into how the long-term consequences of war on a society already under strain impacts youth. His is a poignant and deeply intimate portrait of a remarkable way station filled with care, support, and trust for a group of fragile children who are in desperate need of more.
A House Made of Splinters explores how the most vulnerable are caught up within institutional bureaucracies, generational traumas and international flexes of power beyond their control and limits of understanding.
A House Made of Splinters Director/Cinematographer Simon Lereng Wilmont said: “A House Made of Splinters is a film about the long term, less visible, but no less devastating consequences that war has had on many of the small communities situated along the pre-24th February 2022 frontline of the war in Eastern Ukraine.
More than anything else A House Made of Splinters is also a story about love, compassion and hope. This is what powers the dedicated and big hearted caregivers working tirelessly to try and give the children a better future, and what makes these incredible children still want to reach out and dare to try and form close human connections despite the tragic circumstances of the broken families that they come from. These kids are a big part of Ukraine’s future, and with everything that has been going on since Russia launched its full scale war on Ukraine last year, I am very grateful to be able to share this truly universal and highly relevant story on POV/PBS with American audiences.”
“Wartime experiences that contribute to the loss of childhood innocence are not part of an abstract history, but an everyday reality for many young lives. This timely film illuminates the fragility of social systems in a country in crisis. Simon captures the impact on the children caught in this web with honesty, sensitivity and moments of hope,” said POV executive producer Chris White.
A House Made of Splinters is a Final Cut for Real and American Documentary | POV co-production in association with Giant Pictures. Simon Lereng Wilmont is the director. The producer is Monica Hellström. Executive Producers are Signe Byrge Sørensen, Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV for American Documentary | POV.
A House Made of Splinters
Director/Director of Photography: Simon Lereng Wilmont
Producer: Monica Hellström
Executive Producers: Signe Byrge Sørensen, Erika Dilday and Chris White for American Documentary | POV
Editor: Michael Aaglund
Running time: 86 min
Countries: Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine
Download A House Made of Splinters photos here.
About the Filmmakers
Simon Lereng Wilmont, Director/Director of Photography, A House Made of Splinters
Simon Lereng Wilmont was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and graduated from the National School of Denmark in 2009. His first feature documentary The Distant Barking of Dogs (2017), premiered at IDFA (2017) and was awarded Best First Appearance. It has since then won over 35 awards and was shortlisted for an Oscar® (2019). A House Made of Splinters won best direction at Sundance 2022, and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature both at European Film Award and at the Oscars® 2023.
Monica Hellström | Producer
Monica Hellström is a three-time Oscar® nominee for producing A House Made of Splinters (nominated Best Documentary Feature 2023) and Flee (nominated Best Documentary Feature and Best Animated Feature 2022). She’s a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was selected for Producer on the Move, Cannes 2020. She started her company Ström Pictures in May 2022 and has before that been a producer at Final Cut for Real for twelve years since 2010. She holds an MA in film from the University of Copenhagen (DK) and a BA in film from the University of Bedfordshire (UK).
Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, American Promise, Minding The Gap and Not Going Quietly, and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras and Nanfu Wang. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. All POV programs are available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.
POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram.
POV films and projects have won 46 Emmy Awards, 27 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at pbs.org/pov and follow @povdocs on social media.
About American Documentary, Inc.
American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.
Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Chasing the Dream and Peril and Promise public media initiatives of The WNET Group, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.