International Competition

The Distant Barking of Dogs

Simon Lereng Wilmont
Screening time  
26.02. / Monday, 20:00 - 22:00 Theatre 4  
28.02. / Wednesday, 13:00 - 15:00 Theatre 1  
02.03. / Friday, 13:00 - 15:00 Theatre 5  
The Distant Barking of Dogs follows the 10-year-old Ukrainian boy Oleg, whose life was turned upside down by the on-going war in Eastern Ukraine.

Ten-year-old Oleg lives in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine – a warzone that often echoes with anti-aircraft fire and missile strikes. Sometimes these sounds are in the distance, while other times they’re frighteningly close. At school, Oleg learns about the bomb shelter and what to do when encountering a landmine. While many have left this dangerous area, Oleg remains with his grandmother, who has taken care of him since the death of his mother. This observational film follows a year in the life of Oleg, and emphasizes the warm bond he has with his grandmother. He also has a close friendship with his cousin Yarik, who's more disturbed by all the sudden noises – or perhaps he is not as good as Oleg at hiding his fear. Meanwhile, the boys also find the war exciting, especially when a neighbor teaches them how to use a gun. By sticking close to Oleg, The Distant Barking of Dogs shows the effect of conflict on children.


Simon Lereng Wilmont

Simon Lereng Wilmont was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He 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, 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).

General sponsor

The Distant Barking of Dogs

Denmark, Sweden, Finland
2017, 90'

Directed by:
Simon Lereng Wilmont

Screenplay by:
Simon Lereng Wilmont

Simon Lereng Wilmont

Edited by:
Michael Aaglund

Erik Enocksson, Uno Helmersson, Karsten Fundal

Monica Hellström, Philippa Kowarsky, Tobias Janson, Sami Jahnukainen

Produced by:
Final Cut For Real ApS, Story, Mouka Filmi

Festivals & Awards:

IDFA 2017 – First Appearance Award; DocPoint Helsinki 2018; Gothenburg International Film Festival 2018