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'Welcome to Chechnya' nominated for two Oscars

The harrowing documentary created by David France has been shortlisted for two Oscar awards: Best Documentary Feature, and Visual Effects.

The incredible visual effects were a response to David France's struggles in finding victims who were willing to show their identity.

The documentary released last year follows the stories of young LGBT+ in Chechnya, their persecution, torture and imprisonment following purges from the government and society.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov denies that LGBT+ people exist in the Russian territory, and a spokesman even dismissed the stories as "complete lies"

Welcome to Chechnya follows the work of the Russian LGBT Network, and their attempt to save young Chechen queer people. The heroic activists travel to Chechnya themselves to rescue the most vulnerable people whom are at imminent risk of detainment, torture, or death.

There are many shocking scenes in the documentary, showing beatings and suicide attempts.

Recently, two young gay men were kidnapped from a Russian LGBT Network safe hours, and deported back to Chechnya.

The main story follows the case of Maxim Lapunov, a young Russian presenter who was detained and beaten in captivity by state officials. Maxim was let go and returned back to Russia. However the Chechen government did not realise that he was from the mainland, and therefore were in a frenzy to track Maxim down, and to prevent him from sharing his story.

Thankfully Maxim escaped the Chechen officials and managed to share his story to the world through a high profile court case - the first personal account of the purges.

This documentary is brutally honest and explicit. It is a masterpiece, telling a story that is ongoing and present.

It is important that we understand what's happening to our community in Chechnya, we must share our knowledge and spread the message far and wide.

The film does not mark the end of the story, we must work together to make sure that the damage to peoples lives are minimised.

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