custom admin templates not loaded in live/prod environment


I have custom change_list.html and change_form.html for some models. locally, it works - changes are visible in django admin. however, in production django admin pages all look stock.
what could the issue be?

to add more context:
I’m using whitenoise (in both prod and local), and dockerfile has RUN python collectstatic --noinput line, and when I ssh into the machine, staticfiles folder is there, containing files