The “skill, courage and enterprise” of freelance news camera operators was honoured last night at the Rory Peck Awards.
As Marie Colvin noted in her moving address to the memorial service for 49 journalists and media workers killed covering conflict for British readers and viewers this century:
“In an age of 24-7 rolling news, blogs and twitters, we are on constant call wherever we are. But war reporting is still essentially the same – someone has to go there and see what is happening. You can’t get that information without going to places where people are being shot at, and others are shooting at you.”
Nowhere are her sentiments more evident than with these videos:
NAJIBULLAH QURAISHI – WINNER, RORY PECK AWARD FOR FEATURES
Behind Enemy Lines Shot in Afghanistan, October – November 2009, Clover Films for Channel 4 – Dispatches
Najibullah Quraishi’s film documents the two weeks he spent with Hezb-i-Islami, Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in the troubled Kunduz and Baghlan provinces in Afghanistan. Witnessing dramatic attacks on NATO supply routes, Najibullah also captures the day-to-day lives of the insurgents – complaints of boredom, the cold, and arguments with their commanders. Eventually however, one of the commanders becomes suspicious of Najibullah’s motives and, fearing for his life, he is forced to flee the camp.
ROGER ARNOLD – WINNER, RORY PECK AWARD FOR NEWS
Red Shirts Protest Shot in Thailand, April – May 2010. Commissioned and broadcast by Wall Street Journal.com
Arnold’s footage is a detailed diary of events in Bangkok during the final week of the anti-government protests in May 2010. Based in Bangkok – the story unfolded on his doorstep, and he was on the streets day and night, filming events as they happened. His footage shows the devastating violence of the protests, and also their tragic results – among the many people injured during the conflict were several of Arnold’s journalist friends, one of whom was killed.
NICK READ: WINNER, SONY PROFESSIONAL IMPACT AWARD
The Slumdog Children of Mumbai Shot in India, July-September 2009. True Vision Productions for Channel 4 – Dispatches
Shot over three months through the Monsoon, Nick Read’s film captures the unvarnished reality of life for four children living in the slums and on the streets of Mumbai: seven-year-old Deepa, who lives next to an open rubbish dump and runs barefoot through Mumbai traffic selling flowers to help support her family; 11-year-old Salaam, who, a few weeks after running away from his abusive stepmother lives rough outside the main railway station; and twins Hussan and Hussein, also 11, who risk cholera and infection fishing for scraps in a filthy canal so they can earn money to eat. Since transmission, a Foundation set up by the film’s producers has raised money to fund the children’s education and future welfare.
The Martin Adler Prize was presented to Mexican freelance cameraman, Arturo Perez, who lives and works in Mexico’s deadly border city of Ciudad Juarez, covering its bloody drugs war.