Last night’s Rory Peck Awards, celebrated the work of freelancers working behind the camera in news and current affairs. Two films from East Aleppo and one from Mosul took out the awards at London’s Sadler’s Wells.
The Rory Peck Award for News was presented to Syrian camerawoman Waad Al Kateab for her Channel 4 News report “Inside Aleppo: The Last Hospital”. Filmed in Al-Kuds hospital in November 2016, it captures the daily horrors of civilians and families trapped in the city’s diminishing enclave. Judges called her report, “An exemplary piece of journalism”. “Not one shot is fired yet Waad shows us so powerfully the horrors of war.”
The Rory Peck Award for News Features was won by French freelance cameraman and filmmaker Oliver Sarbil for “Battle for Mosul”. Battle for Mosul is an intimate and unvarnished study of the slow and grinding battle to free the people of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State. It is told through the eyes of a group of young men from Iraq’s 1st Battalion. Broadcast by Channel 4 News, judges praised Oliver – “a brilliant observer” – for his “incredible footage and intimate insights into real life in Mosul.” “It’s captivating, great work”, they said.
The Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs was won by Siraj Al Deen Al Omar, Mojahed Abo Al Jood, Basim Ayyoubi, Ahmad Hashisho, four young Syrian video journalists, for their BBC Arabic film “Goodbye Aleppo”. The film is their personal story of the fall of East Aleppo at the end of 2016, revealing what life is like for a population under siege as their city is about to fall. Judges said it is “The most intimate, gripping and moving work we could see of these last days in Aleppo.” “ It is like a love story, a love diary, to their city. A superb, a tremendous film.”
There are many freelance cameraman and women working around the world who continue to put their own lives at risk so that important stories can be told. It’s good to see the Rory Peck trust honour these individuals.
For all of the award finalists, visit the Rory Peck Awards website.