Rory Peck Awards 2016 The Firing Line

Rory Peck Awards 2016

Yalda Hakim looks at reports by freelance camera journalists honoured at the 2016 Rory Peck Awards, including terror and heartbreak amidst the ruins of Aleppo.

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in this year's Rory Peck Awards. Firing line meets the people behind


the camera. Viewers may find some of the images in this film upsetting.


Some of the most powerful images of the year. Often filmed in difficult


demote and dangerous places. -- remote. But what of the people who


took these pictures? How did they do it? Why did they do it? And what has


been the impact on them personally? Each year we go behind the camera


and speak to the men and women who capture and bring us some of the


most important stories of our times. Often in extremely difficult


circumstances, and under great personal strain. We will hear from


the freelance video journalists nominated to the Rory Peck Awards.


This year, one thing featured in all three categories of the awards. The


great and often desperate migration of thousands of people, fleeing


conflict and terror and seeking a better life elsewhere. The awards


were founded in the name of Rory Peck, a British freelancer, who was


killed in crossfire in Moscow in 1993. His memory lives on through


the trust which works on behalf of freelance camera crews. First up,


the News category. This photographer from Aleppo reveal


the heart-wrenching story of one family whose lives were devastated


by the Syrian conflict in a single day. Three brothers, Mohamed,


Mahmoud and Marco Salustro were playing at a friends house when a


bomb dropped, end up in hospital where doctors were at work. She then


captured the harrowing story of the death of six-year old Mohammed and


the immediate impact on his distraught family. A rare and


Intermec limbs into what thousands of families have gone through in


this city in the last few years. -- intimate glimpse. Rory Peck judges


described the film as a fragile, delicate discrete story of human


tragedy. It almost felt like one take, one shot, they said. It was


her pictures told one simple story so tight.


Waad Al Kateeb, who for safety reasons remained anonymous, believes


that most deaths in Syria seem like numbers to the outside world.


While Waad except that her own life is in danger, it is her family that


worries her. In March 2015, a Saudi led coalition


of Arabic and forces launched air strikes on Iranian backed rebel


forces in Yemen, as they moved to seats the port of Aden -- sees the


port of Aden, where the many president had taken refuge. Three


months later, Nabil Hassan was embedded with the local anti- rebel


militiamen from the popular resistance committees as they sought


to recapture the city from the rebels. He was with them on the


ground during this major offensive close to the front line, and a


witness to the heavy fighting and intense shelling between the warring


factions. Some of his most striking footage captures the devastating


impact of the conflict for residents of Aden.


As the Rory Peck judges said, we know there is a nasty, tragic war in


Yemen, but we never see it. To see these images, and in particular the


civilians caught in the crossfire, made this entry rare and


outstanding. The seeming exodus of an entire


population is how Will Vassilopoulos described the extraordinary events


of Lesbos last year. Syrians of Lesbos last year. Syrians


attempted to cross from Turkey to seek an new life in Europe. His


images convey the desperation but also determination of people seeking


refuge from war. It is the first time they stepped foot on European


soil, and to them, it is the moment they have been waiting for, really.


You can see it in their eyes, but they do know what to expect from now


on, they don't know what will happen to them. Now, filming this situation


is really bizarre because you are in the middle of this event, which I


have not seen any video out there, they can do it justice, of how it is


to be a journalist in the middle of this. The sounds, the images, even


the smells, you don't know where to look, where to shoot, how long to


stay on an image. The judges praised will's Ivor detail in his filming.


The anguish in other's eyes, the warming of the frozen man's feet,


which helped to highlight the humanity in each situation. --


images. One of the things I want to do with my camera is film with the


utmost respect towards my subject. I truly hope that in this film I


betray the migrants and refugees in the most dignified way. Some of the


most dramatic and distressing footage is shot at Greece's northern


border with Macedonia. For me, watching this scene is again,


watching the children being teargas, is something that will stay with me


forever along time. Seeing them cry, seeing old people in the middle of


all this, -- for a very long time. It will stay in my head forever


along time. Amid such upsetting scenes, Will was able to find


moments of hope as well. I believe that there is always a silver


lining, even in the most miserable places. And these are the shots that


I sought a child playing, a glorious sky, I think these sort of shots are


what kept me sane. The road to Falluja is the first


finalist in the news features category. After 18 months of careful


negotiation with Iraq's leaked counterterrorism for scum at the


Golden decision -- Golden division, Ayman Oghanna and Warzer Jaff got an


unprecedented level of access as they thought to take back control of


the province. There has not been a filmgoing deep into details of the


villages, how to, you know, know who is ISIS, who is not, with the Golden


division. They have not been something like that, so I think that


is why we decided to go in. A standout sequence in the film does


not involve fighting at all. But an attempt by the special forces in one


village to find out which residents of the village had been with IS.


There is one really tense, interesting scene, where the main


antagonist gathers a group of young men outside a mosque, and they have


this kind of Crucible type trial, almost, where the whole town is


involved in identifying people who were IS fighters or collaborators.


If you watch it, it is very tense interesting scene initially, no one


is willing to oust one name the ISO of eight is, and as soon as someone


start it is like opening of the floodgates, -- IS collaborators.


Having the two camera is working on the same scene, managed to get a lot


more scope and gravitas to think what was a very tense and


interesting situation. Lottie Gammon's film expose and


organise common network of Afghan led people smugglers who kidnapped


migrated -- migrant travel through Macedonia, beat them and took their


money. She and a reporter were set on their way by a tipoff from two


victims, who later provided them with secret filming of whether


migrants were held. Our film uncovered a kidnapping gang who


systematically kidnapped refugees in Macedonia, two said -- two Syrian


refugees from Aleppo Centre co-ordinates of the house, and that


is how the film tabout. Using Google Maps and local journalist, they


tracked down the house in that Macedonian countryside where people


were imprisoned. It was very nerve racking finding that house because


we had no idea of they were armed, as far as we knew they were a


dangerous game, we did not know if we were going to be able to rescue


anyone, if people were inside, we wanted to help them get out, and I


think that was one of the hardest things, we knew that there were


people inside a but we couldn't kind of burst the door open.


Luckily the filmgoing out did lead to several raids and 22 people were


arrested. 200 people were freed, so in the end was OK, that going into


the village itself was nerve racking.


The migration route through Libya was the setting for a winning entry


in the news features category. Marco Salustro attempted to document the


conditions of the Libyan side of the Mediterranean. He also found that it


exerted on the Libyan government by European powers to halt migrations


rose -- flows, had alarming consequences. The Libyan government


tried to arrest black people, simply, just to show to the European


politicians that they are dealing with the phenomenon on. In


particular, the Libyan government started to contract militias to help


deal with the migration flow, and one detention camps. -- and run


detention camps. As well is the abuse and subhuman conditions


covered in both the militia run and government run centres, the film he


has remarkable testimony from people who have already endured horrific


journeys to reach Libya from Eritrea, Somalia and sedan. --


Sudan. Marco had to balance recording what


happened in the camps with the risks his interviews posed for the


migrants. Every award has consequences. They were punished for


it or got punishment from the militia. There is a balance between


the risk for them and the importance of the story.


The first list in the Sony Impact Awards is the impact of the Ebola


outbreak in South Africa, told through the perspective of five


children who survived through the disease which had taken their family


and friends. Filmed over four months, it followed the events in


these children's lives, from the time the infection rate peaked in


Sierra Leone, and showing the impact on their lives. There is a


heartbreaking scene with the young Abu who returns for the first time


to the home where his mother died and his father who had also died and


where he lived with his family with his brother Abdul. And they are


going through their old possessions, clearing out and getting ready to


move to some new relatives. And if the process, they stumble across


their mother's life savings. A cash horde, which has a life changing


implication for them. It is a wonderful, heartwarming moment. And


yet, the always' reaction is not one of unremitting joy, actually, what


happens is that it turns to sadness. -- boys' reactions. That is because


they realise in that moment how much they have lost as well.


As the virus is brought under control and schools reopen, we are


shown how the children come to terms with their loss as they start to


rebuild their lives and look to the future. They are incredibly


inspiring, the way they responded to the outbreak. The way they got along


with life. That they accepted the tragedy. Without anger, actually.


They just accepted it. Took it on the chin.


Paul spent months in northern Syria securing unprecedented access to


film with Jabhat al-Nusra link at the time with Al Qaeda. The result


is a fascinating portrait of a group of suicide bombers. That is in sharp


contrast with how Jabhat al-Nusra portrays themselves. The characters


in this film have all too recognisable desires, interests, and


self-doubt. Among the people we meet waiting for his turn on the list to


undertake a suicide attack is a British convert who gradually doubts


that pushing the button, the dugma, would be the right thing to do. What


everyone who watches the film will agree on is that when I am talking


with the British would be bomber, and he is talking about getting


married, and I asked him if he still would be doing this operation of it


in married, and you just have this... It is a beautiful three,


four, five seconds, where he is not saying anything and you can see his


mind, his brain, is still working. Have you talked to your wife about


it? Yeah. And what does she say? SILENCE. At the end of the film, Abu


decides not to go through with the attack. It makes me feel good. Both


as a filmmaker, of course, and as a human being. Because, you can see


that people can change their mind, and it is not just one direction. He


wanted to do this operation. Now he has another, let us say, another


life. He has a white. And when I was there he discovered that his wife


was pregnant. -- wife. This was changing everything. He will still


be a jihadi but he will not be that eager to press the button.


In 2013, Marcel spent nine months in Aleppo, Syria, filming the life of


the commander, his wife, and for children. In this second film he


returned to follow the fortunes of the family after the capture of Abu


Ali by Islamic State. Eventually, the family decided they had to


leave. Every time I see this moment of them


leaving their city, I almost started to cry. People do need to understand


what they see, when they see the refugees in their own cities, they


did not do this because they had a choice. They did not have a choice.


Marcel documents their escape and watches them awaiting passage


through Turkey. All the time they were grieving the loss of their


husband and father left behind. All the way through the three years,


coming back to the husband, leaving and losing the husband, for me, it


became a symbol of leaving and losing my country, her identity, her


everything. In Germany, the family are given good accommodation, school


places, and are generally welcomed in their smalltown. The children


settled well and adapted quickly, more quickly than their mother. The


family is full of poetry. They have been very lucky. We have been lucky


to follow them. That is it for me is year's edition


of Firing Line, a year in which humans struggle to survive and


sought rescue from conflict. These were each of the issues in the 2016


Rory Peck Awards. Goodbye.


Yalda Hakim looks at reports by freelance camera journalists honoured at the 2016 Rory Peck Awards, including terror and heartbreak amidst the ruins of Aleppo, the extraordinary migration of hundreds of thousands of people to Europe, and the plight of child survivors of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

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