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Freelancers behind the camera honoured at Rory Peck Awards 2017

Monday, 23 October 2017 Written by The Rory Peck Trust

Freelancers from France, Syria and Myanmar took the awards at Monday's ceremony in London. 

The Rory Peck Awards 2017 celebrated the work of freelancers working behind the camera in news and current affairs tonight in a ceremony hosted by BBC’s Lyse Doucet and NBC’s Katy Tur at London's Sadler's Wells. 

The Rory Peck Award for News, sponsored by Google, 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.”

Benedicte Autret, Head of Strategic Relationships, News & Publishers at Google said: “This year's finalists for the Rory Peck Award for News have all produced incredible work exposing the atrocities of warfare from Iraq and Syria. We’re proud to be able to support them and the invaluable role that freelance video journalists across the world play in providing fast, accurate information to people on important issues.”

The Rory Peck Award for News Features was won by French freelance cameraman and filmmaker  Oliver Sarbil for Battle for Mosul, an intimate and unvarnished study of the slow and grinding battle to free the people of Mosul from so-called Islamic State, 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, and 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.”

Richard Scott, Head of Media Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions Europe, said: ”2017 has been another unforgettable year for news and current affairs reporting. This year’s Sony Impact finalists have all brought their own unique perspectives to international events, yet all three films are united by the power of their images and their ability to move us. We are proud to support them and the work of the Rory Peck Trust.”

The Martin Adler Prize, sponsored by Hexagon, was presented to Burmese photographer, Minzayar Oo, in recognition of his work in Myanmar.  This special prize honours a local freelancer who has made a significant contribution to newsgathering, either through a single story or body of work, but who is largely un-recognised by the international news media. He is the first photographer to receive the prize.

Tina Carr, Director of the Rory Peck Trust said, “These awards are all about freelancers and the powerful work that they produce. But as we celebrate their achievements we are also aware that the challenges they face are changing, growing, and coming from new sources. After 22 years, the mission of the Rory Peck Trust remains the same: to support freelance journalists through these challenges, and help them to become stronger and more resilient.”
 
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