Finalist, The Rory Peck Award for News

Marcel Mettelsiefen (German)

January-February 2013, Syria

Agony in Aleppo

Self-funded. Broadcast by Channel 4 News

A devastating report on the plight of people trying to carry on with their lives in a hopelessly battered and broken city.

Marcel Mettelsiefen has been to Syria many times over the past two years but this was his first trip to Aleppo. He filmed at the Dar Shifa clinic which he felt epitomised the city’s agony. Before the revolution Aleppo had five thousand medical staff. Now there are just 30 - helped by children who face daily horrors tending the wounded and dying.

Marcel’s photographer’s eye helped him frame beautiful shots, and his observational style of filming captured harrowing and tender moments in the hospital and in the city. He documented the grim job of pulling bodies from the city's river - going there every day at dawn to film the dead being retrieved.

You can watch the full version of Marcel's film on the Channel 4 News website.


Marcel Mettelsiefen was raised in Spain and Germany and started work as a photojournalist after finishing school. He has worked for international news agencies in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti. In 2004 he began studying medicine in Berlin. In 2009, he interrupted his studies to go to Afghanistan to work on several photo reportage projects. His photos from that time appear in a book about the controversial airstrike on Kunduz which killed over 100 civilians. Marcel has been covering the Arab spring and started going to Syria in April 2011. His reports from Syria have aired on ARD, ZDF, Channel4, CNN, Al Jazeera and Canal+.

Channel 4 Feature

Judges Comments

"One of the stand-out pieces of work from Syria since the conflict started. It is extraordinary and compelling footage - I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It is an incredibly emotional piece with tender beautiful moments that will stay with me for a long time."