Finalist, Rory Peck Award for News Features

Lottie Gammon (British)

May 2015, Hungary, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia

Tracking Down Macedonia’s Refugee Kidnap Gangs

Commissioned and broadcast by Channel 4 News (ITN)

Lottie's film exposes an organised criminal network of people smugglers, kidnapping and extorting money from refugees crossing from Greece into Macedonia en route to Serbia.

Following a tip-off from a victim, Lottie and reporter Ramita Navai tracked down the house where hundreds of refugees were being held against their will, and unearthed evidence of corruption by local police and customs officials turning a blind eye to the trade. The film had a significant impact in Macedonia and put pressure on the authorities to take action.


Lottie Gammon is a documentary director and camerawoman who has filmed stories from around the globe. She started out on the award-winning Channel 4 Unreported World strand, covering millionaire teachers in Hong Kong, slavery in South Korea and satirists in Zimbabwe.

She has gone on to direct Stacey Dooley Investigates (BBC), Dateline (SBS) and The Traffickers (Fusion/Netflix). In the UK she has also directed single documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV. Last year her film on human trafficking gangs in the Balkans won an RTS Journalism award and the FPA ‘News Story of the Year’.

Judges Comments

“This was good old-fashioned journalism. Lottie and the reporter got a little thread of an overheard story and pulled and pulled, piecing together clue after clue after clue, until they could reveal something incredible and confront a trafficker in his lair.

It could have gone awfully wrong, but it was pushed just to the right line and judged perfectly. That’s a scene that stays with you long after you watch the film. All in all, this was brave and bold journalism and it was very well shot.”