Finalist, Rory Peck Award for News Features

Olly Lambert (British)

February 2017, United States

The President V. The Press

Commissioned and broadcast by BBC Newsnight

Olly’s film goes behind the scenes at the White House’s west wing to reveal the daily realities of life on the job for America’s media as they struggle to report on a Presidency that has quickly labelled them “fake news”. During a tumultuous week in February, which sees the resignation of Trump’s security advisor, Michael Flynn and Donald Trump call his first solo press conference as President, Olly studies one of the most important fault lines in America’s new US administration – the relationship between the President and the Press - revealing the very real challenges that continue to confront the Washington press corp as Trump declares respected news outlets the “enemies of the people”.

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Olly has worked as a freelance director for nearly 20 years, and has made over 40 films for Channel 4, the BBC and PBS.  His work tends to focus on ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, often in areas of conflict, and he has won over a dozen international awards, including an Emmy, two BAFTAs and an RTS.  His film 'Syria: Across The Lines', which documented life on both sides of a sectarian frontline in rural Syria, won the 2013 Rory Peck Award for Features.

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Judges Comments

“Olly is a most accomplished filmmaker and gives us a totally different - and important - vantage point on the story that everyone else is telling. There’s an intimacy and lightness of touch in the way this is put together. At the start, you feel it’s a jolly, quirky watch; by the end, you realise how serious this is, and the piece builds in intensity. It’s stand out work, and beautifully shot and framed. In 10 years’ time, we will look back at Olly’s film and see how its impact and insight continues.”