Finalist, Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs Sponsored by Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs

Patrick Wells (British)

October - December 2016, Iraq

ISIS and the Battle for Iraq

Quicksilver Media for Channel 4 Dispatches

As Shia militias fight alongside the Iraqi army to rid the country of the so-called Islamic State (IS). Patrick’s film investigates allegations of torture, execution and sectarian cleansing of Sunni refugees by the militias. With reporter Ramita Navai and producer Mais Albayaa, Patrick spent more than a year gaining access to high level whistleblowers and eyewitnesses to bring to light new information about abuses against Sunni civilians and the way in which Shia Militias are infiltrating the Iraqi government and security forces to brutally settle sectarian and historic scores. The film also lifts the lid on a network of secret prisons being run by the militias, in which innocent people are being tortured and killed.

Watch the full entry here.


Patrick is a producer/director working mostly shooting and reporting in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Europe. He makes observational and investigative documentaries for clients including  Channel 4, The BBC, PBS and AJE. In Ukraine, he was the first journalist to negotiate access to fighters on both sides of the frontline in the same area and he has also worked undercover in China and Venezuela, investigating ‘gay cure’ clinics and shortages of basic medication in children’s hospitals. In Yemen, Patrick was the first foreign journalist to film inside the port of Hodeidah, where food infrastructure had been bombed by the Saudi-led coalition, increasing levels of hunger across the country. His work has been nominated for the Foreign Press Association Awards,  the Association for International Broadcasting Awards and the Rory Peck Awards.

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Judges Comments

“It is so difficult to cover this complicated conflict in Iraq; no one wants to talk to you and tell this story. Papers, permissions, getting through umpteen checkpoints - this would all have been so difficult. So, for us, it felt like a phenomenally journalistically strong and watertight film, giving us the full 360 degrees. Patrick researches, produces, directs, and shoots brilliantly; the full package. His film is incredibly impressive and really makes its mark.”