Finalist, Rory Peck Award for News Features

Javier Manzano (Mexican)

Filmed in July 2017, Iraq

After ISIS

Commissioned and broadcast by VICE on HBO

The fight to retake Mosul, the biggest city in ISIS's so-called caliphate, lasted over ten months and was the biggest urban battle to take place since World War II. As civilians of Mosul endured the impossible choice of hiding in their homes or fleeing, running the risk of being killed by ISIS, the war raged on - bombarding homes and destroying the everything in its path. With unparalleled access, Javier and VICE reporter Ben Anderson embedded with several units of the Iraqi Army as they fought the group, room to room, house to house and street to street, often fighting for days on end and suffering horrendous casualties on a slow crawl to liberation. His images capture the true chaos of war. 
Javier is a Mexican filmmaker known for his coverage of his country's drug wars, the conflict in Afghanistan and the Syrian civil war among other notable works. His career started in the newspaper industry as a photo and video journalist, and later expanded into television and documentary films. Javier is currently based in Europe where he covers MENA region and beyond. 

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Judges Comments

“He’s an absolute professional. Despite unbelievably difficult filming conditions, Javier maintains his composure and attention to detail. In doing so, he captures moments of real human drama and provides us with a snapshot of what was really happening at that time....The framing and cinematography was really beautiful. Even though it was frontline filming he managed to capture some real human moments."