Olivier Jobard &
Charles Emptaz

Ethiopian migrants make the desperate journey to Saudi Arabia via Yemen
Commissioned by France 24/ARTE
Watch the full film here

Entry details.

WARNING: This video contains material that some viewers may find distressing

Every day, thousands of Ethiopians set off on foot on a desperate 2,000-km trek in the hope of reaching Saudi Arabia. Their route takes them across the Djibouti desert, the Red Sea and Yemen, a country ravaged by civil war. Every year, hundreds die of exhaustion in the desert or drown while crossing the Gulf of Aden. Those who make it to Yemen, often having gone without food for days on end, are easy prey for the local mafia who kidnap them for ransom. Charles and Olivier followed these migrants on their journey and documented, with exclusive footage, the extent of human trafficking in the region.

Watch the full piece here.


Olivier Jobard is an award-winning filmmaker and photojournalist. After training at the Louis Lumière school, he spent 20 years working for the Sipa Press Agency covering conflicts around the world. After witnessing many experiences involving immigration, today his photographic work revolves around immigrants and their integration in their host country.

Charles Emptaz is a freelance reporter and documentary filmmaker. He has worked regularly since 2011 for Arte and France 24 in Africa and the Middle East investigating wars, revolutions and state violence. His first film in Burundi won the FIGRA International News Reportage Award and the Etoile de la SCAM prize and was a finalist for the Albert Londres Prize. His last report in Yemen was awarded the best Video Image at the Bayeux Calvados-Normandy Award and best report for the DIG Awards.

Read Camille Khellaf and Mel Lester’s profile on Olivier and Charles here.

Judges comments.

“A remarkable feat of enterprise and endeavour whereby the journalists covered an otherwise underreported story, alongside an awesome level of commitment where they put themselves at risk for the film. It is a beautifully shot piece with stunning visuals that allows us to feel the emotion and pain; most importantly, the film gives these migrants a voice.”

News Features Award Jury