Raul Gallego Abellan

Hong Kong: The Umbrella on Fire
Commissioned by The Intercept
Watch the full film here

Entry details.

Five years after the failure of the peaceful pro-democracy protests known as the Umbrella Movement, a huge swath of Hong Kong’s citizens were determined to stop the central government in Beijing from further eroding the “one country, two systems” promise it made in 1997. This short film captures the first days of how the leaderless movement decided to take a step forward and confront police – and how the riot units decided to start the crackdown on protesters. Throwing rocks at police stations and using petrol bombs to confront riot police shooting rubber bullets and tear gas were things that the protesters had to learn to do, and fast. 

Watch the full piece here.


Raul Gallego Abellan has been a pioneer in producing innovative and compelling online news and documentaries, experimenting with new ways of news storytelling. His work as staff for TVE, TV3 Catalonia, The Associated Press Television News and Channel 4 News UK and as a freelance for The Intercept, The Washington Post, South China Morning Post and Global Wildlife Program has led him around the world to war zones, natural disaster sites and areas of social unrest. He is always interested in trying to tell social, empowering and moving stories.

Read Elle Wong’s profile on Raul here.

Judges comments.

“The panel of judges were unanimous in their view that this entry was as much a piece of art as it was a piece of news. It was a visual ballet that rhythmically portrayed the frenetic push and pull between the security forces and protesters. Not classic news reporting, but a unique and powerful digital piece that left the viewer more able to connect with the issues that inspired it. The piece illustrated what all news outlets had been conveying for months, but in a new and powerful way. Raul self-funded this trip and aimed to capture the emotions of both sides – he delivered.”

 News Award Jury