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Winners Announced at 2011 Rory Peck Awards

Winners Announced at 2011 Rory Peck Awards

Freelance cameramen and women were honoured at a packed event at London's BFI Southbank attended by journalists, editors, photographers, filmmakers and freelancers from around the world.

  • Ahmed Bahaddou wins the Rory Peck Award for News for Rebels in Western Libya
  • Abdallah Omeish wins the Rory Peck Award for Features for Libya: Through the Fire
  • Jezza Neumann wins the Sony Professional Impact Award for Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children

Tonight the Rory Peck Trust honoured the skill, courage and enterprise of freelance news and current affairs cameramen and women at its annual Rory Peck Awards ceremony.  Held at London’s BFI Southbank, the event was hosted by the BBC's Mishal Husain and Channel 4's Alex Thomson.

Belgian freelancer Ahmed Bahaddou was presented with the Rory Peck Award for News for his extraordinary frontline footage of rebels fighting Gaddafi forces in Western Libya.  In what has been a stand out year for news entries, the judges praised Bahaddou for his enterprise, determination and skill. They said his footage was “everything you could want and more. It is incredibly composed shooting. You can almost feel the bullets whistling past you."

American freelancer Abdallah Omeish, who was born in Libya, won the Rory Peck Award for Features, for his Benghazi film, Libya: Through the Fire - a portrait of the city, and one of its sons, Mohammed al-Nabbous - the first person to broadcast from within Libya and report on events in English and Arabic. Judges said the film was moving and powerful and felt the central character of Nabbous embodied the story of the Arab Spring.

Jezza Neumann was awarded the Sony Professional Impact Award for Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children, which the judges described as 'astonishing'. They were impressed by the continuity and emotional impact of his film about the harsh reality of life for three children in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe, and by the quality of camerawork, especially given the difficulties of operating inside Zimbabwe.

“It's been an extraordinary year for the Rory Peck Awards - incredibly strong entries across all of the categories and three outstanding winners", said Tina Carr, Director of the Rory Peck Trust.  "I want to congratulate all of this year’s finalists on producing such exceptional work - the sheer range and quality on show tonight demonstrates how vibrant and talented the freelance community is right now. It is a privilege to celebrate their work.”

“We are delighted to be here this evening to join the Rory Peck Trust in congratulating not only this year’s winners but all the finalists for the fantastic work they have been doing over the last year”, said Olivier Bovis, Head of AV at Sony Professional. “This has been a dramatic year in terms of world events and this year’s finalists should all be immensely proud of the contribution they have made in bringing these events to the world’s attention. The footage that we have seen has been incredibly moving and reminds us all what can be achieved when you combine technology, talent and a tireless commitment to exposing the truth.”

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