Meet the 2013 Rory Peck Awards winners

Meet the 2013 Rory Peck Awards winners
Thursday, 21 November 2013 Written by Rory Peck Trust

The Rory Peck Awards last night honoured the work of freelance cameramen and camerawomen at a packed event hosted by Christiane Amanpour and James Mates at London's BFI Southbank. Here's your chance to meet this year's winners...

The Rory Peck Award for News was presented to young British freelancer Aris Roussinos for "Ground Zero Mali: The Battle of Gao", a self-funded piece broadcast by VICE. It shows striking street by street battle footage from Gao in northern Mali  in February 2013, as Malian troops attempt to storm buildings being held by Mujao Islamists.

Judges praised the power of Roussinos' footage and how close he got to the Malian army: "He threw himself into the midst of the fighting and captured moments some of which are oddly comic for a war zone.....It's classic war footage - fantastic television journalism - and it hardly needs any script because it is so incredibly well shot."

The Rory Peck Award for Features was won by British freelance filmmaker Olly Lambert for "Syria: Across the Lines". It was commissioned and broadcast by Channel 4 Dispatches. Olly spent a total of five weeks in the Orontes River Valley documenting life in villages on opposite sides of the river, and opposing sides of the war. 

The judges described Olly's work as "a truly memorable piece of television". One said: "It is a brilliantly shot piece- the camerawork is fantastic. He bought a documentary eye to a very chaotic news situation.  It tells you so much about the state of war in Syria - and the state of war generally - the chaos of war - with such a human touch."

The Sony Impact Award was presented to Bangladeshi freelancers Soumen Guha and Dipak Chandra Sutradhar for "Hazaribagh: Toxic Leather", produced by Wild Angle (WA) Productions for Public Senat, Ushuaia TV and La Locale. Soumen and Dipak pretended to be filming a commercial for a French leather company to gain access to the giant slum of antiquated tanneries in Hazaribagh on the outskirts of Dhaka.


Their film provides clear evidence of the appalling, squalid conditions for the half a million workers in the factories there which use toxic products that cause cancer and other illnesses that kill most of them before the age of fifty. The leather produced is for cheap products - belts and bags - to be sold in Europe.

Judges said it was "an intelligently shot film with some unforgettable sequences." "These cameramen stuck their necks out to get that story right under the noses of the factory owners. They put themselves in physical danger by going into that situation....They got amazing footage of an incredibly damaging industry - watching it made my skin itch."

Azerbaijani freelancer Idrak Abbasov was presented with this year's Martin Adler Prize, sponsored by Hexagon, which honours the work of a local freelancer who has made a significant contribution to newsgathering.

Azerbaijan has seen growing restrictions on press freedom and increasing attacks on journalists over recent years and Idrak has worked with dogged determination to cover stories for a range of independent media including print, online, radio and television.  In April 2012, Idrak was left in a critical condition after being beaten unconscious while filming protests surrounding the demolition of houses in Baku by state oil company SOCAR, and spent months in hospital, unable to work. But when violent protests erupted in the town of Ismayilli, in January, Idrak put his personal concerns to one side to shoot pictures that he thought his fellow citizens and the wider world needed to see.

The footage was broadcast on obyectiv.tv.  The governor was later dismissed.  The prize was awarded to Idrak in recognition of his inspiring his bravery, composure and determination to cover events, under the most testing of circumstances.

Support the Trust and support freelancers

The Rory Peck Awards is the main fundraising event for the Trust. Sony Professional, sponsor of the Awards, is currently matching every £1 donated to the organisation via this Just Giving page (up to £1000) until the midnight of the 22 November 2013.

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