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RPT Field Stories: Olly Lambert

RPT Field Stories: Olly Lambert

Across the frontlines in Syria. Inside one of Gaza’s bloodiest hospitals. Freelance filmmaker and Rory Peck Award winner Olly Lambert has made documentaries about ordinary people in some of the world's most volatile places. How does he do it?

In the second of our film series, RPT Field Stories, freelancer Olly talks candidly about the process behind two of his award-winning documentaries, Syria: Across the Lines, and The Tea Boy of Gaza, and the physical, emotional and logistical pressures that come with life ‘on location’.

With insightful honesty, Olly reveals how he tackles the complex narratives of civil war and what he's looking for as a filmmaker: "Actually what I’m always seeking to do is to embed - within a community, or a street, or a family, or even just a person." 

And why patience is a virtue in the field: "Time spent having tea with someone is not time wasted," he says. "The most surprising characters, and events, and stories presented themselves. Don’t get the camera out, don’t fiddle with the equipment. Talk and listen, and listen even harder."

Olly has won more than a dozen awards for his work - but the journey hasn't been easy. Anxiety, insecurity, not to mention the danger of being caught slap-bang in the middle of gunfights, are just a few of the realities he, like other freelancers, have faced.

Watch the full, fascinating film now:

RPT Field Stories is filmed, produced and edited by Sam Sapin. The first episode features Saudi filmmaker and two-time Rory Peck Award finalist Safa Al Ahmad. Future episodes will be with Sorious Samura, an award-winning journalist from Sierra Leone, and more. Check out our social media channels - Facebook and Twitter - for information on their release or sign up to our newsletter.

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