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Rory Peck Awards 2012 - Finalists Announced

London, 26 September 2012 – The Rory Peck Trust today announced the nine finalists for the Rory Peck Awards 2012, sponsored by Sony, to be held at London's BFI Southbank on Wednesday 28th November.

The Rory Peck Awards are the only awards in the world dedicated to the skill and achievement of freelance cameramen and camerawomen in news and current affairs. With entries from across the world, the awards highlight the bravery, talent and dedication of the news industry's independent operators, and showcase the incredible stories and images that they uncover - often working alone - in some of the world's most dangerous and difficult regions. 
All of this years finalists - covering stories from Egypt, Libya, London Sudan, Syria and the Yemen - have faced real threat or danger to bring us nine exceptional pieces that shine a probing light on world events and untold stories.
Astonishing images of city-based conflict from Cairo, Homs and London.

  • Filming for the first time, young Egyptian-American RODDY HAFIZ, convinced his sister, freelance journalist Jihan Hafiz, to lend him a video camera so he could  the running battles that erupted on the streets of Cairo following the Port Said football violence in February 2012. He spent two days filming at the heart of the protests, dodging tear gas, missiles and buckshot to produce an extremely visual piece of storytelling that makes compelling viewing.  
  • MANI - a French freelance photographer and ex-teacher - was one of just a handful of journalists in Homs when Syrian forces began their massive shelling campaign in February 2012. Despite huge dangers, he gained rare access to the people in the city, and to FSA fighters as they took on Assad's forces. His atmospheric images, both urgent and intimate, reveal the violence and human suffering that was gripping the besieged city.
  • Londoner JASON N PARKINSON was on the streets of Tottenham within hours of the start of the violence in the Summer of 2011, and stayed long after most media organisations were forced to leave because of rioters hostility to the press. Despite the risks he stayed in the middle of the action covering events in Tottenham, Hackney and Enfield, capturing both sides of the continuing violence up close and personal, with striking footage shot under tense, fast-moving circumstances. 
Three compelling films that get under the skin of revolution in Egypt and Libya.
  • MAY ABDALLA & INIGO GILMORE tell the story of the Egyptian Revolution through the eyes of three young Egyptians from radically different backgrounds. Beautifully shot and compellingly told over 12 months, their film belies the hostilities and threats that the pair regularly faced from the public, authorities and police in a constantly changing atmosphere of political uncertainty and volatility. 
  • Spanish freelancers RICARDO VILANOVA & ALBERTO ARCE show us what happens when a group of office and shop workers in Libya become a fighting unit. Their gripping, heart-stopping film takes us right into the midst of battle with rebel fighters in the besieged city of Misrata, providing real insight into how a group of men - completely untested in war - react under extreme pressure.
  • Young British freelancer PATRICK WELLS was in Misrata documenting the effect of the city's siege for UNICEF when he oined a group of rebel fighters, many of them teenagers. Working alone he gained their trust to produce a brave first film that examines the unglamorous, unadorned daily life of war. His footage reveals a clear disconnect between the fighters preconceptions about conflict and the reality of fighting and killing for the first time. 

Finalists reveal the chilling reality of daily life in Yemen, Sudan and Syria.
  • Saudi-Arabian freelancer SAFA AL-AHMAD, posed as wife of reporter Gaith Abdul Ahad to reveal how Al Qaeda has been able to capture Yemeni towns and cities right under the noses of the Sana'a administration.  Risking drone attacks, discovery by their Al Qaeda contacts - much of her footage was filmed undercover - and under constant surveillance, Safa's film reveals a new side of Al Qaeda - the governance of a city, which provoked a big reaction after transmission in the US.
  • British freelancer DANIEL BOGADO and reporter Aiden Hartley travelled through battlefields and dodged air attacks to film their report from the Nuba Mountains in Sudan which documents a largely hidden war being perpetrated on civilians by Sudanese Government forces. His shocking footage proves that government forces are carrying out aerial bombardment of civilian settlements, whilst banning relief deliveries by international agencies.
  • Freelance filmmaker WAEL DABBOUS was one of the first to defy the Syrian regime's ban on foreign media in September 2011. With reporter Ramita Navai he spent two weeks working undercover in some of the country's most dangerous areas filming members of the fledgling opposition movement. At the centre of his tense claustrophobic film is a terrifying three days spent trapped in a safe house with activists which reveals the horror of their daily lives.
"Every year the Rory Peck Awards show why freelance camera operators, journalists and filmmakers deserve support.", said Tina Carr, Director of the Rory Peck Trust. "The quality and originality of the nine finalists this year is breathtaking - and all of it produced under the most challenging and dangerous circumstances imaginable. These are important stories which all deserve recognition, as do the freelancers who shot them".
Olivier Bovis, head of AV/Media, Professional Solutions Europe, Sony Europe, commented, “The quality of entries this year has once again shown us how important the work of the Rory Peck Trust is in bringing truly compelling and important stories to the world.”
The winners of the Rory Peck Awards 2012 will be announced at The Rory Peck Awards ceremony at 7.30pm on Wednesday 28 November 2011 at London’s BFI Southbank. Tickets can be purchased at
The ceremony is the main fundraiser for the Rory Peck Trust, the only organisation dedicated to the safety and welfare of freelance newsgatherers and their families around the world.

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