In The Middle Of Chaos: Living With The Daunte Wright Protests At The Front Door
Commissioned by The New York Times
“The immersive nature of this film made it very special. The camera work was stunning, and the jury felt this was a very original and creative piece of journalism on a breaking news story. They commended the filmmakers for skillfully bringing the exterior into interior scenes – the result was a beautiful piece of reportage.”
-News Award Jury
For several nights, Ebonie McMillan and her children watched as protests over the death of Daunte Wright turned violent outside their home in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Katie G. Nelson and Ed Ou spent one of those evenings documenting the scene outside Ebonie’s apartment for The New York Times, producing an incredibly raw and intimate film along with Staff Producer Kassie Bracken and Staff Editors Meg Felling and Shane O’Neill.
From a mother laying out a makeshift bed on the floor, a precaution to protect from stray bullets tearing through the walls, to a sister delivering snacks to her siblings who are sequestered in a bedroom, the cartoons on television drowning out the nightmare just a few feet away, to babies crying out for their mom at the cracks and bangs and screaming outside, In the Middle of Chaos offers a look at the quiet casualties of injustice and conflict in the heart of the midwest.
Katie G. Nelson is an award-winning freelance journalist, photographer and filmmaker in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Nairobi, Kenya. She covers human rights, racial justice, global health and accountability issues. Nelson’s work has been published by The New York Times, National Geographic, BBC, Al Jazeera, Frontline PBS, The Telegraph, Associated Press and Public Radio International, among others. She was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for her coverage of the death of George Floyd for The New York Times.
Trained as an investigative journalist, Nelson cut her teeth as a reporter in the United States before moving to East Africa, where she was based for more than a decade. Her investigations into health care, medical insurance and political finance laws have spurred policy changes at home and abroad.
Ed Ou is visual journalist and documentary filmmaker. He started his career early as a teenager, covering the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and the fall of the Islamic Courts in Mogadishu, Somalia while he was studying in the Middle East. He first worked for Reuters and the Associated Press, covering a wide range of news stories in the region. He then worked for the New York Times covering East Africa and the Middle East during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Since then, he has covered the lasting trauma of colonialism in indigenous communities in Canada, the drug war in the Philippines, and the rise of extremism in the US.
His documentaries have been awarded a Peabody, an Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, an International Reporting Award from the Overseas Press Club, a Canadian Screen Award, and a team Edward. R Murrow Award. He was recently nominated for an Emmy Award for his coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.