Award judges praise work of self-taught film-makers

By Caitlin Pike

The finalists for this year’s Rory Peck Awards were announced this week.

Judges acknowledged the growing number of entries from self-taught
cameramen around the world who show great courage to get footage, with
little backup support from news organisations.

One finalist for
the Sony Impact Award – which honours films for impact and influence –
is an extreme example of the self-taught film-makers.

Hasyim was working as a wedding cameraman in Indonesia when the Boxing Day Tsunami struck in 2004.

He
captured some of the most graphic images of the disaster. After
Hasyim’s camera broke, his co-finalist, Inigo Gilmore, also
self-taught, gave him his camera so that he could continue filming.

The
awards, set up by The Rory Peck Trust, celebrate the work of freelance
cameramen and women in news and current affairs worldwide. Three other
categories, alongside the Sony Impact Award, make up the awards – hard
news, features and the Freelances’ Choice award.

The
hard-news category honours those films that capture the immediacy of
unfolding news. Chris Shaw, senior programme controller at Five and
chair of the hard-news judging panel, said: “What we were looking for
here was ‘the instant’, the feeling of ‘got to get it now, got to get
it back now’. Hard news developing before our eyes was a crucial, if
not the defining, element.”

The features award singles out camera
operators who produce films with determination and stamina, and whose
story-telling approach is original and versatile. Last year’s
posthumous features award winner was James Miller,whose film Death in
Gaza recently picked up three Emmy awards.

The winners of the awards will be announced at the National Film Theatre on 8 November 2005.

The
Rory Peck Trust, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, was
founded in memory of Rory Peck, who was killed in crossfire while
reporting in Moscow in 1993. The trust offers support to families of
freelances killed while on assignment, and also gives bursaries to
enable freelances worldwide to train on safety courses.

Rory Peck Awards 2005 THE FINALISTS

SONY IMPACT AWARDS

Ali Fadhil Fallujah: The first eyewitness Commissioned and funded by Channel 4 Independents Fund, January 2005

Inigo Gilmore and Hasyim The man who dared Self-funded, broadcast on Channel 4 News, January 2005 Cyrus Nhala and “Sara”

Zimbabwe: Forced evictions Commissioned and broadcast by ITN, June 2005

HARD NEWS

Geof Thorpe-Willett US Marines Assault on Fallujah Commissioned by ABC News, November 2004

Alexander Lomakin Beslan Siege Commissioned by ITN, September 2004

Mehran Bozorgnia Opium Trail Self-funded, commissioned by Channel 4, summer 2005

FEATURES

Tomasz Glowacki Chechnya: The Dirty War Commissioned by Channel 4

Ruhi Hamid At the Epicentre Commissioned by BBC, May 2005

Sean Paul Langan Langan in Iraq Self-funded, broadcast by BBC August 2004

The shortlist for the Freelances’ Choice award has not yet been announced

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