Friendly fire' film honoured at Peck awards

 

Film of a US ‘friendly fire’ attack on a convoy in northern iraq won the hard news prize at this year’s Rory Peck Awards.

Filmed by freelance cameraman Fred Scott for the BBC, Northern Iraq Friendly Fire Incident captured the attack in April that left over 10 people dead, including BBC translator Kamaran Abdurazaq Muhamed, and several more wounded.

Scott, travelling in the convoy with BBC world affairs editor John Simpson, was wounded in the attack and he filmed while his own blood dripped on to the camera lens.

At the time, Simpson described the attack as “a scene from hell”.

Scott, an American, was praised by the judges for continuing to film “some memorable and some dreadful scenes” despite his own injuries.

In his acceptance speech, Scott, who dedicated his award to Kamaran, lamented “what a terrible waste” the war had been.

“But most of us are here because of a terrible waste – that’s mostly what war is about,” he added.

James Brabazon, walked away with both the freelances’ choice award and Sony international impact awards for his footage on the civil war in Liberia.

For A Journey without Maps, which he filmed for Camerapix, Brabazon accompanied rebel soldiers, which included children, as they fought against government forces.

According to the judges, he “uniquely raised the awareness and consciousness about an event not widely known about.”

Argentinian cameraman Rodrigo Vazquez won the features award for his film for Mentorn Midlands/ Channel 4 of the Israel-Palestine conflict in Gaza, shortly after the deaths of British journalist James Miller, US peace activist Rachel Corrie and the wounding of British photography student Tom Hurndall.

Vazquez’s The Killing Zone, according to the judges, “steered the right side of propaganda, and provided a way in for viewers who otherwise wouldn’t know what it’s like”.

The Rory Peck Trust, named after the British cameraman killed during the Russian army’s attack on the country’s parliament building in 1993, was marking its 10th year at the awards ceremony, which was compered by Jon Snow of Channel 4 News.

The 37 media workers killed this year were remembered at the ceremony.

Fred Scott’s award-winning footage features in this Sunday’s edition of Panorama, In The Line of Fire (BBC One, 9pm), in which John Simpson tells the full story of the 6 April ‘friendly fire’ attack.

 

By Wale Azeez

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