The role of local freelances was highlighted in this year’s Rory Peck awards where half of the entries were living and working in danger zones around the world.
This year’s awards, which were presented by Andrea Catherwood, also saw the highest number of entries from freelance cameramen and women working independently.
The winner of the hard news award was Zakaria Abu Harbid, a Palestinian who captured the aftermath of an explosion on Gaza Beach and showed 12 year old Huda Ghalia’s grief on discovering that her father, stepmother and five siblings were dead.
The Sony Impact award – for freelances whose work has helped change perceptions or policy through its impact on the international community – was given to Ali Fadhil, a doctor turned film maker whose film ‘Iraq’s Missing Billions’ highlights how $18 billion of money earmarked for reconstruction has been squandered.
The features award was won by Dirk Nel, a South African whose film about violence against women in Guatemala and the failure of the authorities to investigate it was described as “the best camerawork we’ve seen” by judges.
Nick Springate, a senior world affairs producer with the BBC won the freelancer’s choice award. Among others nominated for the award was Martin Adler who was murdered in Somalia in June this year. Channel 4 News foreign affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller gave a moving tribute to the cameraman who won the Rory Peck hard news award last year.