Peck Award contenders announced

A film that cameraman James Miller was in the process of making when he was shot dead by an Israeli soldier, has been nominated in this year’s Rory Peck awards.

Death in Gaza , broadcast by Channel 4 in May this year, has been nominated in the features category of the awards, which celebrate the work of freelance cameramen and women.

The film looks at the impact of war on the lives of Palestinian children and ends with footage showing how Miller was shot by an Israeli soldier in May last year.

Inigo Gilmore’s Good Morning Baghdad , a self-funded piece showing life in the capital, was also shown by Channel 4 and is one of two features shortlisted that were filmed in Iraq.

Tara Sutton and Marc Perkins’ Burial Ground of the Americans was shown by BBC’s Newsnight in February and shows life in Falluja from the point of view of the townspeople and the US military.

The hard news category is also dominated by footage from Iraq and, unusually for the freelance awards, two were filmed by journalists embedded with the US army. Martin Adler’s On Patrol with Charlie Company was filmed in late 2003.

Another film for Channel 4 made by Tara Sutton, called Falluja Exclusive , was also made while embedded with the US military.

A film covering the moments when Cap-Haitien in Haiti fell to rebels, and broadcast by APTN, was also among the finalists.

The three finalists for the Sony International Impact Award are Ruhi Hamid for her film on the Hmong hill tribes who live in the jungles of Laos; Philip Cox, for his film Inside Darfur, The First Images of the Crisis; and Sara Nason for The Hidden Wounded American Soldiers, a film also shown by Channel 4 that attempted to show “the true casualty levels of the war in Iraq”.

The Freelance’s Choice award will be announced at the awards ceremony, which will take place on 10 November.

By Julie Tomlin

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