Rory Peck Awards: Freelances on frontline honoured

Two freelance journalists who brought TV audiences footage from the frontline in Libya were honoured at the Rory Peck Awards in London last night.

Belgian freelance Ahmed Bahaddou was presented with the Rory Peck award for news for his frontline footage of rebels fighting Gaddafi forces in Western Libya.

The judges praised Bahaddou for his enterprise, determination and skill. They said his footage was ‘everything you could want and more. It is incredibly composed shooting. You can almost feel the bullets whistling past you.” His work was shot in Libya in April this year for Associated Press.

American freelance Abdallah Omeish, who was born in Libya, won the Rory Peck Award for features, for his Benghazi film, Libya: Through the Fire – a portrait of the city, and one of its sons, Mohammed al-Nabbous – the first person to broadcast from within Libya and report on events in English and Arabic. Judges said the film was moving and powerful and felt the central character of Nabbous embodied the story of the Arab Spring .Libya: Through the fire was produced by 3rd Eye Filmworks for Al Jazeera English.

Jezza Neumann was awarded the Sony Professional Impact Award for Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children, which the judges described as ‘astonishing’. They were impressed by the continuity and emotional impact of his film about the harsh reality of life for three children in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, and by the quality of camerawork, especially given the difficulties of operating inside Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children was Shot in Zimbabwe in 2009 funded by the BBC, DRG and True Vision Productions and was broadcast by SIC Noticias in Portugal.

The awards were presented by Channel 4 news chief correspondent Alex Thomson Mishal Husain of the BBC at the BFI in London last night.

Click on the links below to see video highights of the winning work from the 2011 Rory Peck Awards:

Rory Peck Award for News: Winner – Ahmed Bahaddou

Rory Peck Award for Features: Winner – Abdallah Omeish

Sony Professional Impact Award: Winner – Jezza Neumann

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