Freelancers covering refugee stories have taken top honours at the Rory Peck Awards 2016, hosted by ITV’s Julie Etchingham and CNN’s Clarissa Ward at London’s Southbank.The Rory Peck Awards, sponsored by Sony, are dedicated to the work of freelance cameramen and women in news and current affairs.
Internationally respected and highly prized, they celebrate the skill and achievement of freelancers around the world and demonstrate why they are so important to the newsgathering industry.
Winners of this year’s award include:
Will Vassilopoulos won the category for News, Will’s footage shows desperate migrants and refugees arriving on the island of Lesbos in overcrowded, boats and rubber dinghies and their rescue from open water in the middle of the night. He also covered events at the makeshift, sprawling Idomeni camp on Greece’s northern border with Macedonia which became a flashpoint in the migrant crisis.
Judges said Will’s “exceptional” footage was full of humanity because of his storytelling and eye for detail. “Images from the Med have become so familiar there’s a danger of image fatigue, but these stood out. Will held his shots, let them breathe and evolve, leaving his sequences long so you really got the arc of the story.”
Marco Salustro was presented the award for News Features, Marco’s film reveals the sub-human conditions inside unofficial detention camps run by local militia in Tripoli, and the abuse and mistreatment of hundreds of migrants by those who claim to have their welfare at heart. It is a shocking story of human commodity and human rights abuses.
Judges said Will’s film showed the moral complexity of the situation faced by the Libyan government and their inability to deal with it.
The Sony Impact Award for Current Affairs went to Marcel Mettelsiefen. Marcel’s film was beautiful and timely. “The way this film draws you into the complex, quite desperate and also quite hopeful inner life of this one family is breathtaking. It’s honest, emotional, intimate and poetic. This is a touching documentary from a mature and responsible filmmaker who has made a film that we all need to see at this time.”
Angel İstek Alcu
Freelance fixer Angel was presented with the Martin Adler Prize, which honours the outstanding contribution made by local freelance journalists. Angel, who lives and works in the south-east region of Turkey, has a reputation among visiting journalists for being one of the most trusted and knowledgeable fixers in the region.
Tina Carr, Director of the Rory Peck Trust said “Tonight’s winners and finalists clearly show that some of the very best work in today’s news and current affairs is being produced by freelancers from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.”
“This evening is a chance to celebrate such diversity and talent. It is also a reminder that freelancers are at the heart of independent journalism. With journalism increasingly under attack all over the world we need to support and protect these brave, talented and diverse freelancers for the benefit of us all.”