Somalia's Farah Roble Aden was awarded the Rory Peck Award for Hard News for his footage Somalia Reports and British-Irish Sean Langan won the Rory Peck Award for Features for Fighting the Taliban at the annual Rory Peck Awards ceremony.
The Rory Peck Awards is the only ceremony of its kind to celebrate freelance achievement in television news gathering around the world. Through the Rory Peck Trust's reach, freelance cameramen and women are honoured for their enterprising spirit and integrity in raising awareness of critical issues.
"Through these reports we are able to gain insight into issues that impact millions of lives across the globe. The images captured by freelancers remind us of the need to keep a wider news agenda. Despite the often harrowing circumstances under which the footage is shot, these individuals remain calm and composed, to deliver well executed and thought provoking reports. The Trust exists to ensure that freelance news gatherers have the support they need to protect and promote this vital resource," said Tina Carr, Director of the Rory Peck Trust.
Somalia Reports captures close-to-the-action fighting in Mogadishu after the Islamic courts militias were ousted by Ethiopian-backed Somali Government troops. The subsequent attacks and street demonstrations impacted thousands of civilians. This year's judging panel was impressed with Farah's skillfully shot footage that provided insight into an enormously significant story. The raw pictures offered local insight into a region of the world that is often unrepresented in the press.
Enduring huge risks to be there, Farah remained very calm to capture the immediacy of the situation. Eventually asked by Reuters to suspend coverage in the interest of safety, Farah was arrested and had his camera confiscated during the filming. Farah commented, "It was difficult to see relatives and friends suffering and dying during the fighting and even losing their homes. Even journalists have been killed, but I knew that my coverage would show the world the real situation inside Somalia."
Fighting the Taliban captures the experience of the British forces effort to re-take the town of Garmser from the Taliban. Filmed over the course of a week-long battle, Sean Langan took great personal risks to capture the combat footage.
"I spent a week embedded with UK forces. Normal embed conditions applied, sleeping and eating where soldiers did, while under almost constant fire or threat of attack," said Sean.
The Rory Peck Award for Features recognises freelance footage that demonstrates originality and depth of approach. Filmed alone, the judges selected Sean's Fighting the Taliban for its unique approach to non-conventional current affairs programming as a standard-setting achievement.
The annual awards, sponsored by Sony, include the Sony Impact Award, the Rory Peck Award for Hard News, and the Rory Peck Award for Features.
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