Still from 'Rebels in Western Libya', by Ahmed Bahaddou
The conflict in Libya dominated last night's Rory Peck Awards, with three out of four prizes going to coverage of the eight-month revolution that overthrew the country's regime.
The annual awards – named after freelance cameraman Rory Peck, who was killed while working in Moscow – recognise the work of freelance cameramen and women and local freelancers.
Belgian freelancer Ahmed Bahaddou won the award for news with his film "Rebels in Western Libya".
Judges praised "the extraordinary enterprise" of Bahaddou, "who essentially hitch-hiked his way with the rebels into the frontline."
They said his footage was "everything you would want and more. It is incredibly composed shooting. The audio is particularly strong. You can almost feel the bullets whistling past you."
Bahaddou, a former Reuters staff cameraman who has also worked with AP, Al Jazeera English and the BBC, beat competition from Vladimir Kostin for "Belarus Elections" and Jason Parkinson for "Egypt Revolutions".
The award for features went to US freelancer Abdallah Omeish, who was born in Libya. His film "Libya: Through the Fire" is a portrait of the city of Benghazi and Mohammed al-Nabbous, the first person to broadcast from within Libya and report on events in English and Arabic.
Judges said al-Nabbous "embodied the story of the Arab spring" at the heart of a "moving and powerful" film.
Abdallah's film follows al-Nabbous from his first attempts to set up an independent satellite TV station to his eventual death when he was shot and killed while out filming.
Also nominated for the features prize were Jihan Hafiz and Reed Lindsay for "Benghazi Rising", and Elizabeth Jones for "Egypt: Seeds of Change".
The Sony Professional Impact Award, which recognises freelance camera work that examines humanitarian or social issues, went to Jezza Neuman for "Zimbabwe's Forgotten Children",
Neuman's film, which examines the lives of three children under Robert Mugabe, was praised by the judges for its "continuity and emotional impact" and "the quality of the camera work, especially given the difficulties of operating inside Zimbabwe".
The Martin Adler Prize – awarded to a local cameraman or woman, fixer, driver or translator – went to Libyan fixers Suiliman ali Zway and Osama Alfitory.
Journalism.co.uk spoke to Zway and Alfitory about the work behind their award. Read the full article at this link.
Tina Carr, the director of the Rory Peck Trust, said it had been "an extraordinary year" for the awards, with "incredibly strong entries across all of the categories and three outstanding winners".
"I want to congratulate all of this year’s finalists on producing such exceptional work – the sheer range and quality on show tonight demonstrates how vibrant and talented the freelance community is right now.
"It is a privilege to celebrate their work.”
Freelance cameraman Rory Peck was killed in 1993 in Moscow. The Rory Peck Trust, which organises the awards, was established two years later by his wife Juliet to support the families of freelance journalists killed in the course of their work.
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