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Rory Peck Awards Recognises Powerful Film-Making

Excellence in highlighting humanitarian situations through the medium of film-making has been recognised by The Rory Peck Awards.
Held in London on November 10, 2006 The Rory Peck Awards is the only ceremony of its kind to highlight and celebrate freelance achievement in television newsgathering around the world and both international accolades honour the endeavours of freelance cameramen and women who show initiative and integrity in revealing the world's untold stories.
  • Winner of the Hard News Award:
    Zakaria Abu Harbid, 'Gaza Beach' Broadcast by Ramattan News Agency, June 2006
  • Winner of the Features Award: Dirk Nel, 'Killer's Paradise' Broadcast by BBC 2, May 2006
Palestinian Zakaria Abu Harbid was awarded the Rory Peck Award for Hard News for his footage 'Gaza Beach' and South African Dirk Nel was presented with the Rory Peck Award for Features for his investigation into the escalation of violence against women in Guatemala.
Harbid captured footage of 12 year-old Huda Ghalia on Gaza beach after an explosion killed her father, step-mother and five siblings.
The Rory Peck Award for Hard News honours freelance camerawork that captures the immediacy of a situation. The judges of this category said the piece "went to the heart of freelance journalism" and was unbeatable in terms of the award's criteria.
Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs At Channel 4 Television and judge praised Harbid's work: "It was incredibly powerful; Zakaria held his nerve in awful, emotional circumstances," said one of the judges, Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4 Television.
Speaking of his experience, Harbid said: "When I arrived at the beach, I choked, held my camera and started to run. I saw Huda Ghalia running between her dead family and then she stopped at her father's body and shouted at me to 'film, film'. It was at this moment that I realised the role I had to play to show this story to the world by capturing these images with my camcorder."
With an estimated 5000 women being murdered every year in Guatemala, Dirk Nel's documentary, 'Killers' Paradise', attempts to uncover the reasons behind this worrying escalation of violence.
Contrasting graphic footage of crime scenes with moving interviews with victims' families and friends, the panel of judges was impressed with the innovative and interpretive approach shown by the South African cameraman. The Rory Peck Award for Features recognises a major contribution to a news feature or documentary by a freelance cameraman or woman, which shows originality and depth of approach in camerawork.
Nel commented on his experience: "At one point during filming, I actually had to stop and consider whether I could continue filming as the evidence I was finding had an immensely powerful effect on me emotionally. Although I have filmed in dangerous places before this, what I experienced in Guatemala was so different. No one could answer why this femicide was happening. It seemed so senseless."
The Rory Peck Awards is an annual ceremony held by the Rory Peck Trust and sponsored by Sony.

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