By Caitlin Pike
FREELANCE cameraman Cyrus V Nhara and camerawoman “Sara” were named as the winners of this year’s Sony Impact Award at the annual Rory Peck Awards on Tuesday night.
FONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>They won for their film Zimbabwe: Forced Evictions, which was the first footage of the slum clearances to reach the international community.
Sara has chosen to remain anonymous to protect both her safety and ongoing efforts to broadcast images around the world from Zimbabwe.
Their footage, which was broadcast by ITN in June, captured the devastation caused by Zimbabwe’s controversial slum clearance policy.
The Sony Impact Award recognises humanitarian footage shot by a freelancer that has had an impact worldwide and contains images that have changed perception or policy.
Alexander Lomakin, the first cameraman to film the aftermath of the Beslan school massacre, won the Rory Peck hard news award for his film Beslan Siege.
Ruhi Hamid’s film about the Asian tsunami, At the Epicentre, claimed the features award.
The two films portray different perspectives of the risks facing freelancers from natural and man-made events.
Lomakin said: “We were not prepared for the events of 3 September, but in the chaos I managed to do a bit more, a bit quicker than colleagues from other companies, thanks to the support I received from my team on the ground.”
Hamid’s film tells the story of the 7 000 survivors of the Indonesian village of Lampuuk, which was flattened by last year’s tsunami. Judges’ comments included: “At first I thought this was a big production with a huge crew and a director on board, but she did it all herself, which is absolutely amazing.”
This year’s Freelancers’ Choice Award was presented to print journalist Fatima Tlisova for her continuous bravery, commitment to the story and efforts to help fellow journalists.
The Rory Peck Awards are the major fundraising event for the Rory Peck Trust, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. The trust was established in memory of Rory Peck, who was killed on assignment in Moscow in 1993.