Tim Hetherington (pictured), the Oscar-nominated co-director of acclaimed war documentary Restrepo, has been killed while on an assignment covering the ongoing conflict in Libya.
Hetherington, a 40-year-old Brit who lived in New York, was reportedly killed in the city of Misrata while covering fighting between Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and Libyan rebels. Fellow photojournalist Chris Hondros, who was with Hetherington at the time, is reportedly in a serious condition.
The news was first reported on Facebook by Andre Liohn, a photographer who was injured during the same battle in the region, and has been confirmed by Vanity Fair. Both Hetherington and Hondros were frequent contributors to the magazine.
The exact details of Hetherington’s last movements are unclear at present, however in the final post on his Twitter account yesterday, he wrote: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”
Hetherington collaborated with fellow Vanity Fair contributor and Restrepo co-director Sebastien Junger to produce the highly regarded Afghan war documentary, which was released last year. The project saw the pair spending 10 months embedded with a battalion of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s dangerous Korengal Valley region.
The film marked the first time the duo had collaborated for a feature length doc, and was met with instant critical acclaim, winning the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and garnering an Oscar nomination for best documentary feature at this year’s Academy Awards.
UPDATE: Tim Hetherington’s family has now issued a statement: “It is with great sadness we learned that our son and brother, photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, was killed today in Misrata, Libya by a rocket-propelled grenade.
“Tim will be remembered for his amazing images and his Academy Award nominated documentary Restrepo, which he co-produced with his friend Sebastian Junger. Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict. He will be forever missed.”