The One World Media awards, which recognize the best British media coverage of the wider world, were handed out at a ceremony in London last night (May 8), and saw Channel 4′s Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields picking up two awards.
The ITN-produced documentary, an investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, took home both the television and documentary awards.
The two juries called Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields “a searing piece of rigorous and unflinching journalism” and “an extraordinary and powerful piece of television testimony that forensically analyzed a terrible atrocity and built a compelling case to be answered.”
The Channel 4 doc also won an RTS award in February. Elsewhere, BBC2 also picked up an award for Toughest Place to be a Binman in the the popular features category. The title follows a London refuse collector who spends 10 days working in Jakarta.
The judges commended it for being accessible, original in its approach and having a wide appeal to a broad audience. The special award went to a group of young Ethiopian filmmakers from the backstreets of Addis Ababa, who make up Gem TV. The production company, formed as a community filmmaking project, has established itself as one of the top Ethiopian prodcos, making festival-winning docs and films for international NGOs.
The new media award went to charity SOS Children’s Villages for Our Africa, a project where children from Morocco to South Africa make films about their lives, while the sustainable development award went to feature doc There Once was an Island, from On the Level Productions, on the impact of climate change on a small Polynesian island.
Finally, a youth jury named Al Jazeera English’ Africa Investigates: Spell of the Albino as the children’s rights award winner, while the student award went to Zena Merton and Giselle Santos from the London College of Communication for their documentary Bagong Silang, on the lives of a community in the Philippines who have made a home out of a graveyard.
“We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this year so it’s impressive to see that despite the pressures that media companies are under there is still cutting edge work being done in the best traditions of journalism and filmmaking,” said Marion Bowman, director of One World Media. “More than ever the public needs to know what’s going on in the rest of the world and our Awards are a way of encouraging and highlighting a diverse, high quality range of work.”