Film documenting satirical Sudanese puppet show wins award named in honour of Derry journalist Rory Peck

The late Rory Peck.
The late Rory Peck.

A unique film about the creator of a satirical puppet show filmed amid the ongoing conflict in Sudan’s Nuba mountains has won a prestigious award named in honour of the late Derry photojournalist Robert Peck who was shot dead while covering the Russian constitutional crisis in Moscow 25-years ago.

American freelancer Roopa Gogineni was announced as the winner of The Rory Peck Award for News Features for her film The Rebel Puppeteers of Sudan at a ceremony hosted by Alex Crawford and Jeremy Bowen at the Rory Peck Awards 2018 in London’s BFI Southbank on Thursday night.

The Rory Peck Award for News, meanwhile, was won by the Spanish video journalist, Mikel Konate, for his Reuters footage following a Spanish NGO carry out an arduous, ten-hour rescue mission of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

The judges described Ms. Gogineni's film as “a wonderfully original piece" observing that "she allowed the story to be told through the protagonists. It takes a really great journalist to be able to pull that off.”

Mr. Konate's footage was described as “an astonishing piece of journalism”.

“Although it is one snapshot in time, his images reveal so much about the situation right now in the Mediterranean Sea," said the judges.

The awards, administered by the Rory Peck Trust, were set up over 20 years ago to honour the late Mr. Peck, who was with his late brother Colin, formerly of Prehen House in Moscow, when he was shot dead by Boris Yeltsin loyalists on October 3, 1993, during the Russian constitutional crisis.

Clothilde Redfern, Director of the Rory Peck Trust said: “As tonight’s winners and finalists have shown, freelancers play a crucial role in global news gathering, accessing stories that can’t be reached and informing our lives through their powerful, eye-witness journalism.

"The Rory Peck Trust exists to support freelancers so that they can stay safe and continue to report in an increasingly hostile world.”

As the Trust states: "The Rory Peck Awards are uniquely dedicated to the work of freelancers working behind the camera in news and current affairs worldwide.

"Established in 1995 in memory of freelance cameraman Rory Peck who was killed in Moscow in 1993, the awards have become a prestigious event in the news and media calendar, attracting entries from many of the world’s most talented journalists, videojournalists and filmmakers.

"The ceremony is the main fundraiser for the Rory Peck Trust, a London-based charity supporting freelance journalists and their families worldwide."