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KOREAN FILM TRIUMPHS AT RORY PECK AWARDS

South Korean freelance cameramen Jung In Taek and Han Yong Ho have won the 2008 Rory Peck Trust Impact Award.

The pair received the prize for "Korea: Out of the North", a film which followed the journeys taken by North Koreans trying to flee the country and that was broadcast by the BBC.

Both risked arrest and punishment during the 10 months of filming at night in sub-zero temperatures, the Rory Peck Trust said. "Without the physical and political courage that Jung In Taek and Han Yong Ho displayed in undertaking this project, this compelling story of human endeavour - of people in search of freedom to pursue a better life - would never have been seen by the wider public."

The award for news footage was presented to Abdullahi Farah Duguf for his Somalian film "Two weeks in Mogadishu", which showed violence, destruction and human misery on the streets of the Somali capital.

British journalist Tim Hetherington was awarded the Rory Peck Award for features for his film "The Other War", which focused on the experiences of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Zimbabwean cameraman Mike Saburi was honoured with the Martin Adler prize - given in memory of a freelance cameraman who was murdered while filming in Somalia in 2006 - for his coverage of life under Robert Mugabe's regime.

At the ceremony, freelance journalist Vaughn Smith criticised news broadcasters for failing to give camera operators due recognition for their work, telling the audience, "I've been shot more times than I have been credited by the BBC."

Smith, who was nominated as a finalist for his film, "Grenadiers Fighting in Helmand", made an impassioned plea for fairer treatment from broadcasters and for large news organisations to stop passing off work supplied by freelance cameramen as their own.

Profiles of this year's awards winners, which are specifically for freelance cameramen and women, can by found on the Rory Peck Trust website: http://www.rorypecktrust.org

A version of Smith's plea on the "Guardian": http://tinyurl.com/5wghx5

(19 November 2008)

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