This page is over 10 years old. Some things have changed since then.

UK Film Campaigner Gets Iraqi Refugee Kids Back to School


A big smile on the first day at school shows how happy an Iraqi refugee boy is to be learning again after a gap of up to three years without any schoolingMcLibel filmmaker Franny Armstrong has just helped over forty Iraqi refugee children to get back to school for the first time in three years,  by publishing details of their plight in a regular newsletter from her production company Spanner Films.


Armstrong is currently in Amman, Jordan, where she is filming the plight of some of the one million Iraqi refugees, who fled there for safety so far, from unrest verging on civil war, in their homeland.

Readers of her newsletter responded to the Iraqi children's plight by reaching for their credit cards and donating to a special appeal fund. Some refugee children were able to benefit immediately and attend school from the start of the new academic year.


BBC to Document a Royal Life in Saudi Arabia


Saudi Prince Allows Fly-on-the-Wall Filming


Members of Saudi Arabia's ruling family Al SaudThe BBC has been given unprecedented access to make a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the Saudi royal family. The documentary will follow the daily life of a senior Saudi royal, Prince Abdul bin Moshin al Saud, a grandson of  King Abdul Aziz , founder of the kingdom.

Some of the world's largest oil reserves have made Saudi Arabia and its royal family very wealthy. Although many foreign immigrants including thousands of westerners work in the kingdom on temporary visas, it remains largely unknown to the rest of the world.


Sundance Announces Documentary Grants


14 Feature-length Documentaries Supported

Sundance - a mecca for independent filmmakersThe Sundance Institute Documentary Fund recently announced its first round of grants for 2006 with 14 feature-length documentary films receiving a total of $605,000. Dedicated to supporting U.S. and international documentary films that focus on current human rights issues, freedom of expression, social justice, civil liberties, and exploring critical issues of our time, the Fund was established at Sundance Institute in 2002 with a gift from the Open Society Institute and is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation. The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund grants are announced twice a year and since its inception at the Institute, the Fund has disbursed almost $4 million to 113 projects.


Documentaries on Indian Independence Eligible For Award


Winning Proposals Will Screen in India and UK

IndiaIn celebration of India's 60th anniversary of independence, a competition will honour the best three-minute documentaries on Indian independence. Broadcast journalists in India have until August 21 to submit their proposals. The awards ceremony will coincide with the Open Frame Reality Film Festival and Documentary Business Skills Forum to be held in Delhi in September.


Stephen Lawrence Documentary Sparks Police Corruption Probe


Metropolitan Police Service Will Carry Out a Full Investigation

Stephen LawrenceThe Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has voiced concerns over the controversial BBC documentary ‘The Boys Who Killed Stephen Lawrence' which was screened on BBC 1 last night and confirmed that The Metropolitan Police will face a corruption probe.


BritDocs Fest looks to Shake up British Documentary World

kebble college

One of the most exciting things I spotted in the bursting inaugaural programme for the Brit Doc film festival - which runs next weekend - is a networking event where 20 filmmakers are introduced to charities and campaigners who have issues which need highlighting. Supported by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, the event will use speed dating to link doc shooters with stories in the UK and around the world which need highlighting. A similar event from the Wellcome Trust introduces filmmakers to scientists, and the two sessions illustrate how Brit Docs is starting to look like a refreshing blast of air to the world of documentary and the UK film events calendar. 


Photojournalist killed while filming political demonstration

From BoingBoing - Award-winning photojournalist Martin Adler was killed in Mogadishu this week while filming a political demonstration for Channel 4 News. He was shot at close range by a single, hooded gunman. Mr. Adler often covered conflict zones alone, filling the multiple roles roles of writer, cameraman, producer, and correspondent.

Link to Photo District News story, here's a statement by Reporters Without Borders, here's a Washington Post piece about an ongoing inquiry into the attack. Link to statement on the website of photo agency Panos Pictures, and here is a small sample of his extensive body of work, via Panos.

Above - an image shot by Mr. Adler in 1996 of internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka seeking lost relatives. Link to details.


Spain Shows Lost Hemingway Documentary


Ernest Miller Hemingway Spanish television has previewed a formerly unseen documentary about its civil war made by the reknowned American writer Ernest Hemingway.

The film, Tierra de Espana (Spanish Earth), contains footage of the civil war, which Hemingway covered as a war correspondent. Hemingway narrates the film which recalls the fighting between the rebel army of General Francisco Franco and the republican government troops near Madrid in 1937.

The film has never before been seen in Spain, which is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the conflicts, starting next month.


London Bombings Documentary Wins Religious TV Award


Rageh Omar wins a religious documentary awardA documentary made by Rageh Omaar about the July 7 London bombings for ITV1 has won the top prize at a religious awards ceremony in London. The Granada documentary, 7/7: A Test of Faith, beat Channel 4's Priest Idol, which was runner-up, and BBC2's The Monastery, given a merit prize at the Sandford St Martin Trust Religious Television Awards.