Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design Television Production BA graduates Elena Di Maria (producer), Deano Houghton (editor), Dastan Zorab (director), Abdulrahman Salih (camera operator) and Tom Sharp (assistant producer) received a Commendation from the Royal Television Society (RTS) for their 2016 documentary The Plight of Freedom.

The documentary follows the refugee crisis in Kurdistan featuring people who were forced to leave their homes to allow the government to liberate the area from ISIS control. It portrays the harsh conditions and reality of current events in Iraq.

Principal Lecturer Jane Thorburn said: “I’m delighted that the RTS has recognized the achievement of the students in making this documentary.  It is commendable when students take on important issues and treat the people who are the subjects of the documentary with empathy and respect. There is so much unspoken tragedy implicit in the straightforward way in which the refugees describe their situation.”

The documentary previously received an award for Best Editing at Portsmouth International Film Festival and has been reviewed by the UK Film Review, which said: “The Plight of Freedom aims to show the human side of a story that is mostly covered for its economic and political implications. It certainly achieves this through its blunt and honest approach.”

Learn more about studying Television Production BA at Westminster.


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