Charity Appeal Inspired by ‘Escape from ISIS’ Announces Huge Expansion

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Delighted to announce that “Escaping Darkness” the mental health treatment campaign run by the AMAR Foundation – which was inspired in part by Escape from ISIS and which I was honoured to help launch – is hugely expanding.

Thanks to generous funding by a US donor, the programme will increase its number of treatment centres in the Kurdish region, as well as opening new centres across Iraq, including in Baghdad and Najaf.

It will now be one of the main providers of mental health support for all of Iraq’s people, no matter their ethnicity or religion, something that is desperately needed in a country that has suffered such horrific violence in years of war.

Well done AMAR! And thanks to all those who have supported the Escaping Darkness appeal. Together, we can all help to reverse our world’s slide into savagery.


Escape from ISIS wins duPont-Columbia Award 2017

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I am delighted to announce that Escape from ISIS has been awarded a 2017 duPont-Colombia award for excellence in broadcast journalism in the public service – the TV equivalent of the Pulitzer prize.

It is an incredible honour, for which I am grateful to the judges and especially all the team on PBS Frontline who worked on and supported the US version of the film.

As ever, we remember that it has now been over a year and a half since the film was first shown – and hope that all the women and girls may be free from ISIS captivity soon.



International Emmy Win for Escape From ISIS

By | Awards, Channel 4, Current Affairs, Documentaries, Escape from ISIS, Iraq | No Comments

I am delighted to announce that Escape From ISIS was awarded an International Emmy by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in New York.

Sadly I couldn’t be there myself, so the honour of collecting the award went to our unflappable Executive Producer Sam Collyns.

You can watch Sam’s acceptance speech by clicking the picture above.

It’s the climax of a fantastic run of awards for the film, for which I could not be more grateful.

But it’s important never to forget that thousands of young women still remain in the hands of ISIS, even today almost a year and a half after the film was made.

This award is for them – in the hope that they’ll be free before long.


We’ve Got #Refugenes – Have you?

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I’m proud to have made a small contribution to this important campaign by the fantastic charity Help Refugees.

They gathered a number of Britain’s leading lights including Rita Ora, Jamie Callum, the Freud sisters and Richard Rogers to step forward and talk about their origins as refugees who fled to this country.

When you consider all they have achieved and contributed, just think what today’s refugees might do if we only gave them a chance.

They’ve got #refugenes – have you?

You can find out more about the campaign at

And please continue to help the millions of refugees still in need today

UK – text REFU to 70700 to donate £5

US – text REFU to 41444 to donate

I helped direct the edit, alongside the project’s mastermind, the wonderful Lliana Bird and BAFTA-nominated editor Matt Gray.

Huge thanks must also go to my steadfast consigliere Enge Gray and Jez Spencer who both generously donated their time and resources to grade and mix the film.

They did their bit for humanity! Please do yours.

How to Help Syria

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Several people have asked for my opinion on how to actually DO something to help the situation in Syria, which seems to set new benchmarks for horror, cruelty and heartbreak every day.

These are my ideas – I’d be glad if others wanted to add their own in the comments.

Please choose one. Do something. Every one of us who takes action to help, no matter how small, also strikes a blow against the monsters inflicting this violence against innocent people – and gives hope to us all.

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Yazidi Survivor Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

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I wanted to share an incredible story of hope that has come out of the Islamic State atrocities committed against women in Iraq – the horror of which I covered in Escape from ISIS.

One 21-year old woman, Nadia Murad, who had endured the worst sexual violence of anyone I met, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by her home country, Iraq.

Despite everything she suffered, Nadia has been tireless in her efforts to raise awareness of the plight of young women held in sexual slavery by ISIS, thousands of whom still remain in captivity – in the video above, you can see her testify before the UN Security Council, and she has met Presidents and Prime Ministers around the world. The impact of her story is overwhelming. She has been accompanied and supported by Khaleel’s wife, Amena.

I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the prize.


BAFTA nomination for Escape from ISIS

By | Channel 4, Current Affairs, Documentaries, Escape from ISIS, Film, Iraq | No Comments

This is not exactly breaking news – as the announcement was made weeks ago – but now that I’m back in the UK, I wanted to shout about it anyway… Escape from ISIS has been nominated for a BAFTA in the Best Current Affairs category!

It is a huge honour but we’re up against some exceptional films, two of them made by great friends of mine: James Jones’ Children of the Gaza War, Dan Edge’s Outbreak: Story of Ebola and Jihad: a British Story.

The ceremony is this Sunday 8th May.

Good luck to everyone,