Countdown to the World Premiere of For Sama

By | Documentaries, Film, For Sama, Syria | No Comments

Truly excited that my first ever feature documentary, that I have been working on with and about the incredible Waad Al Kateab for a year and a half, will premiere at SXSW festival in less than a week on Monday 11th March.

It tells the story of Waad’s journey through love, marriage and motherhood across five years of the revolution in Aleppo, Syria. Waad shot it all herself, giving a unique female perspective on the struggle that has not been seen before.

She, her husband Hamza and their baby daughter Sama are some of the most incredible people I have ever met. They faced the darkest horrors – shelling, airstrikes, attacks by chemical weapons – with courage, honesty and humour throughout.

In many ways, this is the film I have always wanted to make. It tells the truth about the Syrian uprising from its beginning to its end.

At last people will experience the uprising through the eyes of real Syrian people, undistorted by lies or propaganda – and gain a deeper understanding of this tragedy we have allowed to unfold before our eyes.

Even more importantly, it shows how the human spirit is stronger than the weapons of tyrants. An inspiring message for us all in these troubled times.

If you’re in Austin for the fest, hope to see you at one of our three screenings.


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.


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,


Escape From ISIS: The Reaction

By | Channel 4, Documentaries, Escape from ISIS, Film, Iraq, Islamic State | 11 Comments

Escape From ISIS has had an incredible reaction from policy-makers, press and public alike.

I’m so grateful to the hundreds of people who have got in touch to express their appreciation of the film and ask what they can do to help the women and girls who suffer so much at the Islamic State’s hands.

This post will record some other highlights of the film’s impact.

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US trailer released – Escaping ISIS (US title)

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

The US trailer for my latest documentary has been released. You can view it here: PBS trailer.

It will be shown on PBS in America on Tuesday, July 14th and on Channel 4 in the UK the following day, July 15th.

The film exposes what life is like for women living inside the Islamic State – and follows the work of a secret underground network trying to help them escape.

Please tune in if you can.

Colourist on Welcome to Rio wins RTS Award

By | BBC2, Documentaries, Rio | No Comments

I’ve been meaning to update this for a long time… But better late than never, this is to congratulate the brilliantly talented Enge Gray for winning a Royal Television Society craft award for his work as colourist on Welcome to Rio.

The judges said, “The colour and contrast perfectly captured the tone and vibrancy of the subject. An almost party atmosphere which perfectly complemented the backdrop.”

Enge has also just done a fine job working on my latest film The Mega Brothel too.

If you’re looking to bring Enge’s gifts to your project, he’s currently hanging out with the good folk at Platform Post Production.

An artist and a gentleman. See you for the next one, Enge.

Coming Soon… The Mega Brothel

By | Channel 4, Documentaries, Film, Germany | No Comments

My latest documentary The Mega Brothel, will be shown this Thursday 29th January on Channel 4 at 10pm. Please watch if you can! You find the programme’s page on the Channel 4 website here:

It was without doubt an eye-popping experience and one of the most extraordinary environments I have ever filmed.

You can tell me what you think of the film in the comments. If you miss the live broadcast, it will be available for another month on 4oD.