Documentary on Syrian DM’s funeral wins Dutch camera prize


The daughter of the late Syrian Defense Minister Daoud Rajha at her father’s funeral (Reuters)

by Linda Housman

October 12, 2012 – On Friday Dutch cameraman Roel Rekko was announced the winner of the Stan Storimans Prize 2012, a prize for cameramen of news programs. Rekko received the award for a documentary he made in Damascus during the funeral of Syrian Defense Minister Daoud Rajha who was killed by a terrorist suicide bomb on July 18.

Despite its length of less than two minutes, the jury considered the report to be “very layered” and therefore worth the prize named after Dutch cameraman Stan Storimans who died in an airstrike on the Georgian city of Gori during the 2008 South Ossetia War.

Rekko reacted on Friday by saying he was very surprised to receive the prize. On the funeral of the Syrian DM he said:

“It happened in the Christian part of the city where we could walk around freely, which is something rather exceptional in Damascus; there wasn’t really any military presence around us. During the funeral I was filming in the back of the church, but then I noticed other cameramen standing very close to the coffin. So I wanted to be there too. I was allowed to film the coffin from above, and after that I was allowed to record right next to the coffin. If I wanted I could have leant over it, or filmed under it. This in combination with many military personnel attending the funeral made the situation very surreal.”

A few Syrian citizens are interviewed in the documentary. “This is a historical day for Syria”, they say. “This is a turning point which shows us what the terrorists are capable of. Why this happened? Ask your countries. Ask your embassies why they left us. We will never abandon our country. We are not worried, this only makes us stronger. As long as our army and its leadership exists, we aren’t worried about anything.”

The winning documentary which was made for NOS News can be watched here.

Defense Minister Daoud Rajha was killed at the top-level meeting in central Damascus, together with president Assad’s brother-in-law Assef Shawkat and three other officials.

Categories: Media, Netherlands

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