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Battleground Afghanistan


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A chance encounter in 2010 between two South Africans, producer Markus Davies and multi-award winning war journalist Adil Bradlow, resulted in the first production in the world to be filmed with the United States Marines during combat in the final stages of the battle in Afghanistan.

Before production could start on what is now known as Battleground Afghanistan, a five-part, 48-minute documentary television series, Davies travelled around the world three times, pitched the programme 68 times and had to deal with extreme bureaucracy before the Pentagon would grant him and his crew permission to film the Marines in combat and at their most vulnerable.
“I lived and breathed this story for two years,” says Davies who was committed to bring the Marines’ point of view to the world.


With no income and with very little chances of breaking through endless red tape, Davies soldiered on while his core team Adil Bradlow (DOP), Hamilton ‘Tony’ Wende (story producer), J.J. van Rensburg (post supervisor), Richard Starkey (editor), Stef Albertyn (final mix) and Jahn Beukes (original score) had other projects on the go but were on standby for Battleground Afghanistan.

Bradlow says: “This was the first time combat video blended with documentary style camera work and as this was a new realm it grabbed National Geographic’s attention.”

Then things finally fell into place and production commenced with Captain Ben Middendorf (winner of the Alan Paton Award for best soldier in the USA) and his men of Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines.

Eight months later the footage was ready to be broadcast on National Geographic and the documentary series has screened worldwide to critical acclaim with record viewership.

“The chance that we would get to make this was one percent,” says Davies. “But even if you only have that, don’t give up. We managed to capture a part of history.”

Read more here | Story by Screen Africa

 

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EGYPTIAN AUTHORITIES RELEASE SA CAMERAMAN


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by 

3 September 2013

Adil Bradlow, the South African photo journalist detained by Egyptian authorities last week, has been released along with his fellow Al Jazeera team, correspondent Wayne Hay and producers Russ Finn and Mohammed Baher. They were detained for five days without charge.

“Al Jazeera Media Network would like to thank all those who helped us over the past few difficult days, especially the New Zealand, South African and Irish embassies in Cairo,” the network said in a statement.

Bradlow’s family, on his website, said they wanted to thank “all well-wishers and supporters , to the media for ensuring Adil’s captivity remained in the spotlight -and to officials from the South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) and the British Embassy Cairo for their efforts in securing his release.”

Al Jazeera’s  woes are far from over. Shihab Elddin Shaarawi, the Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr executive producer, was arrested early on Friday morning by security forces, who kept denying his detention until Sunday, when they confirmed that he has been arrested.

Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Abdullah al-Shami and Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr cameraman Mohamed Badr are still being detained. Abdullah was arrested on 14 August 2013, while Mohamed has been held for more than one month.

The channel says the Egyptian government of jamming its signal for the past seven weeks and from blocking the broadcaster from sending out raw TV feeds on the Egyptian crisis to other broadcasters.

In a story on Media Guardian, Al Jazeera’s head of teleport said it had “pinpointed four different locations for the source of jamming after commissioning an interference detection company, Integral Systems Europe, to investigate the problem. Three of these were east of Cairo and one was in the desert west of the capital”.

Ibrahim Nassar said the channel’s Egyptian service, al-Jazeera Mubasher, was ubjected to “jamming every day between the hours of 7am and midnight since 5 July. It broadcasts on the Egyptian-owned Nilesat satellite”.

Al Jazeera has called for the Egyptian authorities to release all our staff unconditionally, along with their belongings and equipment.

IMAGE: Adil Bradlow, from http://www.adilbradlow.com and returning team, also http://www.adilbradlow.com

http://themediaonline.co.za/2013/09/egyptian-authorities-release-sa-cameraman/

CCTV, Video

Goma Security


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The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo is warning of a long fight against rebel groups in the east of the country. The UN and Congolese forces have driven militias back into the jungle in many parts of North Kivu. But the population is still wary after decades of conflict in the region. CCTV’s Guy Henderson and Adil Bradlow report.