News Pieces & Short Films
As independent film makers, video journalists & photojournalists, we make long form and short news pieces and documentaries about social change and social justice. We have a special interest in the developing world and in the MENA area in particular and focus on issues such as poverty, refugees, women’s rights, FGM, democracy, and arms control. We’re passionate about current affairs, particularly in the Arab region, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian sub-continent. Director/Producer Sharron Ward self-shoots on her own Canon 5D DLSR kit which includes camera, tripod, shotgun mic, radio mics, monopod, etc. She also self-edits on FCP whether in the office or on location. We can quickly shoot, write and edit news pieces for immediate streaming or transmission as well as providing copy and stills if required. We have experience working with contributors from all walks of life including those who’ve experienced displacement, war, gbv, drug addiction, homelessness, cancer, HIV/AIDS, male suicide, torture and human rights abuses, PTSD, rape and sexual abuse. For our photojournalist stills for purchase please see Getty Images. For footage sales and videos, please see our Youtube site. Get in touch direct if you’d also like to hire Sharron Ward as a freelance self-shooting Producer/Director.
Lesbos SOS as aired on Channel 4 News UK
Sharron Ward produced, directed and filmed a short documentary on British ex-pat Eric Kempson and his family who live on the Greek island of Lesbos. For months they have struggled to give the most basic of humanitarian assistance to thousands of desperate refugees arriving in boats from Turkey. A portrait of ordinary volunteers struggling to cope in the absence of aid agencies with the biggest migration in Europe since World War II. Edited by Steve Gibbs, Executive produced by James Brabazon.
To support the humanitarian work of the Kempsons in Lesbos please check their Facebook page.
Syria: Hidden War on Women as aired on Channel 4 News UK
As the Syrian war enters its fifth year, the pressures on displaced families have caused a dramatic rise in violence against women. But domestic abuse is a taboo subject in Syrian society, and the true scale of the problem is unknown. Violence against women is the hidden war on women in Syria. Sharron Ward gained rare access to brave Syrian refugee women who spoke out in their own words about their experiences of forced child marriage, domestic violence and other forms of gender based violence. Filmed, produced and directed by Sharron Ward. Edited by Andy Kemp, Channel 4 News Producer Michael French, Executive produced by James Brabazon.
May – June 2015 Sharron Ward filmed, directed and edited two films for UNFPA “Far from Fear” and “Broken Dreams; Healing Hopes.”
“Far from Fear”
“Broken Dreams; Healing Hopes”
Sharron Ward produced, directed and filmed an exclusive investigative film inside Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan highlighting the shocking plight of women exposed to early marriage, violence and sexual exploitation for Channel 4 News. The growing crisis of the Syrian civil war has resulted in an influx of Syrian refugees across the border to Jordan – and aid agencies such as UNHCR and UNICEF are struggling to cope. We support the UNICEF Syria Children’s Appeal – please donate here if you can. This film was part of ITN’s “Syria’s Descent” series which won the 2014 International Emmy for News. Reported by Jackie Long, Edited by Agnieszka Liggett, Executive Produced by Job Rabkin for Channel 4 News. The film was also selected for the OneWorld Media Awards longlist 2014.
AJ+ commissioned Katalyst Productions to make a film during the Gaza War of 2014. Being an antiwar activist in Israel is dangerous. Israelis who protested against the 2014 Gaza offensive were threatened, harassed and attacked. Some even lost their jobs. Yoav Eliassi, also known as “The Shadow,” is a right-wing rapper and driving force behind a movement to stamp out dissent in Israeli society. This short documentary is a glimpse into the horrifying world of the right-wing and fascist far right movement “Lehava” in Israel. Filmed, directed, produced & edited by Sharron Ward for Katalyst Productions Ltd and AJ+. Executive Producer for AJ+: Aloke Devichand. The film has been viewed over 870,000 times on Facebook alone.
Sharron Ward produced a film with BBC Newsnight’s Tim Whewell on Libyan women’s rights activist Magdulien Abaida who fled Libya after she was abducted by an Islamist militia in Benghazi. TX December 2012. Reporter: Tim Whewell, Executive Producer: Sara Afshar.
Shortlisted for The Speaking Together Media Award for Migrant and Refugee Woman of the Year award, 2013.
Sharron Ward produced, directed & filmed a short film for Mandrake Films & Channel 4 News following the “Yes” and “No” youth campaigners in Edinburgh & Glasgow during the run up to the Indy Ref. Broadcast 5 August 2014
Sharron Ward produced, directed & filmed a short film for Mandrake Films & Channel 4 News following the youth wing of UKIP’s Young Independence and finds out who they are and why they chose to join UKIP. You can watch the film here. TX September 2013. Executive Producer: Lucy Baxter.
In a follow-up film to Young Independence, Sharron Ward produced, directed & filmed a short exclusive piece for Channel 4 News with former YI London Chairperson, Sanya-Jeet Thandi. Her interview was her first and only television broadcast explaining why she dramatically quit the UKIP party – you can watch it here. Broadcast 12 June 2014.
Ali Tweel and his brother Abdul Hakeem Amer Tweel lived in central Tripoli during the 2011 Libyan civil war. Under the cover of darkness Ali & Abdul Hakeem filmed hundreds of NATO sorties bombing the nearby Bab Al Aziyah – Gaddafi’s feared compound. Together the brothers armed themselves with cameras, instead of weapons and Ali joined the “online army” risking his life everyday tweeting undercover as @TrablesVoice. He tweeted crucial & reliable information to the outside world during the long media crackdown & internet blackout in Tripoli. Three months after the fall of Tripoli and the end of the Civil War, Ali & Abdul Hakeem reminisce and reflect on what it was like living under 42 years of fear and repression under the rule of Gaddafi. Kindly funded by CBA Worldview.
4 x 5 min films, February 2012
A series of films commissioned for the Guardian online – documenting the “accidental activists” who, working anonymously, sought to defy the Gaddafi regime through any means they could: from joining the ‘electronic army’ fighting the battle online, to orchestrating many acts of passive defiance and civil disobedience. I researched, found, and filmed those who, at great risk to their personal safety, dared to defy the 42-year rule of Colonel Gaddafi.
As the Western media were unable to move around Tripoli and talk freely to its residents, no one knew the true extent of the resistance nor of the many brave acts of defiance carried out by the citizens of Tripoli. The speed with which Tripoli fell surprised many, more so because Colonel Gadaffi had tried to convince the world that the capital city was his stronghold. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Waiting for “zero hour” the pre-determined cry of “Alluah Ahkbar” from the Mosques on the day of August 20, signified it was their time to rise up and strike at the heart of the Gaddafi Regime. Only now can their true stories of resistance be told. You can view the series on The Guardian here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/series/tripoli-underground
“Dr M – the plastic bullet doctor” was a Doctor working in Az Zaiwyah Hospital, and became famous for anonymously speaking to the international media exposing the brutal crackdown of Gaddafi’s forces during the long and bloody weekend of March 4 – March 7 2011. Zawiyah on the outskirts of Tripoli, was just 15 km from the feared and loathed Khamis Brigade headquarters. It was said that Khamis Gaddafi himself was personally in charge of the brutal assault on Zawiyah, including the attack on the mosque in Martyr Square, which resulted in the mosque being razed to the ground. Dr Mohamed Murabit – “Dr M” and his son Ferras – who was himself attempting to march from Zawiyah to Tripoli show us the site of the attack and take us to Zawiyah hospital and Martyr Square where an estimated 600 people are believed to have been killed by the Gaddafi Regime in Zawiyah alone. Filmed, Directed, Produced and Edited by Sharron Ward.
Ziad Labib a married father of two, was an ordinary IT Consultant working for an oil company in Tripoli when the February 17 revolution in Libya began. Having started out peacefully demonstrating on the streets of Tripoli, Ziad and his friends filmed some of the protests on their cell phones, and moved the war “online” by posting to twitter and youtube. Frustrated at the Gaddafi Regime who had simultaneously blocked the internet, and orchestrated a brutal crackdown on dissent, Ziad went to Nalut in the Nafusa Mountains for training and was due to form part of a “sleeper cell” in Tripoli when he was captured by Gaddafi’s forces. Ziad was transported to the notorious Abu Saleem Prison in Tripoli, site of the infamous Abu Salim massacre in 1996 where up to 1,200 prisoners were killed. Ziad takes us back to his cell at Abu Saleem where he was imprisoned for 3 long months and was only released when Tripoli fell on 24 August. He was wearing a red “execution” uniform which meant he was due to be executed along with hundreds of other prisoners on 1st September. Part of the Tripoli Underground series for The Guardian. Directed, Filmed, Edited & Produced by Sharron Ward.
Mervat & Niz Mhani along with their friends and family, formed the “Free Generation Movement” and orchestrated many acts of passive defiance and civil disobedience, such as burning the largest billboard of Gaddafi in broad daylight and helping to devise the now famous “Safia mosque protest” which was one of the first public protests in Tripoli to be broadcast to the outside world. Members of the Movement were told by one of Gaddafi’s senior intelligence officers that they were “target number one” for the Gaddafi Regime. Part of the Tripoli Underground series for The Guardian. Filmed, Directed, Produced and Edited by Sharron Ward.
Ayat Mneina is a Canadian-Libyan who was living in London during the February Libyan Uprising. Along with her friends and family, she co-ordinated a resistance campaign known as the Libyan Youth Movement, tweeting as @ShababLibya. One of her key contacts who fed her crucial information from Tripoli during Mummar Gaddafi’s brutal crackdown, was a young Medical intern, named Mohammed Ali Leghui. Having witnessed un-armed people being shot with heavy-calibre weaponry on the fateful night of February 20, he later joined the Tripoli Brigade fighting in the Nafusa Mountains. Mohammed was with his friend Nader Mabruk Beurewin a 26 year old Canadian-Libyan who travelled all the way from his comfortable life in Canada to fight in the Tripoli brigade and was killed during the Battle of Bab Al Aziziyah during the liberation of Tripoli. We meet his family who whilst still grieving for him, are very proud he is now a martyr for the February 17 Revolution. Filmed, Directed, Produced and Edited by Sharron Ward.