Frontline Club: Vaughan Smith Double Bill
The Conflict | Reportage initiative at EIFF65 is in association with Frontline Club, a London hub for a diverse group of people united by their passion for the independent journalism founded by Vaughan Smith. During the 1990s Vaughan worked as an award-winning independent cameraman and video news journalist covering the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya and Kosovo for Frontline Television News. Frontline members put themselves in great danger, and eight were killed while working in the field. A former British Army officer, Vaughan was shot twice but escaped both times with light injuries. Vaughan opened the Frontline Club, an institution to champion high quality journalism, in 2003. We are pleased to have Vaughan as our honoured guest for the final weekend of the Conflict | Reportage initiative, and are screening a double bill of his documentary films; 'Shooting Robert King' and his latest film 'Blood and Dust'.
Shooting Robert King, 18, (2008) 80'
Dir Richard Parry
Prod Vaughan Smith
Shooting Robert King, is a unique and personal journey, a film which follows him over 15 years and through three wars.
Sarajevo in 1993, Robert King is a 23-year-old Art College graduate who dreams of a Pulitzer Prize, and is prepared to dodge bullets on the front line to get it. Battling to make a name for himself in this competitive and dangerous industry, Robert perseveres and over time manages to make the front covers of various global media titles. Over 15 years 'Shooting Robert King' records Robert's life from boy to man, to husband and father. It is a biography, which leads from reckless naivety to maturity hardened by war and softened by family. It is a story, which forces Robert to inevitably question why he chose a profession, which involves an endless trail of death and destruction.
Blood and Dust, (2011) 25'
Directed and produced by Vaughan Smith
Dramatic new film recording life and death with an American helicopter medevac unit in Southern Afghanistan.
Freelance filmmaker Vaughan Smith spent two weeks embedded with the US Army’s 214th Aviation Regiment in Afghanistan at the end of 2010. The film, produced for Al Jazeera’s People & Power series, follows the trials of a US military air ambulance crew as they attempt to save the lives of soldiers, local nationals and Taliban fighters alike.
Vaughan said “I have done a fair number of military embeds in Afghanistan over the last few years,” says Smith, “but was concerned that I hadn’t filmed the suffering of war, just its machinery.”
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