Winner 2003

War Photographer

Christian Frei Filmproductions, in association with Swiss National Television and Suissimage, Cinemax

As disturbing photographs come home from Baghdad, Mosul, and Tikrit, we sometimes ask ourselves: Who is the person on the other side of the lens? War Photographer is a startling portrait of Pulitzer Prize winner James Nachtwey, one of the world’s most respected practitioners. This documentary follows him for two years as he photographs wars in Indonesia, Kosovo, and the Middle East, taking us deep inside the dangerous, demanding, and often lonely world of this renowned photojournalist. Surrounded by violence, chaos, and death, Nachtwey, who has photographed every war in the past 20 years, risks his own life for publishable photographs. Brought to television by Executive Producer Shiela Nevins (Cinemax) and Producers Lisa Heller and Julie Anderson (Cinemax), War Photographer was produced, directed, and edited by filmmaker Christian Frei. Frei’s film follows Nachtwey as he captures image after image from the war-torn regions of the world. Commenting on his extreme up-close approach to taking pictures of a distraught or grieving family, Nachtwey reflects on how moral codes are suspended in wartime: “Its simply impossible to photograph moments like those without the complicity of the people I’m photographing. They realize they are the victims of some kind of injustice, and by allowing me there to photograph it, they’re making their own appeal to the outside world, and to everyone”s sense of right and wrong.” For putting us behind the lens with James Nachtwey, a Peabody Award goes to War Photographer.