FRONTLINE Wins 2017 duPont-Columbia Award

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A still from "Children of Syria" (left), and "Escaping ISIS" (right).

December 15, 2016
by
Anne Husted Series Publicity Manager, FRONTLINE

Two FRONTLINE documentaries on Iraq and Syria have been jointly honored with a 2017 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in journalism.

Escaping ISIS, a July 2015 documentary telling the stories of Yazidi women and children who were taken captive by ISIS, and Children of Syria, an April 2016 film following one Syrian family as they fled Aleppo to begin new lives as refugees in Germany, were recognized by the judges as “fearlessly reported in-depth hour-long programs [that] told powerful human stories about families suffering — and surviving — the current conflicts in Syria and Iraq.”

“It’s such an honor to have our reporting on the crises in Syria and Iraq recognized by the duPont Awards,” said Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer of FRONTLINE. “This award, recognizing both Children of Syria and Escaping ISIS, is a testament to the brilliant and brave journalists behind these remarkable films, and the courageous people who shared their stories with us. We remain so grateful to our viewers, our funders — PBS, CPB — and of course, to WGBH, for supporting FRONTLINE’s journalism.”

“It is an incredible honor to receive this recognition for our film, Escaping ISIS, but everyone on the team would tell you that this award is not for us — it is for the young women who appeared in our film,” said Edward Watts, producer and director of Escaping ISIS. “[These women] had the strength to survive, to escape and then the supreme courage to tell their stories to our cameras. They’re an inspiration and an example to us all. It is so fantastic to see their bravery acknowledged in this way. Thank you to duPont and FRONTLINE (PBS) for their support of this vitally important story.”

“It was a very long journey for me to make Children of Syria, and I am humbled and honored to receive a this duPont Award,” said Marcel Mettelsiefen, producer and director of Children of Syria. “I think that the Syrian crisis is the biggest tragedy of modern history, and I hoped to give this catastrophe a voice through this extraordinary family who risked everything. I hoped that through the eyes of these children, we could look upon the crisis with greater empathy.”

The 2017 duPont-Columbia recipients will be honored Jan. 25, 2017 in New York at the awards’ 75th anniversary celebration. This year’s ceremony will pay special tribute to Gwen Ifill, the veteran PBS news anchor who died in November at the age of 61.

Including this year’s wins, FRONTLINE has earned 34 duPont Awards to date.

You can watch the winning documentaries below.

Escaping ISIS

Children of Syria

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