FRONTLINE Wins 2018 duPont-Columbia Award for “Exodus”

Refugees crossed the Mediterranean Sea in a sinking dinghy in this scene from FRONTLINE's duPont Award-winning documentary, "Exodus."

Refugees crossed the Mediterranean Sea in a sinking dinghy in this scene from FRONTLINE's duPont Award-winning documentary, "Exodus."

December 7, 2017

A FRONTLINE documentary telling the harrowing, personal stories of refugees and migrants as they fled countries besieged by violence and poverty has been honored with a 2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in journalism.

Exodus, which aired on FRONTLINE in December 2016, chronicles the dangerous journey millions of people have made in search of safety and a better life in Europe, drawing on camera and smartphone footage filmed by refugees and migrants themselves.

Directed and produced by James Bluemel, the film explored the challenges refugees and migrants face every day, exposed a shadow world of human traffickers exploiting the migration crisis for profit, and examined how European countries were handling the influx of people. FRONTLINE will continue its reporting on this global crisis in a new, two-hour film, Exodus: The Journey Continues, airing Jan. 23, 2018 on PBS.

“We are so pleased that the duPont Awards have chosen to honor Exodus, our film telling the firsthand stories of migrant and refugee families risking everything in search of safety,” said Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer of FRONTLINE. “There are more refugees and migrants today than there were a year ago, and at FRONTLINE, we are committed to reporting on important stories like this, and following them over time. We’re grateful to the duPont Awards for this recognition, and thankful to our viewers, our funders — especially PBS and CPB — and to WGBH, for supporting FRONTLINE’s journalism about this global crisis.”

In today’s announcement, the duPont Awards praised the documentary as “epic,” highlighting how in the film, “refugees fleeing war-torn homelands and desperate poverty worked with filmmakers to tell their own stories.”

“I am incredibly proud that Exodus is receiving the duPont-Columbia Award,” said Bluemel. “I remember when I first saw the news images of refugees drowning as they attempted to find safety in Europe. I remember reading the fear-soaked opinion pieces in the newspapers and watching the daily news packages as reporters spoke on beaches strewn with abandoned life jackets. What struck me was what was missing from all of this – the voices of the refugees themselves,” he added. “When setting out to make Exodus, I wanted to redress the balance, to put the voices of the refugees at the forefront. This award is a huge honor, for it means that hopefully, these necessary voices are getting heard.”

The 2018 duPont-Columbia recipients will be honored on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 in New York City at the awards’ 76th anniversary celebration.

Exodus was previously honored with a George Foster Peabody Award. Including this year’s win, FRONTLINE has earned 35 duPont Awards to date. You can watch Exodus below, and stay tuned for Exodus: The Journey Continues on Jan. 23, 2018.


Anne Husted

Anne Husted, Series Publicity Manager, FRONTLINE



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