The apartheid, the armless archer and a humble letter from Algeria
Chibuogwu Nnadiegbulam - AIPS Media
LAUSANNE, March 25, 2021 - The
podium of the video categories of the AIPS Sport Media Awards 2020
showed an amazing mix of quality, insight and creativity. Some of the
stories were heartbreaking yet so inspiring. Others painted a perfect
picture of the past. And there were eye-opening investigations, too.
standard of entries jumped up exponentially, which was surprising given
how sport has been badly affected over the last 12 months. So it was
very, very pleasing to see and very enthralling to judge a lot of high
quality work. Video category was particularly strong, maybe a function
of there being many more platforms now for good documentaries," jury
member, Mark Gleeson said.
"A lot of the top ten nominees were
potential winners and that shows how strong the competition was this
year," Jaap de Groot, another member of the jury added.
Let’s have a look at the winners.
VIDEO ATHLETE PROFILE
Pierre Deprez (Belgium) shares the touching and inspiring story of “Piotr Van Montagu: an archer (not) like the others”.
The Belgian Paralympic athlete, who has no arms and an atrophied leg,
uses his feet and mouth to practice archery. The victim of thalidomide
was abandoned at birth and placed in an orphanage before being adopted
by a Belgian mother who always pushed him to fend for himself. He now
lives alone and does almost everything by himself as can be seen in the
11-minute video which clearly shows the strong will of an extraordinary
A year after his heart stopped following a terrifying
collapse at the Millrose Games track meet in New York City in 2019,
Jamaican middle-distance runner Kemoy Campbell courageously returns to
the place where his career ended to share the story of his miraculous
recovery with Lewis Johnson (USA), who was the
athletics reporter for the NBC Sports live broadcast when the
frightening incident occurred. Produced by the USA Track & Field TV,
the documentary called “Gift of Life” highlights the importance of getting the training that ultimately saved Campbell’s life, CPR and the use of the AED.
“Sadio Mane: Made in Senegal” by Jermain Raffington, Peta Jenkin and Mehdi Benhadj-Djilali (Germany)
invites us on a journey through Sadio´s different and highly diverse
worlds - from the rural life in a small Bamballi village in the far
south of Senegal to becoming one of the best footballers in the world
playing for Liverpool FC. With Sadio as the main narrator, the film
reveals his thoughts, feelings and worldview and lifts the tonality of
the film on a very personal level with the intensity and intimacy of a
“Stop the Tour”, a BT Sport Film by the director Louis Myles (UK),
which in 2019 marked 50 years since a 19-year-old Peter Hain led
anti-apartheid protests against the Springbok rugby tour of Britain and
Ireland, tells the powerful story of how sport played a key role in the
fight against apartheid in South Africa. Indeed, the country’s third
rugby World Cup victory in Japan, inspired by the first black captain of
the Springboks, could not have come at a better time. The landmark
moment of Siya Kolisi lifting the Webb Ellis Cup, surrounded by a
multi-racial squad, would never have been possible without the Stop the
Seventy Tour demonstrations dating back to 1969, which did not only
successfully disrupt the Springbok rugby tour but also forced the
cancellation and banning of South African sport internationally for
decades. The one hour 24-minute film, which brilliantly connects the
struggle of the past and the triumph of the present, also demonstrates
the symbiotic relationship between sport and society.
In “Doping Top Secret: The Lord of the Lifters”, a German television documentary broadcast on January 5, 2020, Grit Hartmann, Nick Butler and Hajo Seppelt (Germany)
expose corruption and cover-ups in the Olympic sport of weightlifting
under the leadership of Hungarian Tamás Aján, who had been president of
the International Weightlifting Federation since 2000 - and resigned in
mid-April. The ARD doping editorial office reveals how prominent
weightlifters were rarely subject to drugs tests, while some of them
secretly paid testers in exchange for manipulated urine samples. The
programme also cites documents allegedly showing that at least $5
million (4.5 million euros) paid to the IWF by the IOC were transferred
into two Swiss accounts controlled by Aján and have not been accounted
for. Over a year later, weightlifting’s Olympic future is still in
doubt, with the IOC President Thomas Bach insisting that the IWF must
reform its leadership, culture and governance.
“Red Blood” by Jean-Marie Goussard (France) recalls
the unimaginable tragedy of what could have been the greatest rivalry
in Formula 1. In 1982, Gilles Villeneuve and Didier Pironi were the most
talented pair of drivers in F1, in the most prestigious of the teams -
Ferrari. With Ferrari’s new and improved 126-C2, the duo were favourites
for the Drivers’ championship that year, but their friendship was
sacrificed at the altar of ambition. A season that promised them triumph
ended in blood and tears.
VIDEO SHORT FEATURE
tennis player Ines Ibbou pours her heart out in an emotional video
addressed to World No. 3 Dominic Thiem for his opposition to a
coronavirus relief fund proposed to support lowly-ranked players like
her who are struggling financially. In the short feature “Ines Ibbou's open letter to Dominic Thiem” by Hassen Guedioura (France),
the 21-year-old Ines narrates the difficulties she has had to endure
and sacrifices she has had to make so far in her career, in a bid to
make the Austrian understand the stark difference between his “magical
world” and her reality of surviving in a country that lacked even basic
infrastructure for the sport. “Just a reminder, it's not because of your
money that we survived until now. And nobody requested to you anything.
The initiative went from generous players who showed instant compassion
with a classy touch,” she tells Thiem.
“Rob Burrow: my year with MND”, a nine-minute feature, directed by Stuart Pollitt (UK),
produced by Claire Ryan and broadcast on BBC Breakfast follows the life
of rugby league player Rob Burrow after he was diagnosed with Motor
Neurone Disease. The short film profiles a man determined to fight and
win against a dreadful disease that has no cure, as well as revealing
the emotional journey his family and friends have been on. “First it
comes for your voice, then it takes your legs, it tries to rob you of
your breath, but it can’t sap your spirit,” Rob struggles to say, with a
smile on his face, despite the fact he has almost lost his voice. The
feature, which sparked interest across the UK media, has succeeded in
raising awareness of MND and tens of thousands of pounds for vital
research in the search for a cure.
“Thierry Corbalan, the Corsican dolphin” by David Sandona (France) chronicles
the last challenge of French swimmer Thierry Corbalan, whose arms were
amputated in 1988 after he was electrocuted during his fishing session.
In September 2020, the “Corsican dolphin” swims the Mediterranean from
Calvi to Mandelieu with a monofin. On arriving at his destination after
six days and nights, he returns to the loving arms of his wife Patricia
and presents a birthday gift to the man who saved his life 32 years ago.
YOUNG REPORTERS BROADCASTING
“Karate Tai Sabaki, more than meets the eyes”
by Clarisse Sih (Cameroon) uncovers a string of rape and sexual
harassment claims made by some ladies practicing karate in Cameroon. The
comprehensive 28-minute investigative piece also features interviews
with some coaches and even the president of the Cameroon Karate
Federation, Emmanuel Wakam, who was one of the accused. Two weeks after
it first aired on July 23, 2020, the country’s Minister of Sports and
Physical Education suspended all accused persons after a commission of
inquiry sent in their findings.