27 April 2011

Guardian Review

"Richard E. Grant had a brilliant time travelling the Middle East uncovering the history and dissemination of Scheherazade's stories in Secrets of the Arabian Nights (BBC4) and gave the viewer a brilliant time right back. An articulate, enthusiastic and interested guide to one of his favourite childhood reads, neither he nor the programme makers were afraid to let the people who knew stuff - professors of Arabic literature, lifetime experts in folklore and fairytales - tell us about it at length.

A lovely documentary that sent me, as such things should, to dig out my copy to read with renewed and slightly more informed interest."

Lucy Mangan, The Guardian, Thursday 21 April 2011

18 April 2011

Awards: Iraq documentary

Aqua Vita and WNET picked up two highly prestigious awards for Braving Iraq, shown on PBS NATURE series in the USA last November.

The film won the 2011 Gold World Medal in the Environment and Ecology category at the New York Festival's International Film and Television Awards in Las Vegas.

It also won Best in Category Award at the International Wildlife Film Festival - Best Conservation and Environmental Issue and Merit for Conservation Message for the BBC version Miracle in the Marshes of Iraq.

The documentary tells the remarkable story of water engineer Azzam Alwash and the Iraqi people's attempts to restore the Mesapotamian Marshes after Saddam Hussein drained them to less than a tenth of what they were in the 1980s. The film was told and directed by David Johnson and filmed by Steve Foote, with an original score by William Goodchild.

The film was a co-production between PBS and the BBC. In America it appeared as Braving Iraq, in England as Miracle in the Marshes of Iraq where it was shown as a Natural World Special on BBC Two in January 2011.

The awards are also great recognition for the remarkable work that Azzam Alwash and his team at Nature Iraq are doing in the Marshes.

The film was made thanks to Fred Kaufman and his team at WNET 13 in New York, and Tim Martin and his team at BBC Natural World.