Three RTÉ documentaries have won awards at this year’s New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards.
”Prime Time Investigates – Ireland’s Illegal Cigarette Trade” won a Gold World Medal in the News Programme Best Investigative Report category.
”Somalia – The Children’s Famine” won a Gold World Medal in the Best Television Social Issues/Current Events category and ”Children Are Our Flowers” received a Silver World Medal in the Television Documentary Biography Profiles category.
”Prime Time Investigates – Ireland’s Illegal Cigarette Trade” focused on the international crime networks who supply Irish criminal gangs with the millions of counterfeit cigarettes smuggled into the country each year.
Reporter Paul Maguire infiltrated the network, which stretches from factories in the Far East to market stalls in small Irish towns.
”Somalia – The Children’s Famine” was filmed during the visit of former President Mary Robinson to war-torn Somalia in June 2011.
It revealed the shocking conditions in the country at the time. An estimated 26,000 children died before the international community intervened in the crisis.
”Children Are Our Flowers”, which was filmed over a five-year period in Belarus, tells the poignant story of two little girls, born with serious disabilities who were abandoned by their parents and placed in a mental asylum.
Their lives were changed forever following a chance meeting with two Irish humanitarian aid volunteers.
Both Somalia – The Children’s Famine and Children Are Our Flowers were presented by RTÉ’s former Western Editor Jim Fahy and produced by Orla Nix. They were filmed by freelance cameramen Kieran McConville and Ken Fogarty.
The awards ceremony – honouring what the festival organisers describe as The World’s Best TV Programs & Films – moved out of its New York base for the first time this year and took place at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.