Andrew’s albinism documentary wins RTS award

CBJ graduate Andrew Cowper has scooped a Royal Television Society (RTS) Midlands Student Award for his moving documentary about children with albinism living in Kenya.

He travelled to the country to highlight how young children and young adults with the condition live a life of constant fear of abduction or body mutilation for the use of witchcraft.

Important issue: Andrew Cowper speaks to a pupil with albinism in Kenya.

Important issue: Andrew Cowper (left) speaks to a pupil with albinism after flying out to film in Kenya.

His documentary, Albinism: A Prisoner In My Own Skin, featured the work of the Kenyan Albino Child Support programme which has saved over 150 young lives throughout Kenya by rescuing children and young adults from abductors, criminal gangs and parents who don’t want their albino child. He also filmed children at Ilulla Primary School and interviewed parents, Africa’s first albino MP and an albino high court judge on human rights.

Andrew, who is now on our MA Broadcast Journalism course, filmed the documentary for his final year coursework for the BA (Hons) Broadcast Journalism degree.

He said: “I am very honoured to win such a prestigious award on such an important issue that is rarely discussed. Life for the albino community in sub-Saharan Africa is filled with the constant fear of death or abduction from criminal gangs and I hope the awareness I have raised will go a long way to fighting for the rights of these amazing people that make up the albino community, not just in Africa but throughout the world.”

Andrew’s documentary has also earned him the Best Documentary award at the recent Nottingham Student Micro Film awards and was recognised as a well-researched and powerful piece of journalism at the CBJ’s end of year awards, which are judged by industry professionals.

CBJ director Carole Fleming said: “Andrew has achieved so much with this powerful documentary. We’re very proud of him and the high quality journalism he has produced.”

Dorothy Hobson, vice chair of RTS Midland Centre and chair of the student awards jury, added: “The judges were impressed with this film and the access and trust which Andrew had achieved while working with the children and the charity. It was a moving and inspirational film which won in a very hard fought category.”

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