"Miners Shot Down" wins Best Documentary at the International Emmy Awards

Al Jazeera English's Witness documentary, "Miners Shot Down", has won Best Documentary at the International Emmy Awards.

Al Jazeera English's Witness documentary, Miners Shot Down, which documents the violence that escalated during the Marikana miners' strikes in August 2012, has won Best Documentary at the International Emmy Awards. The incident was the worst case of police brutality since the fall of Apartheid. The documentary is now available to stream online until 1 December 2015. 

The mineworkers at one of South Africa's biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike in an attempt to get better wages. Six days into the strikes the police used live ammunition to overpower the workers, killing 34 and injuring many more.

Filmed from the point-of-view of the Marikana miners, Miners Shot Down follows the strike from its beginning, documenting a willful fight by a handful of low-paid workers against the combined powers of the mining company Lonmin, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers. 

The documentary, directed by Rehad Desai, written by Anita Khanna and distributed by Deckert Distribution, explores South Africa’s Marikana massacre of 2012 that left 34 miners dead and more than 100 injured. Miners Shot Down highlights the courageous fight waged by a group of miners against combined forces that resulted in violence, police brutality and the country’s first post-apartheid massacre.

“Our Witness documentary strand brings powerful stories to our screens. We are delighted this film, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low-paid workers against more powerful forces, has been awarded with an International Emmy,” said Giles Trendle, managing director of Al Jazeera English. 

Following the success of Miners Shot DownWitness has committed to Desai’s upcoming film about politics in South Africa.

Witness is Al Jazeera English’s flagship observational documentary strand, dedicated to telling the human stories behind the news headlines. It showcases award-winning and locally produced documentaries to provide context for Al Jazeera’s global news audience. Witness films are known for their intimacy, originality and timelessness, as they give a human face to contemporary social issues.

In June, Witness was honoured with One World Media’s Women’s Rights in Africa Award for Casablanca Calling. Kisilu: The Climate Diaries, which won the 2015 One World Media Student Award for an earlier, short version, will screen on Witness next week, from 2 December 2015. Pakistan Music: Lyari Notes, currently nominated for the Alliance of Women Film Journalists EDA Award at IDFA, will screen on Witness from 16 December 2015.  

Note: In June 2015, South African President Jacob Zuma released a Commission of Inquiry report into the Marikana massacre. The report found that the police operation was "tactically defective".

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