Risk, Security and Storytelling


2016 Season

What does it take to operate safely in a conflict zone and return with material that succeeds on both an editorial and ethical level? In this workshop centred on risk and security, we will discuss best practices in filmmaking, journalism, and human rights research, with a particular focus on how they overlap and differ. Through a framework based on the filmmaking ideas of pre-production, production, and post-production, we will examine how to evaluate risk and responsibility and share practical guidelines and tools to empower individuals operating in all three fields. This programme will run 150 minutes, which includes a short break. There will be drinks to follow. Tickets for this special programme are £25. Advisory: certain images in this programme may be upsetting to some viewers.

This programme will feature an interactive discussion in multiple sections with:

James Brabazon, filmmaker/journalist

Matt Timblin, director of security, Human Rights Watch

James Brabazon and Matt Timblin, Human Rights Watch
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
James Brabazon

James Brabazon is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. Based in the United Kingdom, he has travelled to over 70 countries, investigating, filming, and directing in the world’s most hostile environments. He is the author of the international bestseller My Friend the Mercenary, a memoir recounting his experiences of the Liberian civil war and the Equatorial Guinea coup plot. He is currently the commissioning editor for the Foreign Film Fund, Channel 4 News. James first gained an international profile as the only journalist to film the Liberian LURD rebel group fighting to overthrow President Charles Taylor. James’s work has often involved filming close-quarter combat, for which he was awarded the IDA Courage Under Fire Award 2004 and the Rory Peck Trust Sony International Impact Award 2003.

Matt Timblin

Matt Timblin is the director of security at Human Rights Watch, overseeing security, related risk and crisis management across the organization’s global work footprint. He has travelled extensively and spent over two decades, in various roles, operating in some of the world’s highest risk and most challenging environments. After a 12-year career in the British Army, Matt spent over five years in the Middle East and Central Asia as a security and risk contractor and consultant for various organizations. Prior to his current position he worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a permanent adviser to news crews, documentaries and independent production companies filming in insecure areas worldwide. In this role he helped in the progression of many of the organization’s current security related policies and processes to support and enable news coverage and filmmaking in hostile and high risk environments. During his time at the BBC he worked with journalists on the ground at major world events including the Arab Spring, the Syrian conflict, the protests in Cairo and Gezi Park as well as working on documentaries in Mexico, Colombia, Afghanistan and Yemen amongst others.