Former Humanities student nominated for a second Oscar
(31 January 2017)
Orlando von Einsiedel, a former Anthropology student, has been nominated for an Oscar in the short documentary category - only two years after he was last shortlisted.
His last nomination was for documentary Virunga in 2015, which was about the conflicts between conservationists, militiamen, poachers and oil companies in a Congolese national park and was executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. His new film, The White Helmets, follows the Syrian Civil Defence forces rescuing those caught in the crossfire of the country’s civil war.
In the five years since the conflict began, more than 250,000 Syrians have died - but thanks to the White Helmets, over 60,000 lives have been saved. Orlando first heard of them when he saw footage of them pulling a baby from the collapsed building after a bombing, and was further moved when he discovered that they were regular citizens including blacksmiths, accountants, teachers and students.
Orlando trained Khaleed Khateeb, a 21-year-old student who had been filming rescue missions and posting them on YouTube since he joined the White Helmets in 2013. He also gave him better camera equipment and told him to keep on filming, which he did for the next twelve months. The results have been turned into a moving 41-minute documentary for Netflix, which has caught the attention of the Oscar judges. Orlando will attend the ceremony in Hollywood on February 26th, where he hopes it will be second time lucky.
The University’s Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology has been widely recognised as the world’s leading centre since its creation in 1987. Its courses combine anthropology with training in film making, editing, photography and sound. Its alumni include Gavin Searle and Andrew Palmer, who won BAFTAs in 2011 for BBC series ‘Welcome to Lagos’.
- You can watch the trailer for The White Helmets on YouTube.