Acclaimed Filmmaker And War Journalist Brent Renaud Shot Dead In Ukraine

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Acclaimed Filmmaker Brent Renaud Shot Dead In Ukraine

Brent
Renaud,
an
acclaimed
filmmaker
who
travelled
to
some
of
the
darkest
and
most
dangerous
corners
of
the
world
for
documentaries
that
transported
audiences
to
little-known
places
of
suffering,
died
on
March
13
after
Russian
forces
opened
fire
on
his
vehicle
in
Ukraine.
The
50-year-old
Little
Rock,
Arkansas,
native
was
gathering
material
for
a
report
about
refugees
when
his
vehicle
was
hit
at
a
checkpoint
in
Irpin,
just
outside
the
Ukrainian
capital
of
Kyiv.
Ukraine’s
Interior
Ministry
said
the
area
has
sustained
intense
shelling
by
Russian
forces
in
recent
days.

Renaud
was
one
of
the
most
respected
independent
producers
of
his
era,
said
Christof
Putzel,
a
filmmaker
and
close
friend
who
had
received
a
text
from
Renaud
just
three
days
before
his
death.
Renaud
and
Putzel
won
a
2013
Alfred
I.
duPont-Columbia
University
journalism
award
for

Arming
the
Mexican
Cartels
,
a
documentary
on
how
guns
trafficked
from
the
United
States
fueled
rampant
drug
gang
violence.

“This
guy
was
the
absolute
best,”
Putzel
told
The
Associated
Press
via
phone
from
New
York
City.
”He
was
just
the
absolute
best
war
journalist
that
I
know.
This
is
a
guy
who
literally
went
to
every
conflict
zone.”

The
details
of
Renaud’s
death
were
not
made
immediately
clear
by
Ukrainian
authorities,
but
American
journalist
Juan
Arredondo
said
the
two
were
traveling
in
a
vehicle
toward
the
Irpin
checkpoint
when
they
were
both
shot.
Arredondo,
speaking
from
a
hospital
in
Kyiv,
told
Italian
journalist
Annalisa
Camilli
that
Renaud
was
hit
in
the
neck.
Camilli
told
the
AP
that
Arredondo
himself
had
been
hit
in
the
lower
back.

“We
crossed
the
first
bridge
in
Irpin,
we
were
going
to
film
other
refugees
leaving,
and
we
got
into
a
car,
somebody
offered
to
take
us
to
the
other
bridge,
we
crossed
the
checkpoint,
and
they
started
shooting
at
us,”
Arredondo
told
Camilli
in
a
video
interview
shared
with
the
AP.

A
statement
from
Kyiv
regional
police
said
that
Russian
troops
opened
fire
on
the
car.
Hours
after
the
shooting
of
Renaud,
Irpin
mayor
Oleksandr
Markushyn
said
journalists
would
be
denied
entry
to
the
city.
“In
this
way,
we
want
to
save
the
lives
of
both
them
and
our
defenders,”
Markushyn
said.

Responding
to
news
of
Renaud’s
death,
the
New
York-based
Committee
to
Protect
Journalists
called
for
an
immediate
halt
to
violence
against
journalists
and
other
civilians.
“This
kind
of
attack
is
totally
unacceptable,
and
is
a
violation
of
international
law,”
the
committee
said
on
Twitter.

Along
with
his
brother
Craig,
Renaud
won
a
Peabody
Award
for

Last
Chance
High
,
an
HBO
series
about
a
school
for
at-risk
youth
on
Chicago’s
West
Side.
The
brothers’ litany
of
achievements
include
two
duPont-Columbia
journalism
awards
and
acclaimed
productions
for
HBO,
NBC,
Discovery,
PBS,
the
New
York
Times,
and
Vice
News.

Renaud
was
also
a
2019
Nieman
fellow
at
Harvard
and
served
as
visiting
distinguished
professor
for
the
Center
for
Ethics
in
Journalism
at
University
of
Arkansas.
His
brother
and
he
founded
the
Little
Rock
Film
Festival.

Among
other
assignments,
Renaud
covered
wars
in
Iraq
and
Afghanistan,
the
devastating
2011
earthquake
in
Haiti,
political
turmoil
in
Egypt
and
Libya
and
extremism
in
Africa.
Putzel,
who
worked
with
Renaud
for
12
years,
paid
tribute
to
his
courage
and
passion.
“Nowhere
was
too
dangerous,” Putzel
said.
“It
was
his
bravery
but
also
because
he
deeply,
deeply
cared.”

Brent
Renaud
is
survived
by
his
brother
Craig,
Craig’s
wife,
Mami,
and
a
nephew,
11-year-old
Taiyo.

By
Pamela
Sampson
Lviv,
Mar
13
(AP)
MRJ

Photo
courtesy
of

AP
.

Story first published: Monday, March 14, 2022, 1:11 [IST]

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