Award winning photojournalist Marcel Mettelsiefen to make his Channel 4 long-form debut with the airing of ‘Children on the Frontline’, produced by ITN Productions.
The children of Syria are often the forgotten victims in the ongoing civil war. More than eleven thousand children have been killed and over a million are now refugees.
Syria’s largest city Aleppo, has become engulfed by fighting between pro and anti-regime groups and over two thousand children have been killed there. Schools have shut, food is in serious shortage and there is the constant threat of shelling, sniper fire and kidnap.
Against this stark backdrop, Marcel Mettelsiefen spent nine months filming the moving story of five young children whose lives have been changed forever by the war in Syria.
They are three young sisters Helen, Farah and Sara and their brother Mohammed; whose father is a rebel commander in Aleppo and Aboude a singer and poster boy for the Syrian uprising.
All five have shown amazing resilience, forsaking their innocence and adapting to life, as the world around them slips into greater chaos and anarchy.
This is a Channel 4 Dispatches debut from Marcel Mettelsiefen, an acclaimed photojournalist who cut his teeth reporting in the Middle East and more recently in Syria, where he made the heartbreaking short film ‘Agony in Aleppo’ for Channel 4 News which won the 2013 FPA Award for TV News 2013.
The film is produced and directed by the double BAFTA Award winning Anthony Wonke.
Channel 4’s Current Affairs Commissioning Editor Siobhan Sinnerton has commissioned the 1 x 60 min film. Chris Shaw, Editorial Director at ITN Productions, is Executive Producer.
Siobhan Sinnerton says: “This is a truly remarkable film revealing what it’s really like to grow up within a war zone. Marcel has managed to capture the intimacy of family life within the turmoil with real compassion and insight.”
Chris Shaw says: “This is a unique child’s eye perspective on a dreadful war being waged by adults. We hear much about the suffering of Syrian children but Marcel’s film gives them a voice. It’s very unusual to hear children talk about war especially young girls.”
This Channel 4 Dispatches is being made by ITN Productions, the company behind the multi-award-winning films Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields and Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, Syria’s Torture Machine and several high-profile Dispatches programmes including the headline-making The Police’s Dirty Secret.
‘Children on the Frontline’ will air on Channel 4 on Wednesday 22 January at 10pm.