Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
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American Journalist Killed In Ukraine Was Working On Time Magazine's Refugee Crisis Project

Brent Renaud often collaborated with his brother Craig on projects for The New York Times, HBO, NBC, Vice Media and other organisations across conflict zones and risky areas, including in Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Mexico, and Ukraine.

Brent Renaud at an award ceremony in 2015
Brent Renaud at an award ceremony in 2015 Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File

Award-winning American filmmaker and journalist Brent Renaud, who was killed in Ukraine, was on an assignment for Time Studios and was working on a project focused on the global refugee crisis at the time of his death, the company has announced.


Renaud, 50, often collaborated with his brother, Craig Renaud, to produce film and television projects for The Times, HBO, NBC, Vice Media and other companies. He filmed in conflict zones and risky areas, including parts of Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Mexico and Ukraine.


“We are devastated by the loss of Brent Renaud. As an award-winning filmmaker and journalist, Brent tackled the toughest stories around the world often alongside his brother Craig Renaud. In recent weeks, Brent was in the region working on a TIME Studios project focused on the global refugee crisis. Our hearts are with all of Brent’s loved ones," the Time Magazine said in a statement.


The statement underlined that it is essential that journalists are able to safely cover the ongoing Russian invasion and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.


Renaud, who tackled the toughest stories around the world, was killed in the Kiev region and his colleague Juan Arredondo was wounded. A Kiev-based hospital posted a video on Instagram featuring Arredondo recalling that the car they had been driving in had come under shelling near a checkpoint in the city of Irpen. However he did not provide any details about who was shooting the car.


The US State Department confirmed Renaud's death in a statement on Sunday, saying it is "offering all possible consular assistance" to his family.


Through his extensive film catalog, Renaud highlighted the human impact of war and conflict, said Vivian Schiller, who commissioned Renaud’s 2004 documentary series about the Iraq war for The New York Times and Discovery Channel, The New York Times reported.


“He was just a filmmaker with (a) tremendous heart,” Schiller said. “It really sort of pervaded all of his work.”


One of his earliest projects was “Off to War,” an intimate 2004 documentary series he created with his brother. Over six months in Arkansas and then a year in Iraq, the brothers followed a group of Arkansas National Guardsmen from the training ground to the battlefields.


The series marked the start of Renaud’s intrepid, globe-trotting career. He and his brother took their cameras around the world, from Black Lives Matter protests in Little Rock, Ark., to the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.


The brothers survived several near-death situations, including car crashes, blasts from improvised explosive devices and attacks from members of the Egyptian military, they said in a 2013 interview with Filmmaker Magazine.


Renaud was a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University from 2018 to 2019.


Renaud’s final assignment on Sunday was capturing refugees fleeing across bridges in Irpin, according to his reporting partner, Arredondo, who described the events in a video posted on the Okhmatdyt hospital’s Instagram page.


“We don’t seek out the dangerous assignments,” Renaud told Curator Magazine in 2009. “But once we are committed to a story, we are willing to do whatever it takes to tell that story.”

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