James Brabazon

Non-fiction writer and documentary film-maker
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Biography

James Brabazon is an award winning frontline journalist, documentary filmmaker and the author of My Friend the Mercenary (Canongate). Based in London, he has reported in over 70 countries investigating, filming and directing in the world's most hostile environments.

He writes regularly for the Observer, and his work has recently appeared in the Sunday Times, the Guardian Weekend Magazine, The Independent, Monocle, Newsweek and Harper Collins' The World's Most Dangerous Places.

He first gained international profile as the only journalist to film the Liberian LURD rebel group fighting to overthrow President Charles Taylor. He spent six months traveling with the rebels on the multiple award-winning documentary projects Liberia: A Journey Without Maps (BBC2, SABC, CNN) and Liberia: An Uncivil War (Discovery, BBC4) for which he earned two EMMY nominations.

He has worked on independent commissions with Discovery; BBC2 (for whom he made the current affairs series The Violent Coast in West Africa winning him BAFTA and Grierson nominations); and Channel 4, where he works for Dispatches, and has made eighteen films in the critically acclaimed Unreported World series.

James has recently finished producing a major HBO feature documentary which tells the life story of his friend and colleague the photographer Tim Hetherington.

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 International Impact Award 2003. His work in Liberia won many international accolades including the Rory Peck Trust Freelancer's Choice Award 2003; the IDFA Special Jury Award 2004, two BAFTA nominations and two EMMY nominations.

James lectures on the ethics and practicalities of journalism in hostile environments at universities across Britain, and regularly appears as a commentator on international current affairs.