Screening of the documentary by Sophie Nivelle-Cardinale, Sylvain Lepetit. Q&A with the authors. Finalist Reportage Medium
Raqqa, la bataille de l’Euphrate, by Sophie Nivelle-Cardinale, Sylvain Lepetit | Production: ARTE, Kheops Prod (France 2017), 25'
In June 2017, Sophie Nivelle-Cardinale and Sylvain Lepetit were able to film in Raqqa and its surroundings, barely freed from the Islamic State, providing exclusive report in the very first days of the Battle of Raqqa. They entered the Syrian capital of the Islamic State with the Kurdish fighters (Syrian Democratic Forces) supported by the International Coalition. That operation, launched just a couple of days earlier, was the ending of the military campaign Wrath of Euphrates, started in December 2016. In June 2017, that campaign was already a military success. Forty kilometres from Raqqa, the Tabqa dam (the largest dam in Syria) had already been reconquered, and the Kurdish fighters had taken control of the very strategic town of Tabqa, starting imposing their own rules.
Sophie Nivelle-Cardinale is an Istanbul-based journalist and covers the Middle East. In 2011, she was among the first foreign journalists to report from inside Syria. In 2013, one of her news reports from Aleppo for TF1 was awarded the Prix Bayeux Calvados of War Correspondents. In 2014, she and her colleague Etienne Huver started investigating the policy of extermination of the Syrian dictatorship, and in 2016 their documentary The Disappeared: The Invisible War in Syria (ARTE) won Les Etoiles de la Scam and the Prix Albert Londres (the highest award of journalism in France). Sylvain Lepetit started his career in the Investigation and Reportage department of the French TV channel France 2. In 2014, he was awarded the Prix Albert Londres for an investigation on the coming back of polio disease in Afghan and Pakistani tribal zones (Envoyé Spécial, France 2). He has worked as a foreign correspondent based in New Delhi, Kabul, Dubai and Beirut. He now covers the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. In 2017, together with Sophie Nivelle-Cardinale, he also reported on the Battle of Mosul.