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RTÉ Scoops Three International Awards For Documentary
19 Apr 2012 : By Eva Hall
Prime Time Investigates – Ireland's Illegal Cigarette Trade
Axed RTÉ investigate programme 'Prime Time Investigates' was among the Irish and Northern Irish winners at the New York Festivals International and Television and Film Awards 2012.

'Prime Time Investigates – Ireland's Illegal Cigarette Trade', won a Gold World Medal in the Best Investigative Report category, just two weeks after the broadcaster cut the programme following the Fr. Kevin Reynold's libel affair.

The award-winning episode showed how international criminals supply Irish criminal gangs with illegal cigarettes. Reporter Paul Maguire exposed how Irish smokers willingly buy counterfeit products at a cheaper rate, resulting in criminals pocketing millions of Euro.

Two more RTÉ documentaries also scooped awards, while a further two made the shortlist at the event, which was held during the digital media NAB Show on Tuesday, April 17.

'Somalia – The Children’s Famine' received a Gold World Medal in the Social Issues/Current Events category, while 'Children Are Our Flowers' received the Silver World Medal in the Biography/Profiles category.

Both documentaries were filmed by freelance cameramen Kieran McConville and Ken Fogarty. RTÉ's former western editor Jim Fahy presented, while Orla Nix produced.

'When Harvey Met Bob', the IFTA winning television programme in which Domhnall Gleeson played a young Bob Geldof, received a Bronze World Medal in the Drama category, and the Kate O’Callaghan and Patrick Farrelly-directed 'Voices From The Grave' received a Finalist Certificate in the History & Society category.

Northern Ireland-based production company Below the Radar's documentary 'Hume', tracing the life of former politician John Hume, won the Gold World Medal in the Biography/Profiles category.

Two UTV productions, 'Twelve Months of Mourne' and 'The Resurrection of Brendan Smyth' were also recognised, with the former receiving the Bronze World Medal for Best Direction and the latter receiving a Finalist Certificate in the Coverage of On-Going News Story category.

RTÉ plans to announce a new investigative programme in its Autumn schedule.

Meanwhile, the broadcaster launched its 2012 All-Ireland Drama Festival yesterday with Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan. The festival, now in its 60th year, will showcase the best in Irish amateur theatre, beginning May 3.

The festival will see the top nine amateur drama groups in Ireland compete for the All-Ireland title at the Dean Crowe Theatre in Athlone. The event will run for nine days, with the festival highlights airing on ‘Nationwide’ on RTÉ One on Monday May 14.

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