British freelancer Ben Steele was among the winners at last night’s Rory Peck Awards.

Steele’s programme Hunted (pictured), about the world of Russian vigilante gangs who humiliate and abuse homosexuals, was one of two C4 Dispatches programmes to be recognised at the awards, which honour the work of freelance cameramen and camerawomen in news and current affairs.

“This year’s Rory Peck Awards winners and finalists have produced work of the highest quality at a time when freelancers are being targeted and silenced more than ever - a testament to their sheer determination, skill and desire to bear witness and uncover untold stories” said Rory Peck Trust director Tina Carr.

“Without the work of freelancers, our understanding of the world suffers. They deserve our recognition, support and protection.”

Last night’s ceremony was hosted by Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford and Channel 4 News international editor Lindsey Hilsum at London’s BFI Southbank.

The winners

  • The Rory Peck Award for News

Pacôme Pabandji from Central African Republic for CAR: Descent Into Chaos, broadcast by AFPTV.

The The 23-year-old freelancer’s footage of the conflict in his home country showed the violence that erupted there and glimpses of everyday life.

  • The Rory Peck Award for Features

Team Mindeulle: a group of six anonymous North Korean cameramen for North Korea: Life Inside the Secret State which was produced by Hard Cash Productions and broadcast by Channel 4 Dispatches. The film provides a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the secretive state.

  • The Sony Impact Award

Ben Steele for Hunted, produced by Blakeway Productions for Channel 4 Dispatches. Ben’s film explores the world of Russian vigilante gangs who, encouraged by recent anti-homosexual legislation, go on hunting “safaris” to catch, humiliate and abuse gay victims.

  • The Martin Adler Prize

Palestinian freelance journalist, fixer and translator Khaled Abu Ghali. Khaled, who lives and works in Rafah, southern Gaza, receives the prize in recognition of his fourteen year career as a journalist, fixer and translator working for, and contributing to, many of the world’s most prominent news outlets.