Sunday, April 26, 2015


Peabody Prize

Vancouver filmmaker wins prestigious award

By Melissa James, Flying Cloud


uman Harvest, a new Canadian documentary that is stirring up international controversy with its unabated look at China’s illegal organ harvesting industry, has won one of the most coveted awards in broadcast, the Peabody Award.

Directed by Vancouver filmmaker Leon Lee, Human Harvest (previously titled Davids & Goliath) is a highly acclaimed and gripping exposé that follows Canadian Nobel Peace Prize nominees David Matas and David Kilgour as they investigate the atrocities of illegal organ harvesting in China.

The prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards, established in 1940 to recognize distinguished achievement and excellence in broadcast and media production, are amongst the most esteemed in the business. Winners must receive the unanimous support of all 17 members of the Peabody Board of Jurors, making the award one of the most difficult to win. As Walter Cronkite once observed, “You count your Emmys, you cherish your Peabodys.” Or, as Stephen Colbert more recently put it, a Peabody is “like an Oscar wrapped in an Emmy inside a Pulitzer.”

“Winning the Peabody is a great honour and the highlight of my career so far,” says filmmaker Leon Lee. “My hope is that the attention this film receives can help shine a light on the terrible crime of organ harvesting.”

The film, recipient of the 2015 Michael Sullivan FRONTLINE Award for Journalism in a Documentary, has been making huge waves across social media and achieving record broadcast ratings. Human Harvest is supported by the Canada Media Fund and is set to air across the country later this year.

The 74th annual Peabody Awards will be hosted by comedian Fred Armisenon May 31 in New York City, and televised on Pivot TV as a 90-min Primetime TV Special.

About the Film

When reports first emerged from China in 2006 that state-run hospitals were killing prisoners of conscience to sell their organs, it seemed too horrible to believe. However, the evidence unearthed by researchers around the world now suggests that tens of thousands of innocent people, mainly prisoners of conscience and Falun Gong practitioners, have been killed on demand to supply an ongoing illegal organ transplant industry. Human Harvest tells the story of how two Canadian investigators pieced together their findings and continue to fight against this industrial-scale crime against humanity. It’s a riveting tale of both personal triumphs and unimaginable horror offering a bold and brave look into a “form of evil we have yet to see on this planet”.

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