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DISTRIBUTION & DELIVERY Keep Memories Safe at RWF by Martin Bennet R WF World founders Gwynne Roberts and Sadie Wykeham have embarked on a 30-plus year mission with a single purpose: to tell the world about human rights violations through the eyes of its survivors. Through the course of their journey, these truth-seekers have informed the world of late 20th-century injustices and genocides through a number of groundbreaking stories. Their renowned work has earned RW Films major recognition, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for documentary, “Saddam’s Road to Hell,” and the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best TV Documentary on Foreign Affairs for “Iraq’s Killing Fields.” Proving RWF’s innate ability to factually document human rights violations over time, footage excerpts from “Iraq’s Killing Fields” were used as evidence during the trial of Saddam Hussein for his crimes against humanity. With a focus on the Middle East, and more specifi cally Iraq, Gwynne and Sadie have established a vast network of connections that have allowed them to amass an unusually large archive of footage shot in the Kurdistan region of Iraq during the past 60 years. The irreplaceable content, which now contains interviews of more than 700 survivors of the Anfal, Saddam Hussein’s genocidal campaign against the Kurdish people during the late 1980s, serves as the foundation for RWF’s The Kurdistan Memory Programme (KMP). The ambitious research project documents the triumphs and tragedies of the Kurds in modern times and aims to inform the world about the signifi cance of Kurdish history. “The Iraqi Kurds thought of it as vitally important to have a fi lmed testimony of what happened during Anfal,” comments Sadie Wykeham, co-founder, RWF. “Anfal survivors were keen to tell their stories. It’s critical for us to capture their testimony, and even more so to keep them safe so their stories can live on.” With the production team located in UK, America, Brussels, Hong Kong and Iraq, RWF needed to re-envision the access to their archives. “At the 56 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 103 JULY 2015 beginning of this project, we had very little digital infrastructure that would properly manage the volume of content we were about to deal with, never mind allow for global access,” states Tom Roberts, IT and post production supervisor, RWF. “We knew we needed to move to a platform that was not only secure and could hold a mass amount of content, but that would also allow us to collaborate around the world. We found those capabilities in EditShare.” The RWF team fi rst began shooting interviews for the KMP in 2009 with a Sony PMW-EX3. Soon after, they added a Canon 5D and Nikon D800 using an Atomos Ninja external device for recording from the SLRs. “Simply put, the SLR cameras were more portable. For the territories we needed to work, this was key,” Tom says. But using an assortment of cameras resulted in a plethora of formats to work with. “In the beginning, all of our media was stored on individual drives. If we needed to cut anything with material stored on a particular drive, we would import it as an MXF into a separate drive attached to the NLE. We were essentially duplicating the archive which was both time and space consuming.” RWF utilises Avid for editing and began standardizing media into the DNxHD format to simplify the media management. But with the sneakernet set-up, the storage multiplied quickly. The team reached out to EditShare for a solution. Tess Booysen, archive and postproduction manager at RWF World, recalls the evolution of the storage infrastructure. “We initially started with a small EditShare Metro, which eliminated the need for duplicating media, as content was copied directly from the camera. We then upgraded to EditShare Energy and eventually on to the full media management platform that consisted of Flow, XStream and Ark, giving us tremendous media oversight and the ability to realize the full potential of the archival material.”