James Miller

Documentary filmmaker

James Miller, Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentary cameraman, producer and director, was killed on May 2. He was 34.

The England native was working in the Gaza Strip, near the Egyptian border, on an HBO about the impact of terrorism on children, when he was shot by Israeli troops.

When not working on his own projects, he shot or produced material for CNN, the BBC and Channel 4. He captured some of the most haunting images of recent conflicts, including the 2001 docu “Beneath the Veil,” about life in Afghanistan under the Taliban. The program was named program of the year by the Royal Television Society and won a BAFTA and an Emmy.

Miller started as a freelance cameraman and joined the Frontline News collective in 1995. Four years later he shot “Dispatches” for Channel Four; the forensic examination of a Kosovo massacre won the 2000 RTS award for international current affairs in 2000. He later made award-winning docus in El Salvador and other global hotspots.

Miller had a knack for shooting in dangerous places, including Algeria, Bosnia, Lebanon, Sudan and Northern Iraq. He narrowly escaped imprisonment in Afghanistan and uncovered Russian war crimes in Chechnya. At the height of the Afghan war, he and his producing partner Saira Shah almost died while crossing the Hindu Kush in sub-zero temperatures on their way to make his second film about Afghanistan, “Unholy War” (2001). Miller nabbed his first Emmy as a director for the film, and also the 2002 Peabody Award.

He was cameraman and assistant producer on “Innocents Lost,” a Channel 4 investigation of human rights abuses against children; the program won an Emmy and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for International Journalism.

In 2001 Miller set up an independent documentary company, Frostbite Productions, with Shah. He was working with Shah when he was killed.

He is survived by his mother and father, his wife Sophie and their two children, Alexander, two, and Charlotte, five months.

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