Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Tim Hetherington has been killed in Libya, it is being reported by Vanity Fair (where Hetherington worked as a contributing photographer).
Though there are conflicting reports to the contrary, Vanity Fair is reporting that Hetherington’s colleague Chris Hondros is alive and remains in grave condition. It is also being reported that three other journalists were wounded in the incident, which was a mortar attack. Photographer Guy Martin is in very serious condition, while freelancer Michael Brown is slightly wounded. The identity of the fifth person is unknown.
The news was first posted on fellow photographer Andre Liohn’s Facebook page.
Hetherington co-directed last year’s “Restrepo” with journalist Sebastian Junger, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary. The film shows a year with one platoon in Afghanistan’s deadliest valley. He was also the cinematographer in Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s “The Devil Came on Horseback.”
In a statement, the Hetherington family said the following:
“It is with great sadness we learned that our son and brother photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington was killed today in Misrata, Libya by a rocket-propelled grenade. Tim will be remembered for his amazing images and his Academy Award nominated documentary “Restrepo” which he co-produced with his friend Sebastian Junger.
Tim was in Libya to continue his ongoing multimedia project to highlight humanitarian issues during time of war and conflict. He will be forever missed.”
“[We are] reeling from the news about Tim,” a representative from the Sundance Film Festival told iW Wednesday afternoon as news spread about the tragedy. “We all adored him. We send our condolences to all of Tim’s family and friends.”
His “Restrepo” co-director Sebastian Junger, meanwhile, said in a statement:
“There is no way to express my devastation and sorrow at the death of my dear friend, Tim Hetherington in Misrata, Libya. Tim was one of the most courageous and principled journalists I have ever known. The good that he accomplished – both with his camera, and simply as a concerned person in some of the most devastated countries in the world – cannot be measured. I can’t believe he is truly gone.”
Hetherington’s last tweet on his Twitter feed read: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”
indieWIRE interviewed Hetherington alongside Sebastian Junger last year.