Definition August 2024 - Web


On the record Director and DOP Ben Steele sheds light on his latest documentary, which helped the BBC break a significant international story R ecently released on BBC Two, Dead Calm: Killing in the Med? exposes the Greek coastguard


UNCOVERING THE TRUTH The documentary exposes the mistreatment of migrant boats

last June as it carried hundreds of migrants across the Ionian towards Italy. The Greek coastguard’s account of the wreck contradicted journalistic investigations, raising questions about its other activities, including forced returns (illegally pushing asylum seekers back to their home countries). The documentary ‘dovetails the two narratives together’, according to Steele. “There’s the narrative of the Adriana, and the narrative of the evidence around the behaviour of the Greek coastguard and the complicity of the European Union.”

for mishandling migrant ships, causing dozens to die in the Mediterranean. Shot by BAFTA-nominated Ben Steele, the film “contrasts the dream with the nightmare,” he says. “The Med is a place of insane wealth, and also terrible suffering.”

Between June and September 2023, Steele planned the project with the BBC’s Alex Fry and Mike Radford. A ‘self-shooting DOP’, Steele assembled a small team, “which is how I like to keep things on location,” he admits. “Like many directors, I’m a control freak. I know what I want to see, so it’s better for me to do it myself.” With an ARRI AMIRA sourced from CVP, Steele shot the film in widescreen,

Spilling the story Dead Calm starts with the tale of the Adriana, a superyacht which sank



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