Oscar nominee Tim Hetherington, a documentary filmmaker also well known for his work as an acclaimed photojournalist, died in Libya today. Hetherington and a group of photographers came under fire in Misrata, Libya and he was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Hetherington died in a local hospital where photographer Chris Hondros from Getty also passed away. Two other photographers were injured in the incident. The New York Times has additional details of the tragic events.
Today's Libyan incident came just weeks after Hetherington and director Sebastian Junger were in the spotlight at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, nominated in the best documentary category for their film Restrepo.
“There is no way to express my devastation and sorrow at the death of my dear friend, Tim Hetherington in Misrata, Libya," Sebastian Junger said in a statement today that was published by indieWIRE. "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.”
An Oscar nominee, Restrepo screened at last year's Human Rights Watch International Film Festival here at Lincoln Center. It won the Grand Jury at the Sundance Film Festival last January.
News of Hetherington's death spread quickly via social media this afternoon. Reports from the hospital were posted on Facebook and picked up on Twitter, shocking friends and colleagues in the international film community. He was widely respected and became well known in film circles over the past year while touring the country with Restrepo. The confirmation of Hetherington's death later this afternoon stirred widespread mainstream media interest in the deepening story.
Born in Liverpool and studied at Oxford (according to his bio), Hetherington received widespread attention for his photography. He was often at the center of social strife, capturing images from the front lines of a conflict. He lived in New York City and was a photographer for Vanity Fair magazine. His other recent films include Liberia: an Uncivil War (2004) and The Devil Came on Horseback (2007).
Hetherington also recently directed a personal short film called Diary. It is embedded below via his Vimeo site.
The New York Times' LENS blog offers a number of insights and memories from Hetherington's friends and colleagues.
Image copyright Darren Decker / ©A.M.P.A.S.