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CIR Open Source Film Awards

CIR is proud to announce the winners of the first edition of the CIR Open Source Film Awards, organised in collaboration with the International Journalism Festival, to showcase the power and impact of Open Source Investigations (OSINV) in journalism.


Meet the jury.

The CIR Open Source Film Awards are centred around one essential requirement: Open Source Investigative Techniques need to have played an integral part in reaching the investigative conclusions of each film. The Awards are open to any subject matter and any journalistic genre: news reports, feature pieces, current affairs programmes and documentary films are all welcomed.

For the 2024 edition, CIR looked for films that added to the deeper understanding of specific conflicts, exposed human rights abuses, uncovered key elements of accountability, or challenged an established narrative of events. Keeping the audience emotionally engaged was a plus.

Short-form category winners:

The two gangs involved in a bloody drug trafficking war in Marseille - by France TV

Credit: Thomas Cuny, Jérémie Laurent-Kaysen, Marine Delrue, Alice Palussière,  Clément Legros, Emma Noël, John Montupet

Mid-form category winners:

Catching a Pervert: Sexual Assault For Sale - by BBC

Credit: Zhaoyin Feng, Shanshan Chen, Aliaume Leroy, Selena R., Ned Davies, Jake Tacchi, Chie Kobayashi, Ryuzo Tsutsui, Hanae Arrour Takahashi, Koichi Shikayama, Futa Nagao, Oana Marocico, Asher Isbrucker, Emile Costard, Katya Mihailova, Bettina Waked, Mustafa Khalili, Himari Semans, Shawn Chen, Steffan Roe Griffinths, Koo Nakano, Allen Wu, Baya Cat, Sharihan Al-Akhras, Blanca Munoz, Ali Turab Qazi, Ash Jenkins, Alessio Festuccia, Cecile Janet, Jake Roberts, Claudia Casasola, David Smith, Regan Wharton, Sameer Hussain, Siobhan Reed, Suzanne Luu, Caroline Hamilton, Dawn Macdonald, Marc Perkins, Liz Gibbons

Long-form category winners:

A year after Uvalde, officers who botched response face few consequences

- by The Washington Post

Credit: Joyce Sohyun Lee, Sarah Cahlan, Arelis R. Hernández, Elyse Samuels, Christine Armario, Nadine Ajaka

Special Recognition Award:

Every year the CIR members of the jury want to highlight an investigation, from across all categories, to honour with a special recognition award for open source techniques. 


This year, we would like to use this opportunity to commend the following film:


The six-year old victim of Britain’s war in Iraq – by Airwars
Credit: Azul de Monte, Julia Nueno, Joe Dyke, Emma Graham-Harrison, Latif Habib, Sanjana Varghese

This outstanding open source investigation was rigorous, incredibly detailed and time-consuming. The jury was particularly impressed with how the investigation managed to bring to life a human story, entirely hidden in documents, and how the event was reconstructed in a visual way, without any direct video evidence to start out with.

CIR would like to thank all participants and congratulate the winners.

We strongly recommend exploring all the finalists’ films shortlisted below, the CIR jury also plans to publish a longlist with selected films, as an online resource of excellence in the field and to provide a yearly record of OSINV journalism for the community. Please return here to find this longlist soon.



Short-form Category

Short-form category

3D visual shows timeline of Gaza hospital destruction - by CNN

A CNN visual investigation into the deterioration of medical facilities in northern Gaza has found that at least 20 out of 22 hospitals were damaged or destroyed in the first two months of Israel’s war against Hamas, from October 7 to December 7.


CNN’s analysis is drawing from dozens of satellite images and hundreds of videos from the ground, as well as interviews with doctors, eyewitnesses, and humanitarian organizations. Fourteen hospitals were directly hit. Several, including Gaza's largest hospitals, Al-Shifa and Al-Quds, appeared to have been attacked by Israel. To provide a window into how Gaza’s hospitals became battlegrounds, CNN took an in-depth look at the deterioration of Al-Shifa and Al-Quds, using 3D modelling and map graphics.

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Greece boat disaster: BBC investigation casts doubt on coastguard's claims - by BBC

for videos under 6 minutes in length:

for videos under 6 minutes in length:

On 14th June 2023, a heavily overcrowded fishing trawler carrying up to 750 people capsized off the coast of Greece. The passengers - men, women and children from Syria, Pakistan and beyond - were fleeing conflict and poverty, hoping to start safer and more prosperous lives in Europe.


Only 104 people were saved. More than 600 were feared drowned making this the deadliest disaster for a decade in Europe’s ongoing migration crisis.


This film, broadcast within 5 days of the sinking, used a series of OSINV techniques to pose serious questions about the official account given by the Greek authorities.

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The two gangs involved in a bloody drug trafficking war in Marseille - by France TV

Inside Marseille's increasingly deadly war between DZ Mafia and Yoda, two drug trafficking networks responsible for nearly 80% of the shootings in the city since the beginning of the year.

Mid-form Category

Mid-form category

for videos between 6 and 20 minutes in length:

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Catching a Pervert: Sexual Assault For Sale - by BBC

BBC Eye Investigations uncovers an ugly network of websites selling thousands of videos of men sexually abusing women in public transport across East Asia. They’re run by a shadowy figure known as ‘Uncle Qi’.

But who is he? 

The hunt leads us to Japan, where sexual assault in public is known as ‘Chikan’.

We take you inside this dark and twisted world to hear from the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes and meet the women who are fighting back. And we go undercover to expose the identity of the men running these websites who are cashing in on sexual violence.

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How a French demonstrator ended up in a coma at water reservoir protest - by Le Monde

Thousands of grenades, Molotov cocktails, and dozens of injured: on March 25, 2023, in western France, a demonstration against a large water reservoir turned into a clash between police and protesters. At least two demonstrators, including Serge Duteuil-Graziani, a 32-year-old activist, were seriously injured. What happened?


Dozens of hours of video footage captured that day and testimonies collected by Le Monde show that the demonstrator was probably hit by an illegal tear gas grenade shot from one of the areas where the gendarmes were positioned. Our investigation also reveal that at least one other illegal shot was made by the gendarmery that day.

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Russia's Ghost Fleet - by Scripps News

Analysis of marine traffic data and satellite imagery reveals new details of how Russian ships carry valuable grain and other natural resources from occupied Ukraine to international ports, often circumventing international sanctions.

Original reporting from Scripps News, Bellingcat, and research firm Lloyd’s List Intelligence shed light on this complex system and on the ways Russian vessels evade traditional ship tracking methods.

Long-form Category

Long-form category

for films over 20 minutes in length:

A year after Uvalde, officers who botched response face few consequences - by The Washington Post

After officers waited 77 minutes to confront a gunman who killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., The Washington Post set out to use open-source combined with traditional reporting methods to investigate how such a deadly delay could have occurred. The examination reviewed hours of body camera and other publicly released footage, audio from dispatch communications and exclusive law enforcement records to reveal that supervising officers remained on the job a year later.

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Faces of Torture - by Kyiv Independent

Russia has been using the Olenivka prison, located in Russian-occupied Donetsk Oblast, as a camp for POWs and civilian hostages from Mariupol. Thousands of Ukrainians, including servicemen from the Azov Brigade, have been held captive there. Those who returned from captivity spoke about the inhumane conditions of detention, hunger, and torture in this prison. For six months, the Kyiv Independent team has been working on recreating a picture of the events that took place in Olenivka. We were able to identify the people who were involved in the systematic abuse of the defenders of Mariupol.

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They Call Us Meat - by BBC

In October 2022, Russia sent men from the elite 155th Marine Brigade—the ‘Black Berets’— to take the town of Vuhledar in Ukraine.  Ramaz Gorgadze, a young aspiring TikTok rapper, was among them. Before the assault, he sent a last message to his mother, and then went missing.  

Days later, a rare protest letter from the Black Berets emerged online. The men claimed that ‘inept’ commanders threw them into an ‘incomprehensible offensive’ and called them ‘meat’.  The Russian authorities denied any unnecessary loss of life. But who was right? What happened to Ramaz and his comrades of the 155? 

Using only publicly available footage and testimonies, BBC Eye shows how glaring tactical mistakes caused one of the highest concentrations of losses for a single Russian unit since the beginning of the war.

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