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To showcase the power and impact of Open Source Investigations (OSINV) in journalism, CIR is proud to announce the first edition of the CIR Open Source Film Awards, to be held at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia (17-21 April 2024).


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Lynzy Billing

Lynzy Billing is an independent British investigative journalist, photographer and filmmaker. She has been reporting on Afghanistan and Iraq since 2019. Prior to this she was based in the Philippines where she produced investigations on the war on drugs and newborn trafficking.

In December 2022, Billing published The Night Raids, a nearly four-year investigation into the CIA’s deadly strategy of funding, and equipping Afghan special forces to target perceived enemies in Afghanistan. The investigation attempted to track the trail of civilian dead and wounded left behind by one such unit. In June 2023 her ProPublica short film “The Night Doctrine” in partnership with The New Yorker, based on the investigation, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. It went on to screen at 15 more film festivals that year.

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Rozina Breen

Rozina Breen is editor-in-chief and CEO of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).


Rozina is an award-winning editor who joined TBIJ from the BBC. She ran the UK’s largest network newsroom outside of London where, as head of news at BBC 5 Live, she oversaw coverage of the EU referendum, the election of Donald Trump, the Grenfell Tower fire and the terror attacks in London and Manchester. She commissioned award-winning podcasts including Brexitcast, You, Me and the Big C, The Sista Collective and Hope High, which went onto win an Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils. Rozina also launched the DigiHub for the BBC World Service, growing BBC News’s digital footprint across the world and My Bradford, a citizen journalism-focused hyperlocal that went onto win a regional press award in its first year. She has a reputation for multi-platform collaboration, innovation and commissioning through a diverse lens.


TBIJ is the UK's largest non-profit investigative newsroom. It is fierce in its investigative work: shining a light on injustice, exposing wrongdoing and working on behalf of citizens and communities to ensure fairer and better real world outcomes. The Bureau's world-class, award-winning team has unparalleled knowledge across health, big tech, corruption, inequality, labour rights, the environment and community-led journalism. And unlike most other newsrooms, it is mandated to go beyond the headline in order to spark real world change.

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Kern Hendricks

Kern Hendricks is a filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. He was based in Kabul from 2017-2022, and has also worked in Iraq, Ukraine, and Palestine.

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Eliot Higgins

Eliot Higgins is an award-winning journalist and the founder and creative director of the investigative journalism platform, Bellingcat.


Bellingcat is a fact-checking platform that uses open-source intelligence including videos, maps and pictures to enable citizen journalism on international affairs. Originally focused on Syria and the Middle East with investigations into the Syrian Civil War, Malaysia Air Flight 17 and the poisoning of Russian dissident Sergei Skripal, their focus moved to the invasion of Ukraine where they have continued to debunk propaganda and to investigate important stories. Bellingcat reports are used by myriad media outlets and agencies across the globe to enable better understanding of conflicts in the region and highlight underreported stories. Eliot is the author of ‘We Are Bellingcat: An Intelligence Agency for the People‘ (paperback -2022), a Sunday Times best seller.

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Jane Lytvynenko

Jane Lytvynenko is an award-winning freelance reporter specializing in visual and online investigations. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Atlantic, MIT Tech Review, and others. An investigation into Russian theft of Ukrainian grain on occupied territories Jane contributed to at the Journal won the 2023 Gerald Loeb Award. The investigative documentary, “Shadow Men: Inside Wagner, Russia’s Secret War Company,” for which Jane was one of the producers, was a finalist for the 2024 duPont-Columbia Award.


Previously, Jane was a senior research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center where she focused on global disinformation trends and building a training curriculum on online investigations for newsrooms. She joined Harvard after working as a senior technology reporter at BuzzFeed News. While at BuzzFeed News, she investigated online disinformation and media manipulation. Jane is currently focused on reporting on Russia's war on Ukraine.

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Milena Marin

Milena Marin is the Deputy Director for Digital Investigations, Amnesty International. Milena leads the Evidence Lab, Amnesty International's digital investigations team, which works to advance digital methods in human rights research.


With a career spanning fifteen years at the intersection of technology, data and social advocacy, Milena has worked to defend human rights, increase public sector transparency, fight corruption and promote open data. Her work includes leading Amnesty Decoders, a pioneering initiative that uses data science, crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence to sift through and analyse large volumes of data for human rights research. Prior to Amnesty International, Milena led the School of Data, a data literacy programme where she trained and mentored activists and journalists to use data for social impact. She has also worked with Transparency International, enabling the organisation's global network to use technology in the fight against corruption.

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Chris Morris

Chris Morris is the CEO of Full Fact, the UK's independent fact checking organisation, which also builds AI tools to help fight misinformation. Previously, he was a foreign correspondent for the BBC for more than 20 years in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US, before becoming the face and voice of BBC Reality Check.

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Simon Ostrovsky

Simon Ostrovsky is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a PBS NewsHour Special Correspondent. In 2023 Simon was honored with a Dupont-Columbia Award, a National Press Club Award and a citation from the Overseas Press Club of America for his coverage of Ukraine following Russia’s full-scale invasion. Simon's 2015 VICE investigation Selfie Soldiers was the first documentary film to rely primarily on open source data. He established the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine at an early stage in the conflict by re-enacting a Russian soldier's social media posts in various locations around eastern Ukraine and Russia. Selfie Soldiers was credited with getting mainstream news outlets to take open source video journalism seriously for the first time after Columbia University honored it for its "innovative reporting" methods in 2016.

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Ross Burley

Ross Burley is co-founder and Executive Director of CIR. Ross has over 20 years of experience in international relations, human rights and the media. A former British civil servant, Ross served in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, Washington D.C. and Tel Aviv, and worked with the former deputy Prime Minister as an advisor on international human rights issues. He also worked for several years in the private sector for leading British communications and media organisations, partnering with journalists and civil society actors to design flagship media literacy programmes, including the Open Information Partnership. An experienced open-source investigator, Ross has led major investigations into how malign actors, including the Kremlin, have used influence operations to distort democracy.

Ross has been published in the Washington Post, The Telegraph, International Business Times, Euronews, Politico and Vice News. He holds a BA (Hons) and MSc in Anthropology from Oxford University, where he specialized in visual representations of violence in Northern Ireland.

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Benjamin Strick

Benjamin Strick is a digital investigator with a background in law, military and technology, specialising in open source intelligence (OSINT), investigations, information warfare, data and maps.

He has applied these skills to document human rights abuses, war crimes and influence operations across the world working with international media to create multi-award-winning investigative documentaries and assist civil society. He shares his passion for open source investigations through free YouTube tutorials to democratise these skills.

Ben is the Director of Investigations at the Centre for Information Resilience and was previously an open source investigator with BBC Africa Eye, is a Bellingcat contributor and co-founder of Ocelli Project. In 2021 he was awarded Open Source Intelligence Champion of the Year for investment, commitment and contribution to the field.

Ben is known for investigating Cameroonian executions, taking down influence operations targeting human rights, working with teams to map Russia's war on Ukraine, documenting a massacre in Sudan, tracking drones in Libya, documenting destroyed villages in Myanmar, investigating arms exports, identifying deceptive networks in India, investigating human rights abuses in Myanmar and finding John McAfee.

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Suzanne Vanhooymissen

Suzanne Vanhooymissen is a documentary filmmaker at CIR. She specialises in the visual storytelling of open-source investigations and is heading up a new video production team at CIR producing OSINT-based documentaries and short-form social videos (watch this space!).

Suzanne has more than 12 years of experience working as a video journalist for BBC News. She was a BBC foreign newsgathering producer / reporter / camera person covering Europe and West Africa for several years. For five years she worked as a documentary producer / director at BBC Africa Eye where she produced, edited and directed several highly impactful and award-winning open-source documentaries and was in charge of the digital video and social media output across the programme.

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