RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE

Acclaimed American filmmaker Brent Renaud shot, killed in Ukraine

Mar 13, 2022, 2:18 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:38 pm
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31:  (L-R) Directors Craig Renaud and Brent Renaud pose with their award The 74t...
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31: (L-R) Directors Craig Renaud and Brent Renaud pose with their award The 74th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 31, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Peabody Awards)
(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Peabody Awards)

(AP) — Brent Renaud, an acclaimed filmmaker who traveled to some of the darkest and most dangerous corners of the world for documentaries that transported audiences to little-known places of suffering, died Sunday after Russian forces opened fire on his vehicle in Ukraine.

The 50-year-old Little Rock, Arkansas, native was gathering material for a report about the global refugee crisis for TIME Studios when his vehicle was hit at a checkpoint in Irpin, just outside the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said the area has sustained intense shelling by Russian forces in recent days.

Renaud was one of the most respected independent producers of his era, said Christof Putzel, a filmmaker and close friend who had received a text from Renaud just three days before his death. Renaud and Putzel won a 2013 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University journalism award for “Arming the Mexican Cartels,” a documentary on how guns trafficked from the United States fueled rampant drug gang violence.

“This guy was the absolute best,” Putzel told The Associated Press via phone from New York City. ”He was just the absolute best war journalist that I know. This is a guy who literally went to every conflict zone.”

The details of Renaud’s death were not made immediately clear by Ukrainian authorities, but American journalist Juan Arredondo said the two were traveling in a vehicle toward the Irpin checkpoint when they were both shot. Arredondo, speaking from a hospital in Kyiv, told Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli that Renaud was hit in the neck. Camilli told the AP that Arredondo himself had been hit in the lower back.

“We crossed the first bridge in Irpin, we were going to film other refugees leaving, and we got into a car, somebody offered to take us to the other bridge, we crossed the checkpoint, and they started shooting at us,” Arredondo told Camilli in a video interview shared with the AP.

A statement from Kyiv regional police said that Russian troops opened fire on the car. Hours after the shooting of Renaud, Irpin mayor Oleksandr Markushyn said journalists would be denied entry to the city.

“In this way, we want to save the lives of both them and our defenders,” Markushyn said.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning attacks on news professionals and others documenting the conflict.

“We are horrified that journalists and filmmakers—noncombatants—have been killed and injured in Ukraine by Kremlin forces,” the department said via Twitter. “This is yet another gruesome example of the Kremlin’s indiscriminate actions.”

Responding to news of Renaud’s death, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists called for an immediate halt to violence against journalists and civilians.

“This kind of attack is totally unacceptable, and is a violation of international law,” the committee said on Twitter.

TIME released a statement deploring Renaud’s death.

“We are devastated by the loss of Brent Renaud,” the statement said. “Our hearts are with all of Brent’s loved ones.”

Along with his brother Craig, Renaud won a Peabody Award for “Last Chance High,” an HBO series about a school for at-risk youth on Chicago’s West Side. The brothers’ litany of achievements include two duPont-Columbia journalism awards and acclaimed productions for HBO, NBC, Discovery, PBS, the New York Times, and VICE News.

Renaud was also a 2019 Nieman fellow at Harvard and served as visiting distinguished professor for the Center for Ethics in Journalism at University of Arkansas. He and his brother founded the Little Rock Film Festival.

Among other assignments, Renaud covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the devastating 2011 earthquake in Haiti, political turmoil in Egypt and Libya and extremism in Africa.

Putzel, who worked with Renaud for 12 years, paid tribute to his courage and passion.

“Nowhere was too dangerous,” Putzel said. “It was his bravery but also because he deeply, deeply cared.”

He is survived by his brother Craig, Craig’s wife, Mami, and a nephew, 11-year-old Taiyo.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Russia invades Ukraine

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 29:  Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet gives a statement to the press ...
Tia Goldenberg

Former Israeli PM: Putin promised not to kill Zelenskyy

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says he drew a promise from the Russian president not to kill his Ukrainian counterpart.
2 days ago
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, tours a neighborhood in Kharkiv ...
Hanna Arhirova, Associated Press

Russian attacks on Ukraine reported; tank training to start

Ukrainian officials say Russia has launched a new wave of missile and self-exploding drone attacks on the country.
12 days ago
U.S. M1/A1 Abrams tanks...
TARA COPP and LOLITA BALDOR Associated Press

Why the US flipped on sending tanks to Ukraine

For months, U.S. officials balked at sending M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, insisting they were too complicated and too hard to maintain and repair.
13 days ago
Associated Press video journalist Mstyslav Chernov, the director/producer/cinematographer of "20 Da...
Lindsey Bahr, Film Writer

Sundance: Horrors of war illuminated in ’20 Days in Mariupol’ doc

Associated Press video journalist Mstyslav Chernov had just broken out of Mariupol after covering the first 20 days of the Russian invasion of the Ukrainian city and was feeling guilty about leaving. He and his colleagues were the last journalists there.
15 days ago
Emergency service personnel attend to the site of a blast on October 10, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Thi...
Lolita C. Baldor

Ex-SEAL dies in Ukraine; 6th known American killed in war

A former U.S. Navy SEAL who went AWOL in 2019 was killed this week in Ukraine, American officials said Friday.
17 days ago
Firemen roll up hoses in front of debris as emergency service workers respond at the site of a heli...
Malak Harb

Ukraine interior minister, others killed in helicopter crash

Authorities say Ukraine’s interior minister has died in a helicopter crash near the capital that killed more than a dozen other people, including children.
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Acclaimed American filmmaker Brent Renaud shot, killed in Ukraine