A Resplendent Trio of International Radio Documentaries

The sounds of Buenos Aires, the drama of the 1966 World Cup and the sad fate of a Sudanese prisoner

There were a fair number of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals handed out last night at the New York Festival’s 2017 World’s Best Radio Programs. But the very top honor, the Grand Award, was reserved for just three entries.

From Diego Cannizzaro and DMC Studio, the winner was Blackout, a program documenting the sounds of Buenos Aires. That’s Cannizzaro above, enjoying the New York Festival spoils.

Another Grand Prize honoree was TBI Media’s ambitious celebration of the 50th anniversary of the World Cup of Soccer final match between England and Germany. On July 30, 2016–exactly 50 years to the day of the contest–the progress of the match was retraced in real time at Wembley Stadium and interspersed with other dynamic reminders:

The event combined match footage with compelling stories told by a team of actors, led by Martin Freeman. Special guest appearances included Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Geoff Hurst and head of FIFA Gianni Infantino. A live band underscored the whole show and were then joined on stage by the likes of Reef, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Lemar & The Shires to perform the biggest songs from 1966.

The Wembley Stadium “World Cup ’66 Live” event was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 as well as BBC 5, BBC Red Button and in cinemas across the country.

The third Grand Award winner was produced out of Australia by Melbourne’s The Wheeler Centre in partnership with oral-history project Behind the Wire. The series was fact-checked by The Guardian Australia, which also showcased the audio separately on their website.

The Messenger is an ongoing 2017 podcast about Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a Sudanese refugee who has been imprisoned at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea since 2013 under the jurisdiction of Australian offshore-detention regulations. From The Guardian’s announcement:

Aziz tells his story to journalist Michael Green over 3,500 brief WhatsApp messages sent from detention, detailing his journey by boat, the deterioration and deaths of friends on Manus and the confusion and frustration of detention.

The friendship between Aziz and Green and the growing understanding of each other is at the heart of the series.

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness,” Aziz said when he was told The Messenger had won.

Green was in New York Monday night for the trophy presentation, along with Wheeler Centre producers Jon Tjhia and Sophie Black. Bookmark-listen to their podcast here. The eighth episode is currently in production; a total of 10 are planned.

Editor’s Note:
The original version of this item incorrectly stated that The Guardian Australia is a co-producer of The Messenger. Fishbowl apologizes for the error.