“Sailing Through Troubled Waters”, a 22-minute film by Emmy winning documentary filmmaker Tomas Etzler that focuses on a 12-day journey through the disputed Spratly Islands, was shown after an FCC dinner on May 20.
Etzler, who has covered territorial disputes in East China and South China Seas for years, looked at the territorial tensions in East Asia as well as the challenges journalists face when reporting on these disputes. He gained rare access to the islands of Lawak, Parola, Pagasa and Ayunging Shoal. The video examines the territorial disputes between the Philippines and China, and features interviews with Philippine Marines stationed in the Spratlys, civilians living there as well as Philippine government officials.
This documentary was accompanied by two short videos: “Chase on High Seas” filmed at Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which were at a center of territorial quarrel between Japan and China in East China Sea; and “Trip to Scarborough Shoal”, which showed the devastating impact the territorial disagreement between the Philippines and China has on local fishing communities.
Etzler, a freelance news correspondent, producer and a documentary filmmaker, joined CNN in 1999 and covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and other major events in more than 60 countries, including the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Between 2007 and 2013, Etzler was based in China as a CNN freelance producer and a correspondent for the Czech National Television.