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No Fire Zone


Without truth there can be no justice in Sri Lanka. No Fire Zone is an explicit and horrifying exposé of the final months of the 26-year-long Sri Lankan civil war, told by the people who lived through it. Using unseen footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras, the film meticulously exposes some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity in recent history and becomes direct evidence of a war that was supposed to be conducted in secret.


  • Video Librarian
    "A searing documentary, filmmaker Callum Macrae’s No Fire Zone focuses on the final months of the long civil war in Sri Lanka that pitted the secessionist Tamils against the government... Filled with images of shocking immediacy—including explicit scenes of killings—No Fire Zone is a very
    difficult film to watch, but one with great significance, enhanced by a last segment showing that the government officials in charge of the massacres are still in power, untouched by international censure and actively working to prevent Macrae’s film from distribution. Presented with both the
    full-length version and a 54-minute abridgement, this deeply unsettling film is essential viewing for anyone interested in the cause of human rights. Highly recommended."
    F. Swietek
  • Association for International Broadcasting
    "Rarely does a film launch take place at Britain’s House of Commons, but there seemed no more appropriate venue for the official release last week of the Sinhala translation of the politically charged No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka. The feature film documents the atrocities committed in the final weeks of the Sri Lankan Civil War both by government troops and the Tamil Tigers. This Sinhala translation marks the first time that the people of Sri Lanka will be able to see a film that shows their recent history in stark, unflinching clarity."
  • Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, Washington DC
    "Beautifully crafted and heart wrenching"
  • David Cameron's report back to Parliament after Commonwelath Heads of Government Meeting, Sri Lanka, 2013
    "I announced an additional £2.1 million to support de-mining work in parts of the north, including the locations of some of the most chilling scenes from Channel 4’s “No Fire Zone” documentary."
  • Movies that Matter
    "A Tour de Force by Nobel Prize nominee Macrae"
  • Empire
    "It is vitally important that this feature reaches the widest possible audience"
  • Right Now, Australia
    "Haunting, disturbing, unforgettable….. not since John Pilger's 1979 Year Zero has there been a documentary as important"
  • The Hindustan Times
    "Dark & disturbing... a hair-raising documentary"
  • Hoopla, Australia
    "I can confidently say that No Fire Zone... is the most devastating film I have seen"
    Wendy Bacon
  • Globe and Mail, Toronto
    "An utterly convincing documentary"
  • Toronto Film Scene
    "Will break your heart... incredibly graphic and very hard to watch, but that’s the best way to get people to act"
  • The Deccan Herald
    "Devastating... shocking"
  • Now Magazine, Canada
    "Images sufficiently graphic to give you nightmares – but sometimes it takes a nightmare to wake us up"
  • From Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee
    "I was the chief negotiator of the Sri Lankan peace process and later the Norwegian minister involved in supporting peace in Sri Lanka during the period from 2000 up towards the end of the war in 2009. The war ended in an orgy of violence, where tens of thousands of innocent Tamils died, in addition to a high number of combatants from both sides. Clearly war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed. It was the most violent single month so far in the 21st century. Still these huge crimes were easily forgotten. The extremely brave and creative team at Channel 4 established contacts and became the focal point for the truth regarding what happened in Sri Lanka. They documented in detail killings of prisoners of war, rape, indiscriminate shelling of civilians. Channel 4 became the catch word for reporting of the truth about Sri Lanka."

    "The reporting of Callum Macrae and colleagues had major impact on the wider world - leading to the apology from UN secretary General Ban Ki Moon on the mistakes committed by the UN, resolutions in the UN human rights council in Geneva and a general mobilization of global opinion for reconciliation, peace and justice."

    "It is hard to think of any film team who singularly has had such an impact on major issues of war and peace".
    Erik Solheim was the Chief negotiator Sri Lanka peace process 2000 - 2005
    He was the Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development 2005 – 2012 and is now Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee
    Erik Solheim
  • "No Fire Zone has achieved what no other has in opening a window on the final days of hell at the end of the Sri Lanka civil war. Callum Macrae’s translation into a compelling narrative the shocking allegations of the government of Sri Lanka’s slaughter of its citizens, its shelling and deprivation of medical supplies and food….. its impact on the international community is undisputed. I have no doubt that it is such evidence as this that led to the passing of the UNHCR resolution in March 2014 calling for an investigation into accountability at the end of the war and after as the GoSL continues to wage the war by other means against the Tamil population…..Its vivid imagery and stories of the every day life of innocent civilians endorses the key point that without accountability there can no end to impunity. I challenge any viewer of this work, which is as haunting as it is coherent in both purpose and execution and its call to action, to stand by amid such knowledge."
    Yasmin Sooka, is an international Human Rights lawyer, formerly a leading member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa and author of its final report. She was one of the three members of the Panel of Experts appointed by Ban KI Moon to investigate the war crime allegations in Sri Lanka, and advised the governments of Ghana, Nepal, Afghanistan, Burundi, and Liberia in setting up truth commissions.
    Yasmin Sooka
  • From Director, Office of the Secretary General, Amnesty International
    "Few films in recent years -- few films ever, perhaps -- have had such an extraordinary advocacy impact as the series films on Sri Lanka's Killing Fields culminating in No Fire Zone.

    "Human rights organizations spoke loudly about the horror of the end of the conflict, in spring 2009 -- but we were fundamentally ignored. The Security Council barely even discussed Sri Lanka, still less put any pressure. No Fire Zone/Sri Lanka's Killing Fields changed that, completely…. the power of these films themselves is what created unthinkable change -- including most recently a Human Rights Council resolution which calls for an independent inquiry into the crimes committed at that time, thus potentially paving the way for future accountability.
    Steve Crawshaw, former international advocacy director at Amnesty International and now Director, Office of the Secretary General, Amnesty International
    Steve Crawshaw
  • ”No Fire Zone is one of the most chilling documentaries I’ve watched….Many of the images are truly shocking. This documentary raises very serious questions that the Sri Lankan government must answer about what it did to protect innocent civilians. Questions that strengthen the case for an independent investigation. Questions that need answers if Sri Lanka is to build the truly peaceful and inclusive future its people deserve.”
    British Prime Minister David Cameron - in advance of the UN vote specifically cited the film as strengthening the case of an independent investigation.
    British Prime Minister David Cameron
  • No fire Zone is the only film that gives me faith in journalism. Its not only the most important account of what happened to the Tamils, its actually become part of the fabric of their history."
    M.I.A musician and artist

Festival Participation

  • Sheffield Doc/Fest - 2013
  • Movies that Matter - 2013
  • FIFDH Geneva - 2013
  • Festival des Libertés - 2013
    Winner, FIDH Award
  • CPH:DOX - 2013
    Jury Special Mention Award
  • Grierson Awards - 2013
    Shorlisted for Best Documentary on Current Affairs
  • Watch Docs - 2013
    Winner, Audience Award
  • One World - 2014
    Winner, Vaclav Havel Jury Special Mention
  • International Emmy® Awards - 2014
    Nominee for Best Documentary
  • Britdoc - 2014
    Impact Award winner

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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