by Laura Smith-Spark
BBC News Online
The friend of a British cameraman shot dead in the Gaza Strip has spoken of pride and loss on completing his film.
James Miller was shot as he left a Palestinian home at night
Misha Manson-Smith took over the editing of the film after James Miller died while working on the film about Palestinian children last May.
Mr Miller's family and friends continue to campaign for answers over his death.
Mr Manson-Smith hopes screening Death in Gaza - the film his friend was never able to finish - will support their calls for justice.
An investigation is being conducted by the Israeli Military Police but, nearly a year on from his death, has still not been concluded.
"When I found out James had been shot it was unimaginable," Mr Manson-Smith said.
"If you had ever met him, he was one of those people who have an invincible quality about him - not gung-ho but very measured and controlled.
"If you worked in that kind of environment with him you would feel very safe with him.
"He was the last person you would expect that to happen to - that's why it was such a shock."
The moment at which Mr Miller, who was 34 and had two young children, was shot as he left a house at night was captured by another camera crew - and is used in the documentary.
Mr Manson-Smith, based in London, said: "I've actually seen that footage about 500 times now.
"Although it doesn't get any easier each time you see it, I'm glad we didn't let it stop us completing his film."
The film was created from about 70 hours of rushes shot and directed by Mr Miller with reporter and producer Saira Shah in the flashpoint Rafah refugee camp, close to the Gaza-Egypt border.
It follows the lives of three Palestinian children caught in the crossfire of the conflict with Israel.
A friend's death pushes Ahmed, 12, towards local militant groups
Ahmed, 12, witnesses the death of a playmate hit by an Israeli soldier's bullet and, with friend Mohammed, becomes involved with paramilitary groups.
Meanwhile Najla, who is 16 and lives close to where Israeli troops are bulldozing Palestinian homes, says she wants to become a lawyer.
Mr Miller's own journey through Gaza is interwoven into the story, using snatches of his voice caught on out-takes.
The film shows him celebrated as a martyr in Rafah, where his poster is pasted side-by-side with images of suicide bombers and victims.
The project went on hold while Mr Miller's wife Sophy and Ms Shah lobbied for an investigation by the Israeli authorities.
But a month after the funeral, the producer and Mr Manson-Smith started to look at Mr Miller's footage.
"After a few weeks of thinking and talking about it, a mutual decision was made with James' family to try to complete the film," said Mr Manson-Smith.
The pair sat down with a box of tapes - and 18 hard weeks later had created a documentary lasting over an hour.
The film had its first showing at the Berlin Film Festival in February, a couple of days after it was seen by Mr Miller's family.
Mr Manson-Smith said: "When I first saw it on the big screen at Berlin, it was an emotional experience for everyone.
"I was proud for James - what he did is amazing and it's up there and you are seeing it in front of thousands of people.
James Miller was killed in Rafah
"But it was also a profoundly sad moment, as it felt like another chapter in James' story had been closed.
"During the months we spent in the editing room there was constant dialogue with his friends and family about the shape the film would take, and his presence was very much there.
"Now that the film is out there in the public sphere that process is over."
Mr Manson-Smith hopes audiences will become emotionally engaged with the children's stories, as Mr Miller intended, rather than the complex political situation in Gaza.
The cameraman was killed before he could shoot a sister film he planned about Israeli children.
"There are issues about what right anybody has to finish the film without his consent," said Mr Manson-Smith. "But I think the decision to carry on was definitely the right one.
"We had a sense of what we thought he would have wanted.
"James went to Gaza to illuminate the desperate lives of these children in a way that would connect with audiences around the world.
"Despite losing his own life in the process, I hope that goal will now be achieved. That's why the film had to be completed."
Death in Gaza will be screened at selected cinemas in the UK between 17 and 29 April and on Channel 4 in May.