A CAMPAIGNING widow will be watching this year’s Oscars ceremony with keen anticipation as a film she helped make is up for an Academy Award.
Hartlepool-born Carol Grayson, who campaigned tirelessly for compensation for victims of infected blood transfusions, worked as an executive producer on a documentary about whistle-blowers.
The documentary, called Incident in New Baghdad, tells the true inside story of an American helicopter attack on Iraqi civilians and international journalists from the perspective of a US soldier who witnessed the horror from the ground.
The attack made headlines around the world when footage of it was leaked through the controversial website Wikileaks.
The filmmakers tracked down soldier-turned-peace activist Ethan McCord on how the experience changed his life.
Carol, 52, who used to live in the West View area of Hartlepool before moving to Jesmond, near Newcastle, said: “One of the reasons I got involved with the film was because of my own struggle when I was trying to get justice for the death of my husband and brother-in-law.
“My work has been behind the scenes by helping to fund and promote the film.
“These incidents don’t always come to light, that’s why it’s sometimes very important there are whistle-blowers and people on the inside who can highlight these incidents.”
The film, directed by James Spione, is nominated in the best short documentary category at the Oscars, which take place in Hollywood on Sunday, February 26.
Carol, a former nurse, put up £3,000 from her £25,000 payout to help make the £7,000 production.
She campaigned for an inquiry after her husband Peter Longstaff died in 2005 after he contracted HIV and hepatitis C from infected NHS products.
Peter’s brother, Stephen Longstaff, also died from AIDS aged just 20 following an infected blood transfusion for haemophilia.
Carol will watch the Oscars ceremony live on TV from her Tyneside home.
She added: “We’re all very happy about the nomination because it’s a platform to show the film and highlight these important issues.”
The nomination caps a year-long tour that earned the documentary top honours at New York’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival, as well as awards at several other film festivals.