The Sony World Photography Awards (WPA), now in its second year, has expanded its student initiative to create a truly global competition to find tomorrow’s photography professionals.
Building on the successes of its inaugural year, the WPA will invite students from 60 universities across six continents – North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia – to compete in Student Focus, the Awards’ university programme.
With the environment as the central theme of the Sony World Photography Awards 2009, the brief for the students is to create an image which highlights an environmental issue specific to their country.
120 students from 60 universities, which will be chosen by the WPA, will submit their work online. A shortlist of two students from one university from each continent will then be selected by a prestigious judging panel from the photographic community including Ruth Eichhorn, Director of Photography for GEO magazine.
The 12 shortlisted students, along with their tutors, win an expenses-paid trip to Cannes in April 2009, where, as part of ‘Festival @ The Sony World Photography Awards’, finalists will conduct their final assignment. They will also participate in a series of lectures including ‘Can Photography Make a Difference? with Tom Ang; a range of masterclasses, and portfolio sessions with leading industry experts.
The overall winner will be announced, along with the winners of the professional and amateur categories, at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony at the Palais des Festival. The Student Focus prize is over 45,000 Euros’ worth of photography equipment for the winning university, courtesy of the sponsor, Sony.
A highlight of the festival in Cannes will be a showcase of photographs selected from the student submissions from all of the 60 participating universities. When presented together, the photographs are expected to create an international collective view of our planet as seen by a new generation of photographers.
Scott Gray, World Photography Awards founder, comments: “10 universities in Europe competed in the inaugural student initiative – this year it will be 60 universities worldwide. We are delighted to be able to expand the programme and offer so many more students a platform, on which to nurture their passion for photography”.