Sunday, 30 March 2014

World Photo Multimedia Contest picks winners

The international jury of the 2014 World Press has awarded prizes in three categories of Short Feature, Long Feature and Interactive Documentary. Each category holds first, second and third prizes.

First prize Short Feature as Staff Riding, shot by Marco Casino
The video is available for your viewing pleasure at

A statement from the organizers listed the winner of the First prize Short Feature as Staff Riding, shot by Marco Casino is local slang for train surfing, and it is a widespread phenomenon in South Africa. The vast majority of surfers are under 25, and due to the highly dangerous nature of the activity, amputations of limbs and even deaths are not uncommon. In a context where violence, alcohol and drug abuse, rampant poverty, and AIDS reign supreme, train surfing symbolizes the search for social redemption that will never come for the characters of this story.

Another winner is First prize Long Feature: Witnessing Gezi, created with the recordings of photojournalist Emin Özmen who witnessed the protests against the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. Subsequently, the protests sparked supporting strikes across Turkey turning into a resistance movement of great importance for the country. ‘Witnessing Gezi’ shows the human aspect of this civil resistance, a crucial event of the last 30 years in Turkey.

Also on the list of winners is First prize Interactive Documentary: ‘A Short History of the Highrise’National Film Board of Canada / The New York Times

The jury chair Jassim Ahmad, global head of multimedia innovation Reuters, reflected: “It is remarkable that the number of entries to the contest has increased by one third since last year. The overall quality of submissions indicates that many more have a grasp of visual media - a promising indicator of things to come. The winners reflect many aspects of the human condition, such as family, culture, sport, conflict and politics.” He added:
 “There is clearly no one model for success in the practice. You can work in teams large and small; with the support of a major organisation or local community. The smallest stories can speak to wider truths. The possibilities of multimedia are immense.”
Jury member Marianne Lévy-Leblond commented:
“The notion of multimedia is changing all the time. We constantly find new trends in the field and we try to approach them differently every time. This is an evolving field and we should approach it as such. What fascinates me the most is the level of engagement. The entries had high levels of interaction, from the user experience to distribution, and the use of social media.”
Jury chair Jassim Ahmad summed up the categories:
“Across the feature prize winners, the common thread is revealing stories with strong characters at their heart. They are well told and vivid. When content is created for the web, it must grab your attention and hold it. We put ourselves in the shoes of the reader.
Interactive teams are employing a variety of visual tools and techniques. We looked for examples that are designed for the medium to explain more and bring you closer. All the winners in this category are evidence of exceptional teamwork.
Interactive entries also included some highly original concepts. We agreed innovation could not be at the expense of clarity. Communication is the essence of journalism.”
The judging was conducted at the World Press Photo office in Amsterdam, where the jury viewed all the entries and discussed their merits over a period of six days. A total of 373 multimedia productions were entered in the contest: Short Feature 254, Long Feature 56, Interactive Documentary 63.

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