A music video for the indie rock band Wolf Parade, shot by photographer Chris Hornbecker with director Scott Coffey. “Yulia,” the story of a Russian cosmonaut lost in space and his lover’s quest to connect with him, was chosen as a winner in the Video category of the PDN Photo Annual.
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Piergiorgio Casotti‘s web documentary, “Arctic Spleen,” is a journey inside the grim reality of Greenlandic youth where two percent of the young population commits suicide every year. The trailer shown here is an overview of the 14-minute film that was chosen as a winner in the Video category of the PDN Photo Annual.
Dionysis Kouris‘s short documentary about North African immigrants living in the abandoned Columbia Records compound in Athens, Greece, was selected as a winner in the video category of the 2011 PDN Photo Annual. “After spending some time there, [the immigrants] try their luck at the port of Patras, in hopes of getting on board a ship to Italy,” Kouris writes. “Sometimes they manage to illegally emigrate to other cities, but very few succeed.”
A standing ovation for photographer/writer Ruth Gruber, who in her 19 books documented refugee crises and humanitarian issues, marked an emotional high point at the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Awards, held last night in New York City. Gruber, 99, won the Cornell Capa Award, named for ICP’s founder. She told the audience that Edward Steichen had told her to shoot with her heart. “I try to use these images to fight injustice and hopefully bring peace to the world,” she said.
Many of the awards underscored the ICP’s original mission as an institution devoted to supporting humanistic photography. In his opening remarks, ICP director Willis Hartshorn noted the increasing dangers facing photojournalists around the world. He expressed gratitude for the safe return of two past Infinity winners, Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario, who had been captured and detained in Libya this spring, and noted the deaths in Libya in April of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. He said their work was “a testament to their dedication to the spirit of ICP’s mission.”
In accepting the Lifetime Achievement award, Elliott Erwitt said, “The wonderful thing about being a freelance photographer is the opportunity to be in marvelous situations sequentially.” In the video that preceded his speech, he noted that Photoshop, while a powerful tool, has hurt photography’s credibility. In the video, Erwitt then donned a black wig, fake mustache and sunglasses, and adopted the persona of a pretentious art photographer who “adores Photoshop.” The art photographer’s advice to young photographers: “Photograph many famous people and print the pictures big. The bigger they are, the more artistic.”
The video, showing many of Erwitt’s amusing photos, brought laughs from the audience, but at the end of the video Erwitt said, without disguise, “I think there is sadness in many of my pictures. But humor and sadness are closely related.”
Adrees Latif, a photographer for Reuters, won the Photojournalism award for his coverage of the floods in Pakistan. He thanked ICP for honoring images of “one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time.”
Abelardo Morrell, winner of the award for Art, showed his camera obscura images for which he is best-known, and also recent work he has done exploring the west, using a tent to create images that are cast on the ground. The Infinity Award for Publication was awarded to From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America, the catalogue of a Walker Art Center retrospective of Alec Soth’s career. Soth (“Rhymes with both,” the photographer said in the video shown before his speech, “it’s a lifelong problem”) said he became photographer because he is “a socially awkward person” who “wanted to work alone,” but over time he’s been drawn more and more into collaborations like the one he had with the Walker Art Center. “The truth is, I like it.”
Other awards given out were the Applied Photography award, given to fashion photographer Viviane Sassen; the Writing award, given to writer and curator Gerry Badger; and the ICP Trustee Award, given to the Durst family of real estate developers, who are also ICP’s landlords.
Among the photo industry people attending the Infinity Awards were photo editors Kira Pollack, Paul Moakley and Patrick Witty of Time; Michelle McNally of The New York Times and James Estrin of the Times’ Lens blog; New Yorker director of photography Whitney Johnson and her predecessor, Elisabeth Biondi; Jack van Antwerp of The Wall Street Journal; Chris Dougherty of People; David Friend, editor at Vanity Fair; Stefano Tonchi, editor of W; Glenda Bailey, editor of Harper’s Bazaar; photographers David Burnett, Misha Erwitt, Ron Haviv, Rick Smolan, Susan Meiselas and Lynsey Addario who, having spent the last few weeks in New York accepting an Overseas Press Club award and giving interviews, was on her way home to New Delhi.
—Holly Stuart Hughes
New Jersey-based photographer/filmmaker Gail Mooney and her daughter Erin Kelly embarked on a 99-day trip covering 6 continents to document the stories of 11 people who are making a positive difference in the world. The resulting documentary, Opening Our Eyes, was shot by Mooney using a Canon 5D Mark II and the GoPro Hero Cam and is slated to be finished by the end of May/beginning of June. The trailer gives a glimpse into Mooney and Kelly’s journey and the individuals who inspired them along the way.
This 20-minute film was created last year by photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, who was killed on April 20, 2011, in Misrata, Libya. Hetherington died covering the conflict between Libyan rebels and forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
Hetherington wrote of the film: “’Diary’ is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.”
Editor and director Magali Charrier did the editing and sound design.
Related: Tim Hetherington Killed in Libya
Above is a trailer for “Koothu, Paper and Kerosene,” a series of short videos created by Sri Lankan journalist Kannan Arunasalam, which document how people in Jaffna, Sri Lanka survive when the resources they need are depleted. Made with the support of Sri Lankan citizen journalism organization Groundviews.org, the videos depict the survival of an isolated leper community, a newspaper that presses on despite newsprint shortages, and a taxi driver coping without normal fuel.
To see the Paper and Kerosene videos visit Arunasalam’s Vimeo page here.
When Pictures of the Year International announced that its 2011 Multimedia Portfolio Prize was won by Leslye Davis, a student at Western Kentucky University, we were initially surprised. Then we saw Davis’s intimate, sensitively produced videos.
In “Leaving Without Absence,” which she produced for the Mountain Workshops in Elizabethtown, Kentucky where her coach was Liz O. Baylen of the LA Times, Davis observes Chris Jensen, preparing for his fourth deployment, and the young son he leaves behind.
Davis has also created videos on a high school football team’s relationship to their coach, a young man who survived a suicide attempt, and the self-described “contrariest postman you’ve ever met.” These videos are all available for viewing on Vimeo.
This is the story of Sebta, who belongs to the Abu Eid Tribe from the Bekka Valley in Lebanon. The video was made by photographer Laia Abril for COLORS magazine issue #77 (The Sea) when the magazine’s editorial team took seven people to the sea for the first time. Abril, who shot both stills and video for the project, started shooting multimedia stories for COLORS in 2010. Here she used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an external microphone. (The final video was edited by Pablo Pastor and Bryce Licht.)
Brian Finke originally photographed a story called “The Strawberry Girls” on assignment for The New Yorker magazine. “The subject matter was brilliant,” says Finke, “the teenage girls in their giant red ball gown dresses, getting ready and running around town, in Plant City, Florida. It really reminded me of [my] Cheerleading series.”
Finke decided to revisit the subject during a recent festival and pageant, re-examining the subject matter and similar situations but this time with video. “Capturing those personal moments and translating my bold use of color and exaggerated moments into this other medium was very important to me.”
After shooting almost 10 hours of tape, Finke says he worked with an editor, Brad Kronz, and edited the piece down to three minutes. Then he worked a musician who wrote the score to create fun, playful music to match the feeling of being at the festival.