Photographer and director Alan Spearman of the Memphis Commercial Appeal has won the Best Use of Multimedia prize at the NPPA Best of Photojournalism contest, judges announced yesterday.

Spearman won the prize for his short film called As I Am, a rich, poetic film about the hard edges of poverty, from the viewpoint of an insider struggling to pull himself out. Spearman entered the film in the NPPA contest under the title, “Memphis Poverty: What Obama Didn’t See.”

The subject of the film, Christopher Dean, had a moment in the YouTube spotlight in 2011 for his charming introduction of Barack Obama at a high school graduation, where Obama spoke.  Community leaders in Memphis rallied around Dean afterwards to help him pay for college. During the summer of 2012, Dean was an intern at the Memphis Commercial Appeal, where he worked with Spearman on the “As I Am” film.

“Memphis Poverty masterfully tells an important American story in a non-traditional way, bypassing the literal translation of poverty to strike the soul,” Best of Photojournalism jurors said in an announcement posted on the NPPA web site. “The artful blend of documentary moments, poetry, music, cinematic shooting and editing craftsmanship moves our art of storytelling forward in a dramatic way.”

The jury, which included Nancy Andrews, Zach Wise, and Jonathan Quilter, gave special recognition to “Dying for Relief,” a multimedia story about the overuse and abuse of prescription drugs, produced by Liz O. Baylen of the Los Angeles Times.

Spearman also won the first place prize in the Feature Multimedia category for the “As I Am” project. First place winners in other BOP multimedia categories included Albert Lee of the Los Angeles Times, who won both the Multimedia Package category and Visual Column/Recurring Series category for his photo and video blog called Framework; MediaStorm in the Documentary Multimedia story category for “A Shadow Remains” (an extension of Philip Toledano’s “Days with My Father” project); Chris Zuppa of the Tampa Bay Times in the New Multimedia/48 Hours category for  “RNC 2012, Inside and Out;” Misha Domozhilov for “Motoball Monsters” in the Sports Multimedia Story category;  and Reuters for “The Wider Image” in the Tablet/Mobile Delivery Project category.

Related:
Picture Story: A Guided Tour of Poverty in Memphis (PDN subscription required)


COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Four Photographers Honored in the 2017 Ian Parry Scholarship Award

Posted by on Tuesday September 19, 2017 | Awards/Contests/Grants

Sharafat Ali has won the 2017 Ian Parry Scholarship, the board of the scholarship program announced yesterday. Ali, who is based in Kashmir and covers conflict, politics, faith and daily life in the region, won the Award for Achievement for his work on anti-India protests in the region. Ali and three other finalists will receive cash awards of... More

Getty Announces 2017 Editorial Grant Winners

Posted by on Tuesday September 19, 2017 | Awards/Contests/Grants

Getty Images has awarded grants of $10,000 each to five photographers to support personal documentary projects of “universal importance,” the photo agency announced on September 7. The editorial grant winners are: Alejandro Cegarra for “Living with Hugo Chavez’s Legacy” Paula Bronstein for “The Cost of War” Antonio Faccilongo for “Habibi” Barbara Peacock for “American Bedroom”... More

FotoEvidence Teams Up With World Press Photo for New Photography Award

Posted by on Thursday August 24, 2017 | Awards/Contests/Grants

FotoEvidence and the World Press Photo Foundation have announced a new documentary photography award for 2018 called the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo. The winner’s work will be published in a book and promoted by FotoEvidence, and two other selected finalists will be exhibited during the World Press Photo Exhibition in 2018 in... More