World Press Photo Contest is one of the most important prizes for photojournalism. Every year since 1955, an independent jury of experts, chosen among renewed international personalities, is called to express itself on thousands photos that are submitted to World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam by photojournalists, agencies, magazines and newspapers. it is a unique occasion to review and discover the most beautiful and significant images that have documented and illustrated facts and events on international magazines and newspapers.
The prize-winning pictures are presented in an exhibition visiting around 100 cities in about 45 countries. The 2015 Contest drew entries from around the world: 97,912 images were submitted by 5,692 press photographers, photojournalists, and documentary photographers from 131 countries. The jury gave prizes in 8 themed categories (General News, Spot News, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Portraits, Nature, Sports, Long-Term Projects) to 42 photographers of 17 nationalities from: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Denmark, Eritrea, France, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA. This year, 10 Italian photographer have been awarded and among them Andy Rocchelli (category: portrait, second prize), Paolo Verzone (category: portrait, third prize), Massimo Santini (category: News, second prize).
The exhibition presents the prizewinning photographs for each category and travels worldwide to important museums and galleries; the only condition to be respected is to show every photo of the show without any form of censorship.
The jury of the 58th annual World Press Photo Contest has selected an image by Danish photographer Mads Nissen as the World Press Photo of the Year 2014. Nissen is a staff photographer for the Danish daily newspaper Politiken and is represented by Panos Pictures. The picture shows Jon and Alex, a gay couple, during an intimate moment in St Petersburg, Russia. Life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. Sexual minorities face legal and social discrimination, harassment, and even violent hate-crime attacks from conservative religious and nationalistic groups. The winning picture belongs to a larger project by Nissen called “Homophobia in Russia” which was shot for Scanpix. The photo also won 1st Prize in the Contemporary Issues category.
Jury chair Michele McNally, director of photography and assistant managing editor of The New York Times, said: “It is an historic time for the image… the winning image needs to be aesthetic, to have impact, and to have the potential to become iconic. This photo is aesthetically powerful, and it has humanity.”