Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo wins premier award

World Press Photo of the Year 2009. © Pietro Masturzo

The international jury of the 53rd annual World Press Photo Contest has selected a photo by the Italian photographer Pietro Masturzo as the World Press Photo of the Year 2009. The picture depicts women shouting in protest from a rooftop in Tehran on 24 June 2009.

The winning photograph is part of a story depicting the nights following the contested presidential elections in Iran, when people shouted their dissent from roofs and balconies, after daytime protests in the streets. The story as a whole was awarded first prize in the category People in the News.

World Press Photo called Pietro Masturzo to tell him the news that his photo won the top prize. You can listen to a recording of his reaction here.

The conclusion of the jury
Jury chair Ayperi Karabuda Ecer said, "The photo shows the beginning of something, the beginning of a huge story. It adds perspectives to news. It touches you both visually and emotionally, and my heart went out to it immediately."

Fellow juror Guy Tillim commented, "The difficulty in photographing conflict situations is one of portraying the parallel lives involved, of people going on with their lives. This picture has made a very good attempt at marrying these two elements, in giving the conflict a context - and that is a holy grail of photography. The photographer does it with a very beautiful image of an Iranian landscape, which would be worth looking at in itself.  But it also arouses our curiosity about the woman shouting - incorporating this moment, the importance of this historical event. It represents a very honest and successful attempt at taking forward our vocabulary of showing things."

Juror Kate Edwards said, "The photo has a powerful sense of atmosphere, tension, fear - but also of quietness and calm, and in this sense was a challenge as a choice. We were looking for an image that drew you in, took you deeper, made you think more - not just about showing what we already know, but something that asks more of us."

2010 contest statistics
The jury gave prizes in ten themed categories to 62 photographers of 22 nationalities from: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mali, Mexico, the Netherlands, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Somalia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.

During the two-week judging, the jury viewed a record number of photographs with 101,960 images submitted by 5,847 photographers. The photographers represent 128 different nationalities.

Entries by photographers from Asia continued a steady increase, with the majority of entries coming from China with 586 submissions (2009:490) and Indonesia with 107 submissions (2009: 77). Africa also had a higher number of entries, with a 7.5% increase. European photographers were well represented, with a significant increase from photographers from Italy with 370 entries (2009: 306) and Russia with 156 entries (2009: 130).

The 2010 jury
The two-week judging period brought together 19 picture editors, photographers and representatives of press agencies from around the world. The members of the 2010 jury were:

•  Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, Sweden/Turkey, vice president pictures Reuters

•  Harry Borden, UK, photographer
•  Saurabh Das, India, photographer The Associated Press
•  Kate Edwards, UK, picture editor Guardian Weekend magazine
•  Bill Frakes, USA, photographer Sports Illustrated
•  David Griffin, USA, director of photography National Geographic magazine
•  Hideko Kataoka, Japan, director of photography Newsweek, Japan
•  Guy Tillim, South Africa, photographer
•  Stephan Vanfleteren, Belgium, photographer

•  Daphné Anglès, France/USA, European picture coordinator The New York Times
•  Stephen Mayes, UK, managing director VII Photo Agency

For the 2010 contest, specialized juries took part in the initial rounds of judging for the categories Sports, Nature and Portraits. The specialized juries were created with the intention of bringing more focus to the categories, and raising the overall standard even further. The members of the specialized juries brought extensive experience, knowledge and their diverse perspectives to enhance the judging process. After the specialized juries judged their categories in the first part of the contest, one representative per category joined the general jury for the final round, to ensure continuity. The members of the specialized juries were:

•  Bill Frakes, USA, photographer Sports Illustrated
•  Giovanna Calvenzi, Italy, picture editor SportWeek / La Gazzetta dello Sport
•  Adam Pretty, Australia, photographer Getty Images

•  David Griffin, USA, director of photography National Geographic magazine
•  Magdalena Herrera, France/Cuba, director of photography Geo, France
•  Mattias Klum, Sweden, photographer and filmmaker

•  Harry Borden, UK, photographer
•  Laurie Kratochvil, USA, photography consultant
•  Charlotte Cotton, UK, creative director National Media Museum, London

News & documentary
•  Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, Sweden/Turkey, vice president pictures Reuters
•  Volker Lensch, Germany, head of photo department Stern
•  Laura Serani, Italy, freelance curator
•  Marizilda Cruppe, Brazil, photographer O Globo / Eve Photographers
•  Yuri Kozyrev, Russia, photographer Noor

Awards Days and 2010 exhibition
Pietro Masturzo, the author of the World Press Photo of the Year 2009, will receive his award during an awards ceremony in Amsterdam on Sunday, 2 May 2010. The award also carries a cash prize of €10,000. In addition, Canon will donate a Canon EOS Digital SLR Camera and lens kit to Masturzo.

The awards ceremony is preceded by a two-day program of lectures, discussions and screenings of photography. The exhibition of prize-winning photography will be shown at the Oude Kerk from 23 April to 20 June and subsequently visit over 100 locations around the world. For a provisional exhibition schedule, click here.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon and TNT.

About World Press Photo

World Press Photo organizes the leading international contest in visual journalism. The foundation is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. Its aim is to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and other visual journalists, and for the free exchange of information. The activities include organizing annual photojournalism and multimedia contests and global exhibition tours. The Academy programs strive to stimulate high-quality visual journalism through educational programs, grants and by creating greater visibility through a variety of publications. World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization with its office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where it was founded in 1955.

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