Mumbai Press Club takes photo contest to a national level

MUMBAI: It’s getting bigger, better and tougher. And more challenging than ever before. As The Press Club, Mumbai, today announced the launch of the Mumbai Press Photo Contest 2005, it added an extra competitive edge to its third edition of the annual photography contest, by making it a national-level affair instead of restricting it just to Mumbai as had been the case earlier.



The Press Club, Mumbai, president Madhu Shetye said, “If we have decided to go national, it is because we aim at bigger and achievable goals for ourselves in future. Having moved the photo contest from Mumbai to India, we have our plans ready to institute similar awards for the print, television and web journalists in the years to come.”

The current edition of the photo contest offers opportunity to photographers outside Mumbai as well to project their proven skills during 2004. Professional photo-journalists from all over India are eligible to participate in this prestigious competition.



Supported by Essar, the Mumbai Press Photo Contest 2005 will be open till 20 May 2005, and feature six categories this year. They are General News, Spot News, Sports, Daily Life, Arts and Entertainment, and People in the News. The contest will give away 25 cash prizes including a grand prize for the Press Photo of the Year 2004 worth Rs 50,000. A jury comprising well-known photojournalists and editors will select the winning images. The Hindu Editor-in-chief N Ram has graciously accepted to be the Chairperson of the photo-competition.

The Press Club, Mumbai chairman Devendra Mohan said, “We started this photo contest with the intention of providing a platform for photo-journalists and encourage their creative excellence. We have kept our promise of offering a wider platform, by making it a national competition”

The special feature of this year’s contest would be the emphasis on documentary photography. Each of the six categories will carry an independent cash prize of Rs 25,000 for the “Best Photo-Story”. “We have three prizes for single photographs and one prize for the best photo story in each category. To make pictures for a photo-story, a photographer has to work harder, and make each image of the photo sequence narrate a story.

Essar Group Corporate Communications head V Krishnan said, “The Essar Group believes that with today’s need for quick and concise dissemination of news, photojournalism is a critical and core component of the print medium. We are happy to be associated with an award that recognises excellence in this exciting and creative area.



Public relations firm Hanmer & Partners will publish a coffee-table book edited by Sahitya Akademi award winning poet and art critic Ranjit Hoskote. The photo-book will contain winning entries of the 2004 contest along with essays on photojournalism by some of India’s well-known photo-journalists, editors, critics. Sunil Gautam of Hanmer & Partners, said, “The photo-book is a good opportunity to chronicle and showcase the works of the contest winners. We were encouraged by last year’s photo-book.”

The Press Club, Mumbai initiated the Mumbai Press Photo Contest in 2002 with Sakal'’s Rajanish Kakade winning the grand prize of Rs 50,000 for his picture of a Gujarat earthquake survivor. Restricted to Mumbai-based photojournalists, the competition had over 400 photographs from 48 photographers.

In 2003, the second edition of the contest was held, and Arko Datta of Reuters swept the awards with five major prizes. He also won the grand prize for his photograph of a frightened Iraqi girl squatting outside her mud house in Tikrit as US soldiers conduct a search operation. The 2003 competition witnessed larger participation with over 3000 photographs from 87 photographers.

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