Sharjah: The seventh edition of the International Photography Festival - Xposure will be held in Sharjah from February 9 to 15, 2023 at Expo Centre, organisers announced on Tuesday.
Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the organisers of Xposure, said that for the 2023 edition, there has been an 80 per cent increase in submissions for the International Photography and Film Awards and a 54 per cent rise in entries for the second edition of the Independent and Freelance Photojournalist Award.
The jury panel for the Xposure awards programme will sift through 17,330 submissions from 180 nations, making it one of the biggest and most diverse photography competitions in the world. For the International Photography & Film Awards there are 41 qualified industry professionals and critics who will use their expertise to judge the huge number of entries, and for the Independent & Freelance Photojournalist Award there are five judges who are all “world-leaders in the photojournalism industry”. These esteemed professionals consist of Aidan Sullivan, Muhammed Muheisen, Maria Mann, Lars Boering and Ray Wells.
The International Photography and Film Awards, which is free to enter, has a prize-pool of over $50,000 and is divided into 10 categories, each having a considerable increase in submissions. This award has received 17,116 submissions from over 180 countries mostly from Europe, Africa and East Asia, with Spain, South Africa and Japan leading the pack. These categories consist of Architectural Photography (1,828 submissions), Drone Photography (1,033 submissions), Landscape Photography (3,212 submissions), Photojournalism (1,401 submissions), Portraiture (3,687 submissions), Short Film & Moving Image (235 submissions), Wildlife Photography (1,846 submissions) and the newly added Street Photography category (3,570 submissions). Additionally, the dedicated ‘Junior Photography Awards’ (186 submissions) and the ‘Sharjah Government Photography Awards’ (118 submissions) also received increased attention from countries around the world.
Prizes are given in each category as well as an overall winner determined from the highest score achieved, regardless of the category entered.
The Independent & Freelance Photojournalist Award is also free to enter, and a prize-pool of over $15,000 is to be contested through three categories. This award has received 214 submissions from over 55 countries, with India, Russia and Bangladesh having the most number of entries. The award is broken down into the following categories of ‘Spot News’, ‘Environment’ and ‘Solutions’. The awards are not only a monumental achievement for photojournalists but also provide a great deal of support for these hard working independent and freelance specialists who often risk their lives to get coverage in some of the world’s most dangerous environments.
Besides seeing the photo exhibitions at Xposure, visitors can go through a product trade show that will offer “competitive deals” on photographic equipment and paraphernalia, talks, panel discussions, workshops, and a “portfolio review” section for budding photographers to get advice and critique from professionals.
Tariq Saeed Allay, director-general of SGMB, said: “Xposure has quickly become a global platform for the photographic industry and we are proud to give a stage to a medium that is an integral part of so many other industries. Too often photographers and independent film makers are not given the appreciation that they deserve and we are proud to welcome so many enthusiasts and independent professionals to Sharjah for them to receive support, accolades and exposure.”