The eighth edition of Xposure International Photography Festival will take place from February 28. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The eighth edition of Xposure International Photography Festival will take place from February 28 to March 5 at Expo Centre Sharjah, the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) has announced.

A hub of leading photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, and visitors, the Festival will feature award-winning exhibitions, debates and dialogues, film screenings, a trade exhibition, book signings, and interactive activities for professionals, amateurs and hobbyists alike.

Xposure focuses on developing photography skills through specialised workshops and portfolio reviews, and organises awards to honour industry talents.

Tariq Saeed Allay, Director-General of SGMB, said: “Xposure will offer visitors a window into unique artistic perspectives, cultures, circumstances and opinions that have shaped the distinct narratives of world renowned image makers who will be joining us this year.”

He added: “The festival’s agenda reflects our strategic approach to inspire people, make them better observers of our world and its realities, and enrich their cultural and educational experiences. By bringing emerging talents together with global professionals on one platform, we seek to strengthen the future of visual storytelling through the exchange of ideas, perspectives and innovation.”

25,000 entries

The Festival, with a prize pool of $60,000 dollars, is receiving over 25,000 entries from 190 countries including China, India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia,Germany, Italy, Brazil, Egypt, USA, United Kingdom, and more across its 13 categories. Highest submissions were received by the ‘Street Photography’ category with 4,868 entries, followed by ‘Portraiture’ with 4,847. The ‘Nature & Landscape’ category attracted 4,583 entries, while the ‘Mobile Photography’ category received 2,444 applications.

The ‘Drone Photography’ category received 2,663 submissions, while ‘Architectural Photography’ had 2,233. The ‘Photojournalism’ category drew 1,835 entries, and ‘Night Photography’ received 1,267 entries. The newly introduced ‘See Sharjah’ category, which includes subcategories such as Cultural Heritage, Urban Landscapes, People and Daily Life, and Nature, received 660 submissions.

Film awards

Xposure also features film awards in four sub-categories, including ‘Short Film’, ‘Best Documentary’, ‘Best Cinematic Arts’, and ‘Best Animated and Moving Image’. These categories have collectively received 567 entries from around the world this year.

The overall winner is awarded $6,000. Each first-place winner in the individual categories receives a $3,000 prize, while second-place winners in each of the 15 categories receive $1,500.

Junior photography awards

The Xposure Awards will have a special category named ‘Junior Photography’ dedicated for young photographers under the age of 18. This year, the category has attracted 192 entries.

Independent and freelance photojournalist award

The event also honours photo journalists with an Independent and Freelance Photojournalist Award - and a prize-pool of over $15,000 is to be contested through three categories. This award has received 255 submissions from over 61 countries. The award is further divided into the categories of ‘Spot News’, ‘Environment’ and ‘Solutions’. The award is designed to acknowledge the “grit and passion” of photographers who defy danger and precarious situations to showcase the truth to the world, build public awareness and bring issues of global importance to the limelight.