The 10th edition of the ORVIETO FOTOGRAFIA CONVENTION
With 400 professional photographers, 20 speakers from 3 continents including the legendary Robert Frank, 2000 images entered in the Photo competition, 400 prints in the fine art Print competition, 80 books in the Book Prize competition, and 12 high level exhibitions, the 2008 Orvieto Congress again confirms the status as one of Europe's leading events for professional photographers.
In just 10 years time, the Orvieto Congress has the recommendation of the Federation of European Professional Photographers (FEP) and the World Council of Professional Photographers (WCPP).
In 1999 the Italian national photography associations organized the first "ORVIETO FOTOGRAFIA". The festival is named after the wonderful old city of Orvieto which is located on a hill, a one hour drive north of Rome. After six successful editions, the same associations and 29 photographers created a permanent Foundation for the promotion and development of professional photography at both national and international levels. The Orvieto Fotografia International Foundation (FIOF), presided by Licia Papini and directed by Giuseppe Scozzi, was founded in Rome on September 15th 2004 with the aim of contributing to the professional development of photographers.
The Orvieto Fotografia International Foundation serves as an umbrella for professional photography and aims to organise not only the annual convention, which remains its biggest event, but also other initiatives in Italy and abroad. Its' desire is to construct a common home for photography under the logo of Orvieto Fotografia which can contain all professional associations, involve schools, museums and trade fairs, as well as sector industries, editors and authors of photography books.
The resources for the Foundation, which is a non-profit association, come from the direct contributions of its' members. "It is worth emphasising this aspect so the numerous and future members of the Orvieto Fotografia Foundation know that their membership represents a contribution to the growth of the profession and an opportunity to fully appreciate that most universally recognised language and art form: photography."
Every year, Orvieto Fotografia welcomes world famous speakers. This year 84-year old Robert Frank presented his work to the Orvieto public. Chinese Liang Daming showed a moving body of work after following his handicapped brother for years, watching him grow and find his path in life.
Also Sante d'Orazio, born and raised in New York but aware of his Italian roots, showed his most famous images of Christy Turlington, Versace and many others.
D'Orazio's images were part of the 12 exhibtions, including Joe Oppedisano, Francesco Zizola and Umberto Stefanelli, amongst others.
The gala evening opened with the award ceremonies of Orvieto Fotografia's three famous competitions.
The ‘Fine Art Print' competition, reserved for Italian participants and based on the visitor's votes, was won by famous reportage photographer Francesco Zizola. Having one vote more than Marco Onofri who had himself "voted for Zizola" as Marco said with a sad smile on his face. Zizola went home with the prize of 5000 euros.
The overall Orvieto Book Prize, coordinated by Adriano Scognamillo, went to Irish MQEP (Master Qualified European Photographer) Gerry O'Leary with his book ‘Contemporary Irish Architecture'. Category prizes went to Jiri Jiru with his "Havel" (historic books), to MQEP photographer Pascal Baetens with his "Nude Photography, The Art and The Craft" (art books), to Sae Lee with "Death Valley" (landscape), to MQEP photographer Belen Caballero with her "Un ano de luz" (author antologies/monographies), to Vanessa Winship with her "Mar Nero" (reportage books), and Lorenzo Salemi in the industrial publications.
The prestigious Orvieto Fotografia Professional Photography Awards, coordinated by Enzo Varriale, and with WCPP-President Bert Behnke as jury president, were divided into five categories: wedding (won by Dominique Gianelli), portrait (won by Simone Pierfelice), commercial images (won by Carlotta Petracci), reportage (won by Graziano Panfili and Giuliano Koren), and the "open" category (won by MQEP photographer Vincent O'Byrne).
The overall winner of the Orvieto Fotografia Professional Photography Awards 2008, worth 5000 euros, and Photographer of the year is Graziano Panfili.
As sponsors like to see their names linked with successful events, the special Epson-award went to Simone Pierfelice (most voted Italian photograph), and the Towergate award went to Luca Campigotto's book "Le pietre del Cairo". Special prizes went to Giuliano Radici and Niccolo Biddau.
Besides the technical aspects of the Congress, the warm Italian hospitality, the food, the wine and the parties made this Fine Art Tv reporter want to be assigned right away to cover next years event. And next time, parlero Italiano, espero...