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Students from India win Student Competition at the Sony World Photography Awards 2009

Press release   •   Apr 17, 2009 16:00 BST

Neal Kartik and Pranab Kumar Aich from Jamia Millia Islamia in India are the winners of the Student Focus Competition at the Sony World Photography Awards 2009 receiving almost €50,000 worth of photographic equipment for their university, courtesy of Sony.

12 students from 6 continents had been shortlisted to compete in Student Focus in the city of Cannes where they took part in a demanding and diverse schedule of photography workshops and challenges. The students were helped by the industry expertise of some of the biggest names of the photography world including Adrian Evans, Tom Ang, and Mary-Ellen Mark.

The two winning images by Pranab Kumar Aich and Neal Kartik are:
Cry of the big cat and The Midas touch

One of the Judges, Tom Ang, commented:
"The student photographers had to tackle a very challenging brief for the final round of the Student Focus. One group produced the distinctly superior work which demonstrated a sound grasp of the brief. I'm delighted that it is Jamia Millia Islamia from New Delhi that will be receiving the very substantial prize of digital camera equipment."

After completing a challenging photography assignment in Cannes they
received the award at the glamourous gala ceremony in front of some of the world's most highly acclaimed photographers on Thursday 16 April. The challenge commenced on Wednesday 15 April with the "Waste and Want" Competition. The students were asked to portray the opposing aspects of the city through two images; representing the glamour and wealth as well as the darker side that wealth can bring. They set to work navigating their way through the streets of Cannes – capturing images of the city and its residents. By using a variety of photographic techniques, in both staged and natural environments, the students used their unique styles of photography, imagination and ideas.

On winning this prestigious award the students tutor, Farhat Basir Khan,
“I thank Sony for giving us the opportunity, and the World Photography
Awards for brining us together. We are really overwhelmed. We believe this is just the start of our journey. This is a very proud moment for Jamia, our university and India too. Photography has really come a long way today, and so have we.”

From 60 institutions initially selected to compete, 12 students were shortlisted from six institutions across six continents. These selected students, from Belgium, South Africa, India, Australia, North America and Mexico, were flown to Cannes to attend the prestigious Festival @ Sony World Photography Awards, 14-19th April 2009.

The winning image was selected by a judging panel of esteemed figures from the photography world including; Tom Ang - Leading Digital Photography specialist and chair of judges; Mary-Ellen Mark - Documentary Photographer; Adrian Evans - Director of Panos Pictures; Gered Mankowitz – British photographer and the German photographer, Jurgen Schadeberg.

Ania Wadsworth, Student Focus Manager at the World Photography Awards, commented:
“The Student Focus programme is a fundamental component within the Sony World Photography Awards. It provides photography students with an insight into the professional industry, enables them to meet and be taught by some of the leading names within the industry and it provides them with feedback on their work whilst helping to inspire them to develop their talent. Photography can communicate, change and develop perspectives. Nurturing the photographers of tomorrow, who have new ways of looking at the world, is key to the progress of photography and offers a fresh and often innovative perspective.”

Yoshiyuki Nogami, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Europe,
“We are proud to support this important global platform for students to
nurture and grow their talent. It is inspiring to see the enthusiasm and passion that these future photographers commit to the challenge and develop their expertise.”