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Winners of IAFOR Documentary Photography Award Announced

As a proud sponsor of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award we are pleased to present this year’s winners: Hosam Katan (Grand Prize), Yasmin Balai (2nd Place), and Romain Champalaune (3rd Place).  The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is a new international photography award which seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The Award is supported by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) – Asia’s Think Tank – and builds off of the strength of the IAFOR Documentary Film Award, now in its fourth year.

The theme for 2015 is “Power.” Photography can have the power to manipulate memories, encourage thought and stimulate emotion, it also has the power to do these things across languages and cultures. The skilled photographer must hold power over their camera and manipulate the power dynamic between photographer and subject. Pointing a camera at someone can be seen as an act of power in itself. This year’s winners explore “Power” from a variety of perspectives.

Grand Prize: “Syria” by Hosam Katan

“My name is Hosam Katan and I am a 21 year old photographer from Syria. I was a student before the civil war in Syria. When the war began in my area I left my school and started take photos for the Aleppo Media Center and documenting events and filming battles. After one year of photographing the conflict in my country, I started working for Reuters. The images in this portfolio document the struggles that people are facing in their daily lives in Syria.”

View more at iaforphotoaward.org.

Second Place: “Silver Linings” by Yasmin Balai

“Silver Linings is a project that follows a group of altogether around 60 people that inhabit Bucharest’s underground central heating systems next to the main train station ‘Gara de Nord’. Together, they have built something resembling a home, creating a community beyond society. Almost everyone living in the tunnels, built during communism times, is addicted to ‘Pure by Magic’ a synthetic stimulant drug, injected several times a day.”

View more at iaforphotoaward.org.

Third Place: “Samsung Galaxy” by Romain Champalaune

“After the Korean war (1950-53), South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Yet, less than thirty years later, it became the world’s 15th largest economy. This success can be partly explained by chaebols, huge conglomerates supported by dictator Park Chung-Hee between 1962 and 1979. Established in 1938 by M. Lee Byung-Chul in the city of Daegu, Samsung (which means “Three Stars”) is the largest of those chaebols, and the largest group in South Korea. It represents, directly or indirectly, one-fifth of the GDP. With its growth from a small import-export shop to the flagship of the nation, Samsung embodies Korean economic success.”

View more at iaforphotoaward.org.

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MediaStorm Receives Two News & Documentary Emmy Nominations

We are proud to announce that MediaStorm has been recognized with two nominations for the 36th Annual News and Documentary Emmy AwardsHungry Horse, our film collaboration with Pieter ten Hoopen is a nominee in the New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle, Culture category. Japan’s Disposable Workers by Shiho Fukada, produced in collaboration with Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is a nominee in the New Approaches: Current News Coverage category.

Congratulations to all of the nominees! View the full list at emmyonline.org/newsemmy.

Hungry Horse: Legends of the Everyday,is a film series and photography project created by internationally acclaimed photographer Pieter ten Hoopen in collaboration with MediaStorm. In the films, Pieter touches on the struggles of poverty, drug use, loneliness and loss. But he more accurately captures the spirit of renewal, peace and serenity in the lives of the people he documents through stunning landscapes and intimate oral histories.


Japan’s Disposable Workers examines the country’s employment crisis: from  suicide caused by overworking, to temporary workers forced by economics to live in internet cafes, and the elderly who wander a town in search of shelter and food.



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Travel Anonymous: Lessons Learned, Again

I’m a big proponent of working within a set of limitations.

I’ve purposefully done this numerous times both at MediaStorm and in my own work: from setting out to make a film that’s exactly one-minute long to creating a fictional movie with the attributes of a documentary. Setting yourself up against restrictions can be a powerful means of encouraging creative problem solving.

But with Travel Anonymous, a MediaStorm collaboration with photographer Jeff Hutchens, I could literally do anything. Nothing was out of bounds.

Case in point: at one of my first meetings with Jeff, he told me he liked the idea of using only the tiniest portions of his images. A corner here, an interesting blur there. To work without regard to the “sacredness” of a photographer’s pictures felt both exhilarating, and quite honestly, a bit blasphemous.

There was just one objective: to convey what it feels like to travel so much that you lose all sense of time and place. This was to be an immersive, sensory experience.

Early on, though, I was confounded. Read More »

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Now Playing on MediaStorm: Travel Anonymous by Jeff Hutchens

MediaStorm is proud to present our newest Publication project, Travel Anonymous, an exploratory film and photography collaboration with award-winning photojournalist Jeff Hutchens.

Everyone who travels by themselves knows the feeling of anonymity that comes when no one really knows exactly where you are or what you are doing in the world. The further you are culturally from home, the greater its intensity can feel. Travel Anonymous explores that intensity and the dreamlike state life takes on when you leave the familiar behind.

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Now Hiring: Motion Graphics Designer at MediaStorm

MediaStorm is looking for an experienced Motion Graphics Designer to collaborate with producers and interactive designers on projects for MediaStorm’s clients, workshops and publication. The ideal candidate will be able to conceptualize and execute stand-alone motion graphics and packages for a wide range of films.

Application deadline is Tuesday, July 28th.
Read More »

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