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Goal
Since 1985, the International Center of Photography has recognized outstanding achievements in photography with its prestigious Infinity Awards. The awards ceremony is also ICP’s primary fundraising benefit, with its revenues assisting the center's various programs.

ICP commissioned MediaStorm to create a short film about each of the recipients to screen at the awards ceremony and to later remain online. The films serve as an introduction of the recipients to the audience as well as a showcase of their work, highlighting the motivations for honoring them with Infinity Awards.

Client: International Center of Photography, Harbers Family Foundation
Published: May 2, 2013
Services Utilized
Motion Graphics
Multimedia Production
Original Reporting
The Challenge
Mishka Henner is a creative guy. A lot of his thoughts, theories and philosophies are controversial and question the structures of journalism, storytelling and ownership. He sparked a lot of conversations for us as we were producing this piece and we wanted to include that element of controversy for viewers.

However, most of Henner's images are project specific and did not work over unrelated narrative. We did not want the visuals to feel random, yet we wanted to include some of his fascinating ideas.

Another challenge we faced was the use of Robert Frank's images. Henner created a book called Less Américains, in which he digitally erased eighty-three images from Robert Frank's classic photo book, The Americans. Emailing Frank to ask for the rights to use his images in this project felt hopeless. But we knew the section with Henner's images would not make sense without the comparison to Frank's original images.


The Solution
For the sake of the story and flow of the piece, we cut a lot of interesting narrative. In some situations we found places where we could interweave Henner's radical ideas with specific pieces of work.

In the end the film needed to work as a whole and, although we let go of a lot of great pieces of narrative, we believe the overall piece flows better visually and narratively without them.

We asked nicely and Robert Frank let us use two of his images. It was a miracle.


The Results
MediaStorm interviewed the recipients and gathered images to create stories about each of their careers. The resulting eight short films serve individually as biographical glimpses into the recipients’ work and collectively as a portrait of some of the important contributors to photography today.


Individual Films

Jeff Bridges is an Academy Award-winning actor. He is also an accomplished photographer. He's been taking pictures on the set of his movies for more than 30 years, capturing intimate and surprising behind-the-scenes moments. Watch it now.

Blurring the line between subjects and friends, Kitra Cahana captures a rare level of intimacy with her subjects. As a documentary photographer, her images explore anthropological, social and spiritual themes through a human perspective. Watch it now.

As a photographer, Erik Madigan Heck does not differentiate between art and fashion in his work. Adhering to no rules, embracing his fears and seeing endless possibilities, Heck creates images people remember. Watch it now.

David Goldblatt spent his life documenting apartheid in South Africa. While many photographers chased mass demonstrations and violent rebellions, Goldblatt focused on the cultural values that led to more than 40 years of repression. Watch it now.

Surreal and mysterious, North Korea was a black hole to outsiders wanting a glimpse of the country. That all changed in 2012, when AP photographer David Guttenfelder led the opening of the bureau's newest office inside the North Korea. Watch it now.

The idea of an African space program may sound funny to some, but not to Cristina de Middel. Through a mix of fact and fiction, de Middel forces viewers to reinterpret a 1960s space program in Zambia in her photobook, The Afronauts. Watch it now.

Pat Schoenfeld, 2013 ICP Trustees Award recipient and last remaining member of ICP's original staff, shares stories from ICP's earliest days and reflects on her continued involvement--though in a different capacity--nearly 40 years later. Watch it now.

Since 1985 ICP's Infinity Awards have brought attention to outstanding achievements in photography. The 2013 Infinity Awards films serve as a portrait of some of the important contributors to photography today. Watch it now.

About the Client
The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to the practice and understanding of photography and the reproduced image in all its forms. Through our exhibitions, educational programs, and community outreach, we offer an open forum for dialogue about the role images play in our culture. Since our founding, we have presented more than 500 exhibitions and offered thousands of classes, providing instruction at every level. ICP is a center where photographers and artists, students and scholars can create and interpret the world of the image within our comprehensive educational facilities and archive.
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