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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.

Harbers Studios commissioned MediaStorm, on behalf of ICP, to create a short film about each of the recipients to screen at the awards ceremony and to display online. The films pay tribute to the contributions of each artist to the craft and field of photography and demonstrate ICP's commitment to them.

This year’s winner for Artist’s Book is Michael Christopher Brown, a photojournalist who documented the revolution and its aftermath in Libya. His groundbreaking book, Libyan Sugar, serves as a record for Michael’s time in Libya, in which he documents both the tragedies and triumphs of revolution; and the ways that it transformed a young photojournalist struggling to find his voice.

Client: Harbers Studios, International Center of Photography
Published: April 24, 2017

The Challenge
Michael Christopher Brown’s story from, and photographs of, the Libyan Revolution are legendary in the photojournalism world. But as this year’s ICP winner for Artist Book, the challenge was to both detail Michael's dramatic personal story of transformation, and connect that story to his book. In this way, we wanted to tell the story of both the Libyan Revolution from one photojournalist’s perspective, and the story of how the experience changed Michael. We were also very cognizant of the ramifications of this story for the photojournalism community itself, which was rocked by the deaths of two of its beloved members, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, in Libya. Michael witnessed these deaths and was himself severely wounded in the attack. Our job became to tell this story within the larger context of the revolution while making his book an integral part of the film.

The Solution
After reading his book and a wide variety of interviews with Brown, MediaStorm decided to use the journal entries in Libyan Sugar to frame the film, making the book an integral part of the plot. The book juxtaposes Michael’s vivid, and sometimes gory, imagery of the Revolution with his own personal correspondence. The film mimics this juxtaposition, positing the documentation of the war alongside loving notes from his mother and friends. This format allowed for a more natural transition between Brown’s story and his remarkable book. It also followed the intent for Michael’s work, which was to show not only what happened to Libya as a result of the revolution, but what happened to him, as a professional and a person.

The Results
The film premiered on April 24, 2017 at the ICP Infinity Awards Gala in Chelsea Piers, New York City. The films were the special feature of the evening and a critical fundraising tool.

About the Client
This film was a collaboration with Harbers Studio and the International Center of Photography.

Harbers Studios turbocharges the efforts of charitable entrepreneurs by helping them tell their stories. Our goal is to help them articulate and share the value of the work they do so they can inspire others to help them do it. Working with some of the best filmmaking talent in the world, Harbers Studios creates compelling visual narratives that enhance the endeavors of organizations working to make the world a better place.

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 exhibitions, educational programs, and community outreach, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the role images play in our culture. Since ICP’s founding, they 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.

Individual Films

After spending a year on a failed photographic project in China, Michael Christopher Brown needed a change. A year later, he was recovering from a near fatal wound, and the wounds of loss that shook the photography community to its core. Watch it now.

“Vision & Justice” explores how photography has been weaponized to both denigrate and celebrate African American life. This publication honors the works of African American artists who seek to reframe the visual narrative. Watch it now.

In his retelling of the Indian epic the Ramayana, Vasantha Yogananthan explores the space between truth and fiction, merging documentary and fine art photography to create a story about how the myth impacts Indian society today. Watch it now.

By following the seemingly mundane bureaucratic paper trail of the War on Terror, Photographer Edmund Clark and investigator Crofton Black uncover secrets the government would rather keep hidden. Watch it now.

For Freedoms is the first artist-run Super PAC. The PAC was founded by photographers and artists to engage in the political process and offer more complex messages. Watch it now.

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