Opinions

World Press Photo Multimedia Award Winners 2014 Announced

The international jury of the 2014 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest has awarded prizes in three categories: Short Feature, Long Feature and Interactive Documentary. Each category holds first, second and third prizes.

01_Staff Riding

1ST PRIZE SHORT FEATURE
Staff Riding
‘Staff riding’ is local slang for train surfing, and it is a widespread phenomenon in South Africa. The vast majority of surfers are under 25, and due to the highly dangerous nature of the activity, amputations of limbs and even deaths are not uncommon. In a context where violence, alcohol and drug abuse, rampant poverty, and AIDS reign supreme, train surfing symbolizes the search for social redemption that will never come for the characters of this story.

2ND PRIZE SHORT FEATURE
Silent Night: The Kandahar Massacre
The Kandahar Massacre is considered the most severe war crime by a member of the U.S. Armed Forces since the Vietnam War. In the early morning hours of 11 March 2012, U.S. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians in villages near the military camp where he was based. On 5 June 2013, Staff Sgt. Bales pleaded guilty to the 16 murders and six attempted murders in a deal to avoid the death penalty and was later sentenced to life in prison by a military court – to the disappointment of many survivors and their relatives. ‘Silent Night’ is a documentary that moves the focus away from the suspect and tells the story of the victims who lost their closest relatives in the night of Bales’ rampage.

3RD PRIZE SHORT FEATURE
Calcio Storico
The Calcio Fiorentino is an early form of football, originally played only by the aristocracy. Currently, a Calcio Fiorentino tournament is held every year, on the third week of June at the La Santa Croce square in Florence, Italy. Four teams play against each other to the finals that take place every year on 24 June, the day of San Giovanni, the patron saint of Florence. This historic game had not been played for 200 years until the tradition was revived in the 1930’s.

04_Witnessing Gezi

1ST PRIZE LONG FEATURE
Witnessing Gezi
‘Witnessing Gezi’ was created with the recordings of photojournalist Emin Özmen who witnessed the protests against the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. Subsequently, the protests sparked supporting strikes across Turkey turning into a resistance movement of great importance for the country. ‘Witnessing Gezi’ shows the human aspect of this civil resistance, a crucial event of the last 30 years in Turkey.

2ND PRIZE LONG FEATURE
Hers to Lose
Christine C. Quinn, once the front-runner in the New York mayoral race, lost in the Democratic primary. A behind-the-scenes film captures the campaign’s final month.

 3RD PRIZE LONG FEATURE
Swan Song
When Marilyn is diagnosed with dementia at age 58, her daughters refocused their lives to care for her during her most precious years. They try to balance it all until they are forced to make a heartbreaking decision. The film grew out of a project commissioned by the Neighborhood Centers Inc. to profile the organization’s work in the city of Houston, Texas.

07_A Short History of the Highrise

1ST PRIZE INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY
A Short History of the Highrise
‘A Short History of the Highrise’ is an interactive documentary that explores the 2,500-year global history of vertical living and the issue of social equality in an increasingly urbanized world. The centerpiece of the project is four short films. The interactive experience incorporates the films and, like a visual accordion, allows viewers to dig deeper into the project’s themes through additional archival materials, text and microgames.

 2ND PRIZE INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY
NSA Files: Decoded
In a series of investigative stories based on top-secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents leaked by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, The Guardian US revealed the vast scale and scope of domestic and international surveillance programs, the close relationship between technology companies and intelligence agencies, and how technology is leading to widespread, indiscriminate and routine mass collection of telephone and internet data of millions of people.

3RD PRIZE INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY
Hollow
‘Hollow’ is an interactive documentary and community participatory project that examines the issues of shrinking in rural North America through the eyes and voices of those living in McDowell County, West Virginia. ‘Hollow’ combines video portraits, data visualizations, photography, soundscapes, community-generated content and grassroots mapping to bring these stories to life through an online experience.

You can view all of the winners here: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/multimedia-gallery/2014-multimedia-contest.
You can also find downloadable and embeddable video interviews with the jury members for each of the winning productions on the World Press Photo Vimeo account and here: http://www.worldpressphoto.org/2014-multimedia-contest

Lead Photo Credit: Co de Kruijf