The FORMAT Open Call is now closed
Thank you for your submission. Winners will be announced at the end of October. More information regarding the festival in Derby which will run from 24th March to 23rd April 2017 will be available soon.
For the 2017 edition of FORMAT we are looking for submissions that explore the theme of HABITAT through varied narratives and imagery that document the worlds around us. We hope that through the theme you will share with us the experiences and stories that coalesce as we negotiate our complex existence, including the flora, fauna, landscapes and the lives within.
Rapid changes in the environment, industry, technology, wars, migration and climate are accelerating at such unprecedented rates that the human impact on the Earth has pushed us into a new cultural geological epoch or era known as the Anthropocene. With tangible impacts of these changes being recorded in the atmosphere, lands, plants, oceans, humanity and wildlife, we are interested in the effect, solutions and conditions of this state that we are in, on micro and macro levels worldwide.
We are open to see a wide range of projects exploring HABITAT, which will look broadly at landscape, environment, mobility, migrations, digital worlds, ideas of home and displacement, conflict and regeneration and all the spaces that we live in including work that considers our short or long term impact on the world locally and internationally.
We are looking for a wide variety of works for presentation in the festival, from long term researched documentary, multimedia, archive, installation, interventions, publications, fictions, interactive, performance, participatory, mobile, narrative and all kinds of conceptual works all rooted in photography in diverse ways. We want you to challenge and respond to the theme in as many inventive ways as you can imagine.
A number of great awards are available including the FORMAT17 exhibition opportunities shown below. Each submission costs $43 (approx. £30*)
For the FORMAT17 Open Call we are proud to be working in partnership with LensCulture, one of the world’s largest online destinations for contemporary photography. You are invited to use LensCulture’s submission platform to apply for the FORMAT17 Open Call to be eligible to exhibit your work at FORMAT in 2017 and receive a free Submission Review of your work from LensCulture’s team of over 100 industry professionals.
*dependent on exchange rate.
FORMAT Festival is one of my Top 3 festivals worldwide. Working with the team has been a pleasure as an exhibiting artist. Visiting the festival twice for portfolio reviews has provided valuable contacts and led to reviews, festival participation and exhibitions in the long run. Get ready for loads of fun in the festival programme.Boris Eldagsen (Germany), exhibitor FORMAT15
FORMAT is great - fabulous photography, brilliant people, masses to see and do. I had a great time in Derby last year and thoroughly enjoyed participating though the Open Call - I was able to showcase a series of images that hadn’t been exhibited elsewhere, in a new context, alongside colleagues’ work which I might not otherwise have collaborated with.Lottie Davies (UK), exhibitor FORMAT15
Exhibiting at FORMAT was a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the best people in the contemporary photography world, from fellow artists, to leading international curators. Being selected meant that my work was exhibited, seen and toured. FORMAT is overall one of the best and more accessible of the contemporary Photo Festivals to be involved with. Clear systems, great launch days, discussion forums and solid support from the team throughout.Martina Cleary (Ireland), exhibitor FORMAT15
FORMAT 2017 launches on 23rd March and the festival takes place between 24th March – 23rd April 2017.
FORMAT International Photography Festival was established in 2004 and is the UK’s leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media. FORMAT organises a year round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally.
The 2015 festival welcomed over 100,000 visitors from all over the world. The biennale and off year programmes celebrate the wealth of contemporary photographic practice. We love photography and all its expanded fields, our programmes feature everything from major conceptual works, participatory projects, documentary and all that falls between categorisations, from the mobile phone to the archive. We are concerned with what is happening right here, right now in the scene and beyond, whilst sharing and contributing to it. FORMAT is the place to engage with an incredible range of new work together alongside some of the best-known practitioners in the world. FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be, with comprehensive professional practice programmes and a yearly International Photography Portfolio Review.
The biennale edition incorporates over 30 of Derby’s most beautiful buildings and key landmarks including: QUAD, University of Derby, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Deda, Derwent Valley World Heritage Sites, Market Place and satellite venues in nearby cities.
FORMAT is Directed by Louise Clements, organised by QUAD and the University of Derby. Supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and multiple partners from the UK and around the world.
Yumi Goto is an independent photography curator, editor, researcher and educator who focuses on the development of cultural exchanges that transcend borders. She collaborates with local and international artists who work in areas affected by conflict, natural disasters, social problems, human rights abuses and women¹s issues. She often works with human rights advocates, international and local NGOs, humanitarian organizations and is a nominator and juror for international photographic organizations, festivals and events. She is now based in Tokyo and is a co-founder and curator of the Reminders Photography Stronghold.
Kalero was the Founder and Director of the magazine OjodePez in Spain. Whilst in India, he Cofounded and Directed the magazine Punctum, and cofounded the Goaphoto Festival. He has curated many exhibitions and festivals including Getxophoto Festival, Spain from 2010-2012, and was the Artistic Director of the Photography Biennial PhotoQuai, Paris, in 2013 and 2015.
Kalero has also been a resident at Benettonʼs Fabrica, Italy. He has taught masterclasses internationally, including at the Joop Swart Masterclass by World Press Photo, and was Chairman of the jury at Pride Photo Award, both in Amsterdam. He is an adviser to the Wyng Masters Award, in Hong Kong. Currently he is working on developing the storytelling platform, Screen, in New York.
Dewi Lewis & Caroline Warhurst
Dewi Lewis Publishing is a partnership owned and run by Caroline Warhurst and Dewi Lewis. Founded in 1994, it has an international reputation and its list has included books by leading British and international photographers such as William Klein, Martin Parr, Simon Norfolk, Fay Godwin, Tom Wood, Sergio Larrain, Frank Horvat, John Blakemore, Paolo Pelegrin and Bruce Gilden. The aim of the company is to bring to the attention of a wider public, accessible but challenging contemporary photography by both established and lesser known practitioners. The company has a worldwide distribution network and publishes around 20 new titles each year. Dewi Lewis Publishing has worked in close collaboration with a number of European publishers and, in 1994. was a founding member of The European Publishers Award for Photography - the Award is currently under review. In November 2009 Dewi Lewis was awarded the inaugural Royal Photographic Society Award for Outstanding Services to Photography and in April 2012 he was awarded the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing. In 2014 Dewi Lewis Publishing received the PHotoEspana’s prize for Outstanding Publishing House of the Year.
Brian Griffin was a freelance photographer from 1972, working on magazines such as Rolling Stone, Esquire, Tatler and The Sunday Times, together with working extensively on album covers for such artists as Iggy Pop, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode and Kate Bush. In 1987 awarded the Freedom of the City of Arles in France and in 1989 declared by the Guardian as the “Photographer of the Decade”. Produced a book and exhibition for the Royal Opening of St. Pancras Station and High Speed 1 in 2007. Launched “Road To 2012” the largest photography project to be undertaken by the National Portrait Gallery in 2009 for the London Olympics. In 2010 a major retrospective of his portraiture took place in Birmingham, followed by an exhibition centered around his early life in the Black Country was shown in Paris. This resulted in publishing his autobiography “The Black Kingdom” in 2013. Recently produced a series of portraits for “Reference Works”, to open the New Library of Birmingham. Also in 2013 awarded the honorary position of professor at the University of Derby and the “Centenary Medal” for a lifetime of achievement in photography by the Royal Photographic Society. In 2014 he received a Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University. In 2016, Griffin had his first solo exhibition, Capitalist Realism, in the USA at Steven Kasher Gallery in NYC (Image credit Ashley Franklin).
Fiona studied at Surrey Institute of Art & Design, beginning her career in photography at a London gallery in 2004. She moved to Magnum Photos in 2005, and until mid-2014 worked as the Cultural & Education Manager, creating Magnum’s global Education department in 2006. Fiona has extensive experience as a project manager, producing global exhibitions, cultural projects, and photographic assignments for a variety of clients. In late 2014 she became Global Business Development Manager for Magnum Photos International, working to implement new business revenues and strategic partnerships.
Fiona is also the founder of Firecracker, a platform supporting female photographers. In 2012, Firecracker launched an annual grant, offered to photographers to complete a long-term documentary photography project.
Sheyi Bankale is Curator of Next Level Projects and Editor of Next Level magazine. Next Level is one of Europe’s seminal art photography magazines with a dynamic mix of photography as contemporary art. The publication features a diverse range of the world’s most influential photo artists. It aims to bring awareness and debate to contemporary culture, showcasing and celebrating artists, across various disciplines and alongside inspiring, provocative and critical writing. Sheyi Bankale’s wealth of experience is well received by his peers and frequently acts as panelist, judge and nominator for The Art Foundation, Google Photography Prize, CONTACT Photography Festival BMW Prize, The Prix Pictet and Next Level Awards. He is Visiting Professor of Photography at the University of Derby and has lectured on ‘Photography as Contemporary Art’ internationally, including at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Sheyi Bankale is renowned for his curatorial work in recent years at Next Level Projects as well as Guest Curator for Saatchi Art’s Special Guest Curator Programme and the 2015 Curator for the prestigious Photo 50 exhibition at the London Art Fair.
Alexa Becker (*1974) holds an MA in art history and is the Acquisitions Editor for photography and art books for Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg (Germany). She sits on various juries and participates as a frequent reviewer in international photo festivals and their review programs, including FORMAT Festival. She advises photographers on the procedure of book publishing and on their artistic work in general. Becker initiated the Trouvés series at Kehrer Verlag, which presents handmade limited books and related objects.
Simon Bainbridge is a London-based writer, editor and curator specialising in photography. For the past 12 years he has served as editor of the monthly British Journal of Photography, the world’s longest running photo magazine, established in 1854, along with its digital editions.
In 2010 he co-curated Paper, Rock, Scissors: The Constructed Image in New British Photography at Toronto’s Flash Forward festival. And in 2011 he curated Time & Motion Studies: New Documentary Photography Beyond the Decisive Moment at Hereford Photography Festival. He has been a judge or nominator for numerous awards, including the Deutsche Börse Prize, Prix Pictet and Hasselblad Award, and he has worked with education institutions including The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and École cantonale d’art de Lausanne.
Erik Kessels is a Dutch artist, designer and curator with great interest in photography. Since 1996, Erik Kessels has been the Creative Director of communications agency KesselsKramer in Amsterdam and works for national and international clients such as Nike, Diesel, J&B Whisky, Oxfam, Citizen M and The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. Kessels has published over 50 books of his 're-appropriated' images: Missing Links (1999), The Instant Men (2000), in almost every picture (2001-2015) and Wonder (2006).
Kessels writes regular editorials for numerous international magazines. Kessels made and curated exhibitions such as Loving Your Pictures, Use me Abuse me, 24HRS of Photos, Album Beauty and Unfinished Father . He also co-curated an exhibition called From Here on together with Martin Parr, Joachim Schmid, Clement Cheroux and Joan Fontuberta. In 2010 Kessels was awarded with the Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, in 2015 for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize and is often seen as the most influential creative of The Netherlands.
Christine Eyene is an art historian and curator. She is a Guild Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire where she works on Making Histories Visible, an interdisciplinary visual arts research project led by Professor Lubaina Himid. She is a doctoral student at Birkbeck, University of London, with Professor Annie E. Coombes, and is writing a thesis on South African photographer George Hallett. She is also the Artistic Director of the upcoming Cameroonian photography project YaPhoto, developed in Yaounde with artist and curator Landry Mbassi. Her recent exhibitions include: Murder Machine, Ormston House, Limerick, part of EVA International 2016; Curators’ Series #8: All Of Us Have A Sense Of Rhythm, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2015); Residual: Traces of the Black Body part of FORMAT Festival 2015, New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2015); WHERE WE’RE AT! Other Voices on Gender, part of Summer of Photography 2014, BOZAR, Brussels (2014); 3rd Photoquai Biennial, Paris (2011). Christine has been nominator for Prix Pictet and Hasselblad Award. She also sits on the committee of Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (Frac), Reunion Island.
Peggy Sue Amison
Peggy Sue Amison is Artistic Director for East Wing - a platform for photography based in Dubai, UAE. As a curator, writer, strategist, mentor and photographic consultant, Peggy Sue has collaborated with numerous emerging and established photographers, festivals and publications internationally. Before beginning her position at East Wing in 2014, Peggy Sue was Artistic Director of Sirius Arts Centre in Ireland (2001 – 2014) where she headed a multidisciplinary visual arts and residency programme.
Working with a wide range of visual artists, but specifically in photography, Peggy Sue has curated exhibitions in Dubai, Ireland, Berlin, Poland and China, written for various photographic publications and artist catalogues and has independently produced photographic events. She has been invited speaker, juror and critic at numerous meeting places for photography and contests.
Lars Willumeit (born 1974) is a German social anthropologist based in Zurich, Switzerland. As an independent curator, author, and photo editor, he has been working with the medium of photography in different modes since 1993. His interests lie in photography, documentarisms, regimes of representation, and visual cultures. Since the early 2000s, Willumeit has served in the capacity of photoeditor for numerous magazines, most notably for GEO magazine, in Hamburg and New York, and as photo director, from 2008–2013, for the Zurich-based Du: Die Zeitschrift der Kultur.
Between 2013 and 2015, he curated exhibitions and festival presentations for East Wing (an exhibition space and platform for photography basedin Dubai) and the FORMAT International Photography Festival in Derby; and was a contributing author to the photobook Deposit by Yann Mingard, as well as to a dictionary entitled Factory Tools, which was published within Fabrik, the catalogue of the German Pavilion (curated by Florian Ebner) at the 2015 Venice Biennale. In 2016 he was chief curator of Krakow Photomonth in Poland.
Wang Baoguo is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Chinese Photographers magazine, part of the Chinese Academy of Arts. Wang has worked as a photographer, Picture and Commissioning Editor for magazines across Asia. He is often invited to be a speaker at international conferences including- China and Spain, 1936-39: Robert Capa and the Global Popular Front, organised by Columbia University (USA) and International Center of Photography, NY. A member of several international juries including of Visa pour l’Image (France), Dali International Photography Festival, Yunnan (China), and International Photo Awards (China region, Lucie Foundation). Wang published China Through Lens of Orientalism: China in Western Photography Since 1840 (SDX Joint Publishing Company, 2016).
Louise Clements is Artistic Director of QUAD, a centre for contemporary art, film and new technologies in Derby UK, since 2001, and Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival since 2004. An independent curator since 1998, she has initiated commissions, publications, mass participation, art, film and photography exhibitions. She is a juror, portfolio reviewer, workshop leader, speaker and award nominator throughout Europe, America and Asia.
Guest curator at - Habitat Centre and Haus Khas BlowUp (Delhi, India 2012); Dong Gang Photography Festival (South Korea, 2013); Dali Photography Festival (China, 2013); Noorderlicht 20/20 (Groningen, Netherlands, 2013); Photoquai Biennale (Paris, 2015); Christophe Guye 2020vision (Switzerland 2015); Les Rencontres Arles, Discoveries (France 2015); Hamburg Photo Triennial (Container City, Germany, 2015); Obscura Festival Projections (Malaysia 2015); Venice Biennale, EM15 (2015); Slideluck Rome (Italy 2015/2016). Guest Editor/writer for OjodePez (Italy), HijackedIII (Australia), PhotoCinema (UK), South Korean Photography Magazine. Editorial team of RVM Italy, Editor at Large for 1000Words, Advisor to WYNG Master Awards Hong Kong and the Artists Pensions Trust Global.
Huw Davies is Dean of the College of Arts and Professor of Lens Media at the University of Derby. As filmmaker, photographer and curator his work has included commissions for many national and international agencies and broadcasters including; Arts Council England, Scottish Screen, BBC, Discovery Channel, Arte and Canal +, as well as being screened at international film festivals in over twenty-five countries.
Huw has an active involvement in a number of arts and cultural organizations and currently sits on the boards of QUAD, Derby Theatre, UK Young Artists and FORMAT International Photography Festival Steering Group. In 2004 he co-founded the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, based in England’s most northerly town. He was its Artistic Director until 2008 and is currently Chair of its Board of Trustees and Co-Curator.
Lola Mac Dougall
Lola Mac Dougall has a Masters in Arts Management from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and a Masters in International Cooperation from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has worked as cultural adviser for the Embassy of Spain in New Delhi and co-founded with Spanish curator Frank Kalero the contemporary photography magazine Punctum Asia. In 2015, she co-founded the international photography festival Goa Photo. In 2016, she became the Artistic Director of Travel Photo Jaipur, an annual international photography festival presenting outdoor site-specific exhibitions, that engage with the rich heritage of the pink city. Lola is a PhD candidate in Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University, working on a dissertation on Indian women photographers.
Kim Knoppers (b. 1976) is an art historian (University of Amsterdam) and curator at Foam. Since 2011, she has worked on exhibitions including Collaborate: On Artists’ Collectives, Re-Search: Alumni Rijksakademie, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Anne de Vries, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Geert Goiris, Paul Bogaers, Bertien van Manen, JH Engström, Jan Hoek, Lorenzo Vitturi, Jan Rosseel, Anika Schwarzlose and Jaya Pelupessy. Knoppers is also founder and curator of Artists’ Recipes which explores the intersection of art and food. She lives and works in Amsterdam and stays on a regular basis in Istanbul (Image credit: Bram Prins).
Currently serving as Creative Director of United Photo Industries, Sam Barzilay is also the co-founder of Photoville, a photographic gathering that has rapidly become among the largest and best-attended photography events in North America. Sam is also one of the founding producers of the Tokyo International Photography Festival, in Tokyo, Japan. Sam started his career as a photojournalist before joining the administrative staff of photo agency VII Photo in Paris, France.
Over the past decade, he has worked alongside some of the best and brightest minds in the global photographic community in pursuit of developing new audiences for photography and devising methods of presentation that further amplify the power of photographic story-telling in support of increased public awareness and social change. He currently serves as nominator for the prestigious Prix Pictet award in photography and sustainability and has served as juror, nominator, and reviewer for Les Rencontres d’Arles, Houston FotoFest, the New York Times Portfolio Reviews, the Google Photography Prize, the SilverEye Fellowship, the FotoVisura Grant, and numerous others. He regularly lectures worldwide on current trends in contemporary photography.
Every application in to the FORMAT17 Open Call will receive a number of opportunities including a LensCulture Submission Review and your work seen by our curators with a chance to be selected as a feature in the FORMAT Online Gallery
All submissions to the FORMAT17 Open Call will be considered for a great range of awards and opportunities including exhibitions at FORMAT17, exposure to our international jury, cash awards, bursaries, equipment, mentoring and high quality printing or framing services
GET A FREE SUBMISSION REVIEW
For the FORMAT17 OPEN Call we are proud to be working in partnership with LensCulture, each application you make includes an optional free Submission Review.
LensCulture believes that every photographer who applies to the FORMAT17 Open Call deserves thoughtful feedback on their work. These submission reviews deliver insightful, critical feedback plus recommendations for improving your practice and preparing your work for such opportunities as competitions, grants, juried exhibitions, and other calls for entries. LensCulture has over 100 trusted and qualified educators, photo editors, curators, publishers, gallerists, and other industry professionals who provide meaningful critiques and actionable feedback on your photography. By entering the FORMAT17 open call, you will have an opportunity to receive a free submission review. LensCulture’s reviewers will provide you with: Meaningful critique of your application – what worked well and what can be improved; Personalised recommendations for improving your applications; Tips and strategies for getting your work seen in more places and more often. LensCulture has been delighted with the feedback photographers have been providing on this service:
“Giving personal submission reviews is an extraordinary gift to photographers and worth every penny of the entrance fee alone. Congratulations for staying the course, focussing on the artists and for giving us something truly valuable in return for our hard earned cash.” — Christopher Kennedy
“The review of my project, was thoughtful, honest and inspiring. Thank you to the team at LensCulture. Often, as a documentary photographer, I am working on my project alone, and I am so personally invested in it, I NEED to have someone critique and tell me what is working and most importantly what is NOT working. It means a lot to me. Thank you!” — Wendy R. Walter
“That was so incredibly helpful and insightful. I couldn’t be more thankful for the thoughtful advice and really appreciate the time that was taken to review my work. It literally just fueled my fire to keep shooting the series. A HUGE THANK YOU!!” — Shannon Rose
IMPORTANT DETAILS: Submission reviews are optional and will be sent AFTER the FORMAT17 open call deadline (it takes time to write a thoughtful review!). You need to submit your entry by 9 September, 2016 to get a free submission review, you will be contacted after the deadline.
FORMAT Online Gallery
Featured entries are selected by the FORMAT Curatorial team throughout the submission period. Note: not every submission can be shown here, but the earlier you share your work, the higher your chances of being featured.
My work was selected in 2015. It was my first time at FORMAT Festival. I knew the Festival by its reputation but going to a festival is always a surprise. This experience was enriching at different levels. First the great communication I had with the team to curate my work for exhibition. Each photographer has a different venue which ‘fits’ the work best. Seeing my prints and my film screening fulfilled all my expectations. Another highlight - the very good conditions they create for photographers and experts to meet. What’s important in a Festival is to show the work of course but what makes the journey special and unique is the exchange with other photographers and the capacity of extending the network easily. FORMAT Festival takes place in great venues, special parties and events to meet each other in a casual way! Very high-level experts are invited - FORMAT Review is also a must.Bénédicte Vanderreydt (Belgium) exhibitor FORMAT15
LensCulture is a global community of photographers and industry professionals. As one of the world’s largest online destinations for discovering contemporary photography, LensCulture also provides some of the best opportunities for global exposure, international recognition, ongoing learning and creative development. LensCulture is committed to inspiring and empowering its thriving community of over 2 million, across 145 countries and in 15 languages around the world.
FORMAT has partnered with LensCulture to give you access to this organisation who develops and fosters opportunities that help you move your photography career forward creatively and professionally. Through this partnership photographers can apply to be exhibited at FORMAT’s international photo festival in the UK, as well as gain access to many opportunities for exposure, recognition and learning through LensCulture.