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Showcase report 1

Flash needed

Visa pour l’Image 2010 draws the crowds

Visa pour l'Image 2010 draws the crowds

The 18-metre high print hanging in the Eglise des Dominicains in central Perpignan features 84 of Michael Nichols' images of a 300-foot tree in California's Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park stitched together. © Dan Kendall.

There was excitement and expectation last night as the 22nd Visa pour l'Image international festival of photojournalism kicked off at Hotel Pams with much of the talk focused on inspiring the next generation of photographers, and the launch today of Transmission pour l'Image - more of that below.

The exhibitions are expected to attract around 200,000 visitors this year, with thousands of photographers, agents, publishers and others attending during the Pro Week (30 August to 5 September).

The festival's traditional opening drinks party at Hotel Pams was the first chance of the week for photographers and dozens of leading figures from the photo industry to mix and chat. CPN met people from many countries including Italy, Japan, France, Spain, Argentina, USA, Canada and elsewhere.

Jean-François Leroy, director of Visa pour l'Image, said that Perpignan was the best place in the world to meet the best photographers: "This year we have seven people exhibiting for the first time, and we also have Bill Allard, 'Nick' Nichols and William Klein. So this is the place to be."

Monica Allende, the Picture Editor at The Sunday Times Magazine, told CPN that the festival was the Mecca for photojournalists and that it was important to have this kind of face-to-face contact with photographers: "We can catch up with their new projects and ideas, and work we could be doing with them in the future."

Gianmarco Maraviglia, General Manager of the Parallel Zero agency based in Milan, explained: "For me it's now more important to be here because it's about stories and storytelling, and that's what I like."

David Brulotte, from the Stigmat Photo agency based in Quebec, Canada, told CPN: "Visa pour l'Image has been an inspiration for us and we are now organising the first photojournalism conference in Quebec, which has government funding. It will launch in November this year."

Veteran photographer Kazuyoshi Nomachi from Japan is exhibiting this year with 'A Photographer's Pilgramage' and was visiting Perpignan for the first time. He told CPN: "It's a great opportunity for me to have an exhibition here."

CPN will be blogging and publishing filmed interviews from Perpignan each day this week, so look out for our regular updates.

Transmission pour l’Image launches

Transmission pour l'Image launches

Monica Allende, Picture Editor of The Sunday Times Magazine, talks to young photographers at the first Transmission pour l’Image session in the Palais des Congrès. © Dan Kendall.

Visa pour l'Image today launched an ambitious educational initiative aimed at passing on knowledge and experience to the next generation of photojournalists.

Transmission pour l'Image aims to strengthen the links between emerging photographers and those who are more established, along with key industry figures such as picture editors.

For the past 21 years Visa pour l'Image has been a focal point for the industry - a place to see the best photojournalism and share knowledge. Transmission pour l'image now puts this on a more formal footing. This morning a small group of emerging photographers began a series of lectures over three days by six leading lights in the business: Monica Allende, Picture Editor at The Sunday Times Magazine, and photographers Michael Nichols (National Geographic), Jérôme Delay (Associated Press), Samuel Bollendorff (Oeil Public), Pierre Terdjman and Olivier Laban-Mattei.

The young photographers applied to the festival organizers to take part and those selected were invited to attend the lectures at a cost of €500.

Lucas Menget, a journalist for France 24 and a leading mover behind Transmission pour l'Image, told CPN: "We discovered that 45% of the people who came to Perpignan last year were newcomers. These young photographers don't know the older ones and most of the time don't dare to speak to them."

He added that they were also aiming to "transmit" some of values and ethics that are shared by the organisers of Visa pour l'Image to these emerging talents.

"We have invited very different types of photographers (to give the lectures), which is what we wanted. For instance, Nichols is at National Geographic, Pierre is now doing a huge story on the crisis and poverty in Israel, and Jérôme is the chief photographer for AP for all of Africa."

The organisers emphasised that the initiative was just beginning and would grow in the future.