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International Photo Competition Hits Wellington

Prestigious International Photo Competition Hits Wellington

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The capital will host the world's premier press photography exhibition next week. The World Press Photo Exhibition attracts the best talent in the field of photojournalism. This year almost 4,500 professional photographers from 122 countries entered 83,044 images into the exhibition. The 200 best photographs are compiled into a travelling exhibition that visits 85 venues in over 40 countries annually.

These images depict the major global events of 2005 and are showcased in Wellington for three weeks beginning Friday June 16th.

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Among the photographs on show is Canadian photographer, Finbarr O'Reilly's winning entry that shows a highly emotive image of the emaciated fingers of a one-year-old child pressed against the lips of his mother at an emergency feeding clinic in Niger. A devastating swarm of locusts and the worst drought in decades left millions of people short of food in the African state. The picture was taken in Tahoua, northwestern Niger, on 1 August 2005.

The New Zealand Netherlands Foundation is bringing the event to Wellington for the fifth time.

The exhibition will be at Shed 11, Jervios Quay, Wellington Waterfront from Friday June 16th to Sunday July 9th, 10am to 5pm daily. Entry is $2.

The event has reached the height of popularity in that hundreds of people line the streets on the last Sunday of the exhibition to get in before closing time. World Press Photo encourages the public to get in quick in order not to miss out.

World Press Photo is supported by an innovative campaign created by Wellington advertising agency, Clemenger BBDO. Creative teams were so moved by the images that they sent out invitations to the World Press Photo Opening Function in Wellington to over 70 world leaders including President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Vice President Dick Cheney and Prime Minister John Howard.

The campaign urges the public to see the photos that the world leaders should be seeing. So far they have received sixteen letters of decline (including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Tony Blair) and no acceptances. A multi-media campaign including print, outdoor, and radio depict their efforts to get the world leaders to the exhibition. Actual response letters will be displayed in key bus shelter sites in the Wellington Railway Station, Oriental Bay and Kelburn Parade.

The Opening Function is being held on Thursday 15th June at 5.30pm at Shed 11 and will feature guest speaker, Jon Stephenson, an award winning foreign correspondent.

Jon has reported on conflicts from Afghanistan to Israel and was the only New Zealand journalist to report on the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. He has worked as a producer in Baghdad and Gaza with Mike McRoberts and also covered the 2004 Asian tsunami and last year's earthquake in Pakistan. He will share his experiences in reporting on world events in Iraq, London and the rest of the world.

ENDS

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