The World Photography Awards is an ambitious undertaking styled after the Cannes Film Festival. It plans to hold annual events to honor the best in photography from around the world.
Following the Cannes Film Festival template, the WPA will be held every year during the month of April in Cannes, France. The first WPA awards night is scheduled for April 24, 2008.
For the inaugural year, the World Photography Academy will comprise of over one hundred of the most respected photographers, critics, picture editors, gallerists and other industry leaders, including Phil Stern (US), Terry Oâ€™ Neil (UK), Chien-Chi (China), Sylvia Plachy (Hungary), Carl de Keyzer (Belgium) and Esko Mannikko (Finland).
Members of the academy will form the judging panel for the awards, and winners will automatically gain membership to the academy. The academy will be governed by the Honorary Board which comprises of eleven members, including Tom Stoddart, Mary Ellen Mark, Bruce Davidson, Martin Parr, Elliott Erwitt, Susan Meiselas and Stephen Cohen. These eleven board members will represent the academy, promoting excellence within photography and setting the standard for award selections.
Beginning this October, photographers both professional and amateur will be invited to submit work to be judged in the eleven different categories. From this the academy will nominate a shortlist of photographers who will then be invited to attend the awards ceremony. The shortlist will be announced in February 2008.
Sony is the main sponsor of the WPA.