Canon announces the Grand Prize winners for its New Cosmos of Photography 2017 (40th edition) photo competition

London, 13 November, 2017—Mr Trond Ansten (Norway) & Mr Benjamin Breitkopf (Germany), for their work “17 toner hvitt,” were declared the Grand Prize winners of Canon’s New Cosmos of Photography 2017 (40th edition) photo competition at a public meeting of the Grand Prize selection committee held at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum on Friday, 10 November.

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Grand Prize winners Trond Ansten & Benjamin Breitkopf’s entry, “17 toner hvitt”

The New Cosmos of Photography accepted entries for the 2017 competition from 20 April to 15 June. In addition to conventional photo prints, the range of eligible entries was expanded in 2015 to include online submissions of digital works (stills and videos), attracting 1,705 submissions from individuals and groups both inside and outside Japan. From those entrants seven Excellence Award winners and 11 Honourable Mention Award winners were selected by the Excellence Award Selection Committee. The Excellence Award winners, as Grand Prize candidates, attended a public meeting of the Grand Prize selection committee held on 10 November. Each candidate gave a presentation and faced questioning by the selection committee, after which the committee convened and chose Mr Ansten and Mr Breitkopf as the Grand Prize winners.

In addition to ¥1 million in prize money, Mr Ansten and Mr Breitkopf were awarded a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens kit and the right to hold an exhibit of new work at the New Cosmos of Photography 2018 Tokyo Exhibition to be held in the autumn of next year. Details of the Grand Prize public selection committee meeting will be made available on the New Cosmos of Photography website. The New Cosmos of Photography 2017 Tokyo Exhibition of Excellence Award winners, including Grand Prize winners Mr Ansten and Mr Breitkopf, and Honourable Mention Award winners will continue until 19 November (Sunday) at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.

The New Cosmos of Photography is Canon’s cultural support project to discover, nurture, and support new photographers who pursue new possibilities in creative photographic expression. The annual contest, launched in 1991, has been open to the public regardless of the age or nationality of entrants or the number or format of entered works. As such, the contest encourages the creation of original works that push the boundaries of photography’s potential and systematically assists and nurtures award winners through exhibitions and published collections of their winning works as well as through publicity on the New Cosmos of Photography website. To date, the New Cosmos of Photography contest has accepted 27,406 entries from both individuals and groups, and has turned out a great number of outstanding photographers who are enjoying widespread success around the world. As a result, the contest has come to be regarded today as a gateway to success for new photographers.

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Grand Prize winners Trond Ansten (right) and Benjamin Breitkopf (left)

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The seven Excellence Award-winning groups and individuals

About the winning entry
“The people who appear in this film essay, which is also a work of art, are attempting to resolve the contradictions in their existence and to find some kind of meaning, through snow and cod, and occasionally through bizarre means. This film serves as a metaphor, with both documentation aspects and dramatic aspects, and takes up the question of what is today’s Arctic and the issue of managing resources in a region of rising geopolitical tensions.”

Comments from the Grand Prize winner
Asked about their thoughts on receiving the award, Mr Ansten and Mr Breitkopf said, “We’ve not expected to get the New Cosmos of Photography in ‘moving still image.’ We find this surprising and we want to say thank you to all the team members who are included to make this happen.”

Comments from the selection committee
The following is a comment from Ms Hiraki Sawa, a member of the selection committee who selected Mr Ansten and Mr Breitkopf’s work at the Excellence Award selection stage: “This year, Mr Ansten and Mr Breitkopf were chosen as the Grand Prize winners at a public meeting of the Grand Prize selection committee. When I saw their work, it really caught my eye and I could sense they had a high level of talent as artists. What’s more, the flow of their images and their editing techniques were superb and produced excellent results. Going forward, I would like to see them put out new works one after another.”