VJ Villafranca, DPJ class 2008, has won a slot in the World Press Photo’s 2013 Joop Swart Masterclass. He is the first Filipino photographer to be selected for the annual event, reputably among the most prestigious of its kind.
Villafranca will join 11 other young men and women photographers from 10 countries – one of them from Vietnam – for the six-day masterclass meeting on November 2 to 8 in Amsterdam.
Michiel Munneke, World Press Photo executive director, made the announcement during the opening of the 2013 World Press Photo Exhibit in Amsterdam, April 26.
The masterclass is the second of two top international photography honors won by Villafranca. In 2008, while taking the DPJ, he won the London-based Ian Parry Scholarship award, the first Filipino to do so. His DPJ photo essay documenting the lives of gang members of the “Chinese Mafia Crew” living in Manila’s Baseco compound won him the award. The photo essay is one of six photo essays in ACFJ’s traveling exhibit “Asian News in Pictures.”
“Hope” is the theme of the photo essays to be produced in this year’s masterclass. The photographers will interact with six prominent experts to discuss technical and visual aspects of their work, as well as their role as a photographer, according to a World Press Photo announcement.
The 2013 masterclass members were culled from 174 candidates from 54 countries whose portfolios were screened by an international jury composed of Els Barents (the Netherlands), director Huis Marseille museum for photography; Manoocher Deghati (France/Iran), Middle East photo manager The Associated Press; Silvia Omedes (Spain), curator and director at Photographic Social Vision Foundation; Paolo Patrizi (Italy), photographer; and Larry Towell (Canada), photographer Magnum Photos.
The Joop Swart Masterclass is named after World Press Photo’s late chairman, an ardent supporter of young photographic talent.
The Diploma in Photojournalism (DPJ) has been offered by ACFJ since 2006. It was developed under a grant from World Press Photo which also helped developed ACFJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism launched in 2011.