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John Moore

Photo: John Moore

September 21, 2008

City News

September 25, 2008

BY LINDA DANIELE

Now in its eighth year, Reportage is one of Australia’s premier showcases for outstanding photojournalism. This year’s festival features cinematic projections, an exhibition, documentary films, panel discussions and special guest talks.

The guest curator for 2008 is internationally acclaimed Australian photographer Stephen Dupont. “As one of the founders of Reportage, my passion for the event has grown over the years,” he says.

Stephen says he is confident that the program will further establish Reportage as a pivotal event for taking photojournalism to as broad an audience as possible. “I don’t know of a more powerful medium than photography to bring us cutting edge story telling and a defining stamp on history.”

Projections, the key component of this year’s festival, is a cinematic showcase of compelling photo essays and visual narratives, from Australian and international photojournalists including John Moore (US) from Getty Images, Seamus Murphy (Ireland) and Stefano de Luigi (Italy) from the prestigious VII photo agency.

As the sole American journalist present at the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in late December 2007, John Moore provided this account of that fateful day: “She came out waving and smiling and standing up through the sun roof of her armoured car. I couldn’t believe it then and I still can’t today.

“I pushed my way back through the frenzied mob of devotees. Shoving past people to get close to her vehicle, I shot 15 frames just in front of her car, photos of her waving goodbye to her supporters. I needed to adjust my camera. In the melee, the shutter setting had been bumped down, giving the photos an unintended impressionistic look.

“I turned on my flash, but just before resetting the lens, I turned and glanced back at her car. Just then I heard three shots, which sounded as if they were fired from close to her car. I watched her drop down through the sunroof, and I raised my camera, my finger pressed down on the shutter release. Just as the camera came up in front of my face, the bomb went off.”

While enjoying considerable growth over the years, festival director Jacqui Vicario says Reportage has remained true to its grassroots philosophy of bringing outstanding photo essays to the big screen for public consumption that, for the most part, remain unseen in their entirety.

She says the festival received an “incredible spectrum of photographer’s work ranging from Cambodian gangs to Japanese manga and prostitution in Tijuana, in addition to photo-stories from around the world including West Papua, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and China.”

Reportage Festival
Projections: October 8-17
Chauvel Cinema, Cnr Oatley & Oxford Sts, Paddington
Exhibition: Human Figure by Giorgia Fiorio: October 9-26
Australian Centre for Photography, 257 Oxford Street, Paddington
Talks and Documentary Series: October 11-12
Australian Centre for Photography and Chauvel Cinema
For the full Reportage 2008 festival program visit http://www.reportage.com

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