Winners of the 2017 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest


Next to the renowned press photography contest, the World Press Photo Foundation also runs a competition focused on digital storytelling. The contest, previously known as the Multimedia Contest, rewards those producing the best forms of visual journalism enabled by digital technologies and the spread of the Internet. The contest is open to digital storytellers, visual journalists and producers, with submissions that include the work of a professional visual journalist.

“This year, the entries in the Immersive Digital Storytelling Category were very strong, diverse and ambitious,” – says Katerina Cizek, chair of the Immersive Storytelling category. – “The projects also ranged widely in scale and scope. Because of this, the jury deliberated on how to weigh and balance the diverse qualities of the projects, and agreed on the criteria of: excellence in visual storytelling, importance and originality of reporting, innovation in immersivity and depth of social relevance. We ultimately agreed upon three winners, who each excel in their own ways, exemplifying distinct developments in our emerging field.”

“This is a rapidly evolving media format in its early stages,” – adds DJ Clark, chair of the Short Form category. – “We need people to push the boundaries and experiment. It won’t always work, but when it does, it stands out.”

Winners of the 2017 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest are:


1. The Dig 

The Dig_02

Synopsis: You know how you feel about politics, religion, and other issues, but do you know how you feel about the changing landscape of human relationships? Things like trans-sexuality, co-parenting and cyborgs, to name a few. The Dig explores the future of relationships using interactive audiovisual elements, placing the viewer at the centre of the experience to explore and discover their own feelings in this world of rapidly transforming human relations. Piece by piece, a couple’s relationship jigsaw is revealed. The more elements you see, the more you know. In the end, you can decide what you think the couple should do, and in doing so you learn something about yourself. The stories of simple questions about complex problems are told through beautiful cinematography and frank interviews with the people involved.

Topaz Adizes, Executive Director, Creative Director
Mike Knowlton, Executive Director, Creative Director, Creative Technologist
Carla Tramullas, Creative Director, UX Designer
Julia Gorbach, Creative Director
Mark Harris, Creative Director, Creative Technologist
Joe Wheeler, UX Designer
Olivier H. Beauchesne, Data Visualisation

Season 1:
Julia Gorbach, Director, Producer, Additional Camera & Sound
Carla Tramullas, Director, Cinematographer
Dane Benko, Editor
Nicholas D’Agostino, Editor
Mériem Dehbi-Talbot, Associate Producer
Grace Larkin, Associate Producer
Julius Bowditch, Associate Producer
Paige Polk, Associate Producer
Hans Lueders, Associate Producer

The Skin Deep + Murmur

2. The Fine Line: Simone Biles Gymnastics (Team: Rodrigo de Benito Sanz, Producer; Alicia DeSantis, Producer; Alexandra Garcia, Producer, Video Editor; Mika Gröndahl, Producer, Graphics; Evan Grothjan, Producer, Graphics; Taige Jensen, Producer, Video Editor, Color, Audio; Yuliyah Parshina-Kottas, Producer, Graphics; Bedel Saget, Producer, Reporter, Videographer; Joe Ward, Producer, Reporter, Videographer; Larry Buchanan, Reporter, Videographer; Leslye Davis, Reporter, Videographer, Photographer; Juliet Macur, Reporter; Meghean Felling, Video Editor; Ben Laffin, Color; Jeremy White, Graphics; Michael Cordero, Audio; Gregg Matthews, Photographer; Wilson Andrews, Contributing Producer; Danny DeBelius, Contributing Producer; Alexandra Eaton, Contributing Producer; Grant Gold, Contributing Producer; Steve Duenes, Supervising Producer. Organisation: The New York Times)
3. The Injustice System (Team:Ed Pilkington, Chief Reporter; Laurence Mathieu-Leger, Senior Video Producer; Kenan Davis, Interactive Editor; Rich Harris, Interactive Editor; Nadja Popovich, Interactive Editor; Kenton Powell, Interactive Editor. Organisation: The Guardian US)


1. A New Age of Walls

New Age of Walls_01

In Nogales (AZ, USA) a fence runs along the US–Mexico border. The debate over extending the wall on the US-Mexico border was a noisy centrepiece in the 2016 presidential election.

Synopsis: A generation ago, globalisation shrank the world. Nations linked by trade and technology began to erase old boundaries. But now barriers are rising again, driven by waves of migration, spillover from wars and the growing threat of terrorism. To examine this global phenomenon, the Washington Post produced Raising Barriers, a three-part multimedia project that takes viewers to 8 countries across 3 continents exploring the divisions between countries and peoples.

Zoeann Murphy, Video Reporter
Anthony Faiola, Berlin Bureau Chief
Reem Akkad, Senior Video Producer
Kat Downs Mulder, Graphics Director
Kevin Schaul, Graphics Editor
Douglas Jehl, Foreign Editor
Samuel Granados, Senior Graphics Editor

The Washington Post

2. The Waypoint (Team: Zoeann Murphy, Video Reporter; Samuel Granados, Senior Graphics Editor; Emily Chow, Assignment Editor, Story Design; Kevin Schaul, Graphics Editor; Kat Downs, Graphics Director; Griff Witte, London Bureau Chief. Organisation: The Washington Post)
3. Future Cities (TeamYvonne Brandwijk, Director, Photographer, Video; Stephanie Bakker, Director, Writer, Reporter; Maaike Holvast, Video Editor; Sara Kolster, Interactive Design; Martijn Pantlin, Development; Hay Kranen, Development; Edgar Vijgeboom, Development; Casper van Deuveren, Sound Design; Ivo Schmetz, Visual Design. Organisation: Future Cities)


1. Claressa


Synopsis: In 2012, 17-year-old Claressa ‘T-Rex’ Shields from Flint (MI, USA) became the first woman ever to win the gold medal in Olympic boxing. This short film picks up with Claressa in 2015. She’s still living in Flint and has received no sponsorships or endorsements from her historic victory in the 2012 London Olympics. Now she’s faced with a difficult decision: does she continue on with how things are and hope for the best or does she leave behind her family, her gym and everything she knows in pursuit of her career?

Zackary Canepari, Director
Carter Gunn, Editor
Christopher ISenberg, Producer
Christopher Gary, Producer
Drea Cooper, Producer
Sue Jaye Johnson, Producer, Cinematography, Additional Interviews
Sophia Rose, Cinematography
Jessica Dimmock, Cinematography
Mo Scarpelli, Cinematography
Matthew Joynt, Original Music
Nate Sandberg, Original Music
Gregg White, Coloring
Brian Susko, Sound Mix
Lindsey Phillips, Additional Editing

Co-produced by Great Big Story and Victory Journal

2. Trapped (Team: Nikos Pilos, Producer, Journalist, Videographer and Director; Arsinoi Pilou, Second Unit Camera; Natasha Blatsiou, Script; Pantelis Liakopoulos, Video Editor; Orestis Kamperidis, Music Sound Designer)
3. How China Is Changing Your Internet (Team: Jonah Kessel, Director, Writer, Video, Graphics, Editing; Paul Mozur, Writer, Video, Graphics, Editing; Sarah Li, Production Assistance. Organisation: The New York Times)


1. When the Spirit Moves

When the Spirit Moves_01

Synopsis: Chester (PA, USA), a small town in the United States just south of the city of brotherly love, has a rich history and strong African American heritage that dates back to the 1600’s. In the early 1960’s, the town experienced an industrial collapse and the subsequent economic meltdown still affects residents of Chester today. The domino effect of pervasive socio-economic issues and a long history of government corruption have revealed a microcosm of the structural inequalities that plague American society. In the 1980’s, the local governmental bodies around Chester redrew the zoning maps, effectively excluding the city from the surrounding affluent, predominately white, school districts. This exclusivity forced countless budget cuts causing seven educational bodies to close in Chester since 2000. In 2013, the school district’s graduation rate was 56 percent, a stark contrast to the national average. This predominantly African American populated city, where education is not adequately available, has a murder rate 18 times the national average. While Chester has one of the nation’s highest homicide rates, it has a far lower-than-average clearance rate. Chester has become a place where you can get away with murder. When the Spirit Moves explores the parallels between a lack of education for youth and the ever-rising crime rate in Chester. It is determined to disprove the popular perception of Chester. This is not a forgotten town. These lives are not expendable and Chester is not a place where you can get away with murder.

Justin Maxon, Director, Cinematographer
Jared Moossy, Director, Cinematographer

This year, 282 productions were submitted to the contest: 135 Short Form, 54 Long Form, 62 Immersive Storytelling and 31 Innovative Storytelling.

Winners in each category will receive a diploma and a Golden Eye Award, presented during the annual Awards Ceremony. The prize-winning projects are assembled into an exhibition that travels to selected locations.

More info and gallery of all the winners @


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