Winners of 2018 Andrei Int’l Photo Contest bared

MOSCOW, Russia – Rossiya Segodnya Media Group has announced on August 6 the winners of the 2018 Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest.

First prize in the Top News category is Justin Sullivan (South Africa) for his image “Stand Off”, in which a police officer points his gun at poachers hiding under a table, and Luis Tato (Spain) for his photo series “Kenya's Post-Election Turmoil”.

In My Planet category, first place was awarded to Sergei Gapon from Belarus for his image “Cranberry Heart” shot from a drone, while the winning photo series was Alyona Kochetkova’s “How I Fell Ill”, in which she chronicles her dramatic struggle against cancer.

In the Sports category, the winners are Taisir Mahdi from Iraq for his photograph “The Desire for Life”, picturing a young amputee playing football, and Andrea Alai from Italy for his photo series ”Ultras” about the tifosi (fans) of Albenga Calcio club from a small town in Liguria.

In the category “Portrait. A Hero of Our Time”, Israel’s Oded Wagenstein bagged first place in singles with his image “Rosebud” showing a child from a Nenets tribe, while Iran’s Shiva Khademi won with her series “Gemini”.

According to Rossiya Segodnya’s Photo Service Director Alexander Shtol, “Every year the contest expands its geography and has more and more applicants. In 2018, we received almost 6,000 images from 77 countries around the world, setting a new record.”

“Young photo journalists have a very acute sense of what matters the most, and what is going on in the lives of people, countries, and the world in general. There were never as many images on social issues as this year,” Shtol said. “It is also pleasing to note the improving quality of submissions, as well as the fact that the contest has become so prominent within the community of photo journalists.”

Among the contest partners are the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, Shanghai United Media Group and Al Mayadeen pan-Arabic TV network.

Two Iranian photographers will receive special prizes in the Humanitarian Photograph category established by the ICRC. Omid Vahabzadeh won the prize for his image “Tehran Attack” in which a two-year-old boy is being lifted into the Iranian parliament building after the June 2017 terrorist attack in Tehran.

Younes Khani Someeh Soflaei won the prize for his series “...And Life Rises” about the everyday life of people affected by last year’s earthquake in Kermanshah Province, which killed almost 600 people and destroyed more than 30,000 buildings.

The special prize awarded by Shanghai United Media Group and Al Mayadeen TV went to Taisir Mahdi for his photograph “The Desire For Life”, which also won in the Sports category.

Magne Barth, head of ICRC’s Regional Delegation in Russia, Belarus and Moldova said photography enables people to see and feel the diversity of the world in all its beauty, complexity and tragedy.

“In the contest submissions, we see the challenges today’s world is facing, as well as its beauty. Most importantly, people are at the center of almost all images, showing their destinies, how they overcome challenges, and how they try to change life for the better. This year we awarded the ICRC special prize for photographs that tell stories of courage, patience and self-sacrifice,” Barth said.

Qiu Xin, president of the Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), said, "Rossiya Segodnya is a strategic partner of Shanghai United Media Group, the parties advance comprehensive cooperation in practice.”

Qui said SUMG has partnered with the Andrei Stenin Press Photo Contest, organized by Rossiya Segodnya, for the third time and established a special prize. The media groups will also cо-organized an exhibition in Shanghai for the winners of the photo contest.

“In four years, the Andrei Stenin Press Photo Contest has become a platform where new names in photojournalism are discovered and criteria of press photography are formulated. SUMG is happy to contribute to the professional development and success of young photojournalists,” Qui added.

Meanwhile, Ghassan bin Jiddo, head of the board of directors of Al-Mayadeen TV, said Al-Mayadуeen TV considers it to be its duty to pay tribute to the memory of the photojournalists who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty while capturing reality as it is.

“The Arabic TV channel supports the Andrei Stenin Press Photo Contest because of how sincere and at a high professional level it carries out its mission of protecting human rights of the oppressed and always shows solidarity with a person,” Jiddo said.

The full list of contest winners and runners-up is available at The awards ceremony and exhibition of the winning works will take place on November 8, when the winner of the 2018 Grand Prix will also be announced.

About the contest:

The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest was launched by Rossiya Segodnya under the aegis of the Russian Commission for UNESCO. Its main goal is to support young photographers and draw public attention to the challenges of modern photojournalism. This contest is a platform for young photographers who are talented, empathetic and open-minded, and draw our attention to people and events around us.

In 2018, the contest jury included representatives from the world’s leading news agencies: AFP (France), Anadolu Ajansi (Turkey), Notimex (Mexico), as well as world-class photographers and editors. The jury was chaired by Ahmet Sel, who is Visual News Editor in Chief for Anadolu Agency (Turkey).

The contest’s general information partners are: the news website Vesti.Ru, the Russian state Rossiya-Kultura TV channel, news website ZhurDom and the Russian Photo website. International media partners include Sputnik News Agency and Radio, Askanews news agency, Independent Media holding, Notimex news agency, RT TV channel and news site, The Royal Photographic Society, Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG), news agencyANA, TeleSUR international informative multiplatform, China Daily web-site, Frontline magazine, Philippine News Agency, AlYoum AlSabee, The Paper, Radio Republik Indonesia, BERNAMA news agency, Antara news agency, Al Mayadeen. Industry media partners include the Academy of Photography, GeoPhoto agency, educational portal, the Union of Journalists of Moscow, the Union of Art Photographers of Russia, Young Journalists information portal, School of visual arts and the festivals Fotoistanbul, KOLGA TBILISI PHOTO. (Rossiya Segodnya Press-Office)