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Winners announced for 2021 SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photographer Award

13th October 2021

Two photographers and two videographers awarded SUNSTUDIOS prizes

James Malone, ‘No Face, Only a Dark Place’ Ryan Cantwell, ‘Close Comfort, Distant Trouble’

Images left to right: Photo Faces Winner – James Malone, ‘No Face, Only a Dark Place’ & Photo Places Winner - Ryan Cantwell, ‘Close Comfort, Distant Trouble’

SYDNEY, 13 October 2021 – SUNSTUDIOS, backed by Canon Australia, today announces the four 2021 SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photographer Award (SEPA) winners. From over 1600 submissions across Australia, an anonymous judging process chose 40 finalists, from which the four strongest photography and videography entries across two categories, Faces and Places, were selected.

Announced at 8PM (AEST) today, via a SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photographer Awards video presentation, the winners include James Malone for ‘No Face, Only a Dark Place’ (Photo Faces), Ryan Cantwell for ‘Close Comfort, Distant Trouble’ (Photo Places), Jonathan McIntyre for ‘Just Appreciate’ (Video Faces) and Ryan Andrew-Lee for ‘Wonnarua’ (Video Places). They will each receive $6,0001 to spend across SUNSTUDIOS’ creative services, a customisable prize designed to support their next project. All winners and finalists’ works are featured in a SUNSTUDIOS online exhibition. Community voting kicks off today for the competition’s inaugural People’s Choice awards, with voting closing on 15 November, 2021. The winners for this category will be announced 17 November, 2021 and will each receive $5002 in SUNSTUDIOS’ services.

Now in its 12th year and free-to-enter, SEPA aims to break down the barriers image makers face in establishing a career by offering an opportunity to have work evaluated by industry leaders. The winners were judged anonymously by a specialist panel including photographers Georges Antoni, Nicky Catley and Adam Ferguson for the Photo category, and cinematographers Carolyn Constantine, Dave May and Andy Taylor for the Video category.

Overwhelmed by the calibre of entries this year, SEPA video judge Carolyn Constantine, commented, “I’d like to congratulate everyone who entered SEPA this year, we had a fantastic range of entries. The judges were really impressed by the variety of different places we were taken to and the styles, which made the judging process very difficult … it took us on a real journey.”

“There is an amazing depth of Australian young talent in photography at the moment – and a sophisticated approach.”

Georges Antoni

 Luke Harrison, Senior Business Manager, SUNSTUDIOS says: “I am delighted to extend a huge congratulations to the winners and finalists. This year we received a record number of entries so everyone who made it to our top 40 works should feel incredibly proud. I am also very grateful to the expert judging panel, who judged without names to give entrants a fair chance, and have the wonderful ability to recognise upcoming talent.”

Mr Harrison continues, “This year the video categories joined SEPA for the first time, a reflection of our growing commitment to the video and cinema market. As we continue to grow our video production offering, including the recent launch of our Studio 7 Sound stage, it’s important to us that the video community feels equally supported by SUNSTUDIOS. We hope by opening up the awards to videographers, in addition to photographers, that we provide even more career opportunities for emerging image makers across Australia.”

To view the SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photographer Awards video presentation, online finalists’ exhibition or vote for the People’s Choice awards, please visit:

Categories and prizes:

The following four main category winners each receive $6,0001 in prizes to spend across SUNSTUDIOS’ retail, fine art printing, gallery, equipment and studio hire:
• 1 x Faces – Photo winner
• 1 x Faces – Video winner
• 1 x Places – Photo winner
• 1 x Places – Video winner

The following two People’s Choice winners will each receive $5002 in SUNSTUDIOS’ services which includes studio and equipment hire:
• 1 x Photo People’s Choice
• 1 x Video People’s Choice

Key dates:

• People’s Choice judging: 13 October, 2021 – 15 November, 2021
• People's choice winners announced: 17 November, 2021

2021 Judging panel

• Georges Antoni - Photographer | Represented by The Artist Group
• Nicky Catley – Photographic Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald and Australian Financial Review
• Adam Ferguson - Photographer | Represented by Photoplay

• Carolyn Constantine ACS - Filmmaker and cinematographer | President ACS NSW
• Dave May – Cinematographer/Director | Tall Story Films
• Andy Taylor ACS - Cinematographer

2021 SEPA winners

Photo - Faces
• James Malone

Photo - Places
• Ryan Cantwell

Video - Faces
• Jonathan McIntyre

Video - Places
• Ryan Andrew Lee

2021 SEPA finalists

Photo - Faces
• Alisha Gore
• Elizabeth Wright
• James Malone
• Jeffrey Xu
• Jorge Serra
• Julia Onufreichuk
• Luis Campbell
• Nick Turner
• Phoebe Kelly
• Paulos Zeleke
• Rusty Crawshaw
• Sarah Malone
• Su Cassiano
• Teva Cosic

Photo - Places
• Adrian Brown
• Alexander Cooke
• Amy Piddington
• Chris Bekos
• Christine Goerner
• Daniel Walton
• Fiona Little
• Jessica Connell
• Julia Onufreichuk
• Mark Forbes
• Mattia Panunzio
• Ryan Cantwell
• Ryley Clarke

Video - Faces
• Dillon Mak
• Kamilla Musland
• Jonathan McIntyre
• Levi Cranston
• Matthew Maule
• Matty Smith

Video - Places
• Daniel Kuberek
• Faezeh Alavi
• James Hiscutt
• Murray Enders
• Peter Marko
• Ryan Andrew Lee

1 $2,000 available to spend in retail (this includes fine art printing) and $4,000 available to spend across other services which includes studio and equipment hire.

2 $500 available to spend on studio and equipment hire.

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