20th Anniversary: The Bayeux-Calvados Award
© Aris Messinis, lauréat 2012 du Prix Bayeux-Calvados des correspondants de guerre
Christiane Amanpour, Chief International Correspondent for CNN, will be president of the jury of the 20th edition of the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents. The application deadline is June 10, 2013. The prizes will be given out on October 12, 2013.
On Friday, March 15, 2013, at the historic Hôtel du Lion, a handful of Parisians involved with the prize braved the snow drifts to meet with festival sponsors and to hear Patrick Gomont, the mayor of Bayeux, announce the name of the jury president.
Following last year’s jury president Gilles Peress, a favorite among photographers, this year’s announcement delighted television people. British national Christiane Amanpour is a star of the small screen. The rest of the jury has yet to be selected. An unconfirmed rumor is that the festival intends to bring together its 19 past winners for this year’s jury. They certainly have their work cut out for them, given that past winners include Yuri Kozyrev, Santiago Lyon, Luc Delahaye, Javier Espinosa, Eric Bouvet, Grégoire Deniau, Rémy Ourdan, Jérôme Delay and James Nachtwey. Another unconfirmed rumor claims that this year’s festival will feature an exhibition of Nachtwey’s unreleased photographs.
With over 20,000 visitors last year, the Bayeux-Calvados Award has earned an undisputed legitimacy, which is very important for the President of the General Council of Calvados and to the mayor of Bayeux, who both support the event. With nearly 300 applications received last year, this award has seen a rise in quality and profile in the eyes of media professionals.
For this 20th edition, 55,000€ will be divided among the winners in each category: Television (short and long format), Print Journalism, Radio, Photojournalism and Web Journalism. Another prize recognizing the work of a young reporter is given out every year in a different category. It went to a photographer last year and this year will be given to a journalist working for Print Journalism.
To enter the competition, the reportage works must be submitted before June 10, 2013, and have been produced between June 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013. Their subject should be a conflict or a current event relating to the defense of freedom and democracy.
Those who have been in Bayeux during the festival have seen how the atmosphere is at once warm, simple, joyful and festive, giving media professionals of all stripes the rare opportunity to interact with each other.
Jean-Léonce Dupont, now Senator and President of the General Council of Calvados, was behind the creation of the award. “At the time, I was the mayor of the city, and I only had the support of a department head,” says Dupont with a smile, as he remembers the highlights of the festival’s history and how it grew into what it is today.
In 1994, the Bayeux Award was one of many events planned for the 50th anniversary of the Normandy landings. “We invited people from eight different types of media, one from each Allied country, and a German,” the senator remembers. Beginning the following year, the award was opened to all media, and in order to establish a closer relationship with the local population and journalists, a prize for high school students was created in 1996. In 2012, 5200 high school students attended the event.
In 1998, the event opened to the general public with the creation of a prize awarded by the public, who were invited to the opening and closing ceremonies. “People come from all over,” says Dupont. To accommodate this growing public, the award festival now takes place over the course of a week, along with a book fair whose popularity has also grown since it was created in 2006.
There’s another important date in the history of the Bayeux-Calvados Awards: the creation, in partnership with Reporters Without Borders (RSF), of the Mémorial des Reporters (Journalists Memorial). Located right next to the large cemetery where the remains of British troops are buried, along with three war correspondents killed during the landings, this memorial is a garden filled with steles where one can read the names of reporters killed in the line of duty since 1944. The list is terribly long. Every year, during an emotional ceremony held in the presence of the friends and families of the deceased, the mayor of Bayeux and the President of the General Council of Calvados unveil a new monument to a fallen journalist.
“The 20th edition of the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents will also mark the beginning of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings,” says Jean-Léonce Dupont. The people of today on the battlegrounds of Bayeux and Calvados aspire to be messengers of peace and democracy, which is why they have chosen to honor reporters.
20th Anniversary: The Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents will be placed from october 7th to octobre 13th, 2013
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