"The Fence," Honored by World Press Photo

Last summer, photographer Charles Ommanney drove a Land Rover over 2000 miles along the US-Mexico border, from Brownsville, TX to San Diego, CA. The result of his 3 week drive is the 10-minute film, The Fence, produced for MSNBC. 

Yesterday, the World Press Photo Foundation awarded the project with 2nd Prize in the Long Feature category in the 2015 Multimedia Contest. Jury member Hussain Currimbhoy describes his experience with the film, "By turning the fence into a character, is a master stroke...[Ommanney] exposes the absurdity of this fence beautifully. He has done that with some text, but also through a mood that he's created, which is very, very delicate, and very, very smart....It's one of the best looking films I've seen in a very long time. " 

It is an honor to receive the award, and to be among colleagues and friends, including the film, The Long Night by Tim Matsui and MediaStorm, which won first prize. Matsui, a Seattle-based photojournalist, was my mentor during my early years in photography. Influential in directing my career, he guided me into the then burgeoning space of multimedia storytelling. Matsui taught me the most valuable lesson of determination and tireless work, which he exemplifies in the dedication of his life's career to documenting issues of sexual violence and sex trafficking. The Long Night is the culmination of his vision to change the way the world perceives, understands, and affects change on the global crisis of human sex trafficking. 

Third place in the Long Feature category is Japan's Disposable Workers: Net Cafe Refugees, another MediaStorm production, directed by Shiho Fukada, and edited and produced by Eric Maierson. As the most transformative period in my young career, the six months interning at MediaStorm with Maierson forever changed my understanding of storytelling and the craft of editing. Maierson's deeply thoughtful and intelligent approach to story continues to influence my work every day. 

Congratulations to all the winners of this year's World Press Photo competition, and thank you to this year's jury.