Nine prizes to DMJX students at the 77th CPOY competition

The judging of both the multimedia and still picture categories of the 77th College Photographer of the Year has concluded at The University of Missouri in Columbia, USA. DMJX students received nine prizes in this year’s competition.

Multimedia – Short documentary – Finalist
A Good Day Never Returns Badly by Christian Falck Wolff and Rune Øe

13 years-ago Kristine got pregnant with the help of an anonymous sperm donor. When her boy, Laurits, was born, it turned out that he had a very special chromosomal defect. A few years later, she met her husband, Thomas. In 2019, the family finds out that Kristine is terminally ill with cancer. She will die within a short amount of time. Thomas decides to adopt Laurits so Kristine can die well knowing that someone will take care of her son. Thomas dedicates his life to securing Laurits´ future. It is a promise he has made. Kristine passed away on 13 July 2022. Screen shot from the video documentary by Christian Falck Wolff and Rune Øe.

Multimedia – Short documentary – Award of Excellence
Swan Music Radio by Anders Holst and Kim Frost

With a small rolling suitcase packed with radio equipment, 58-year-old Michelle Rajter visits the Bodega several times a week to broadcast radio on her very own radio channel, Swan Music Radio. Michelle is transgender and has experienced many unpleasant shoutings and assaults throughout her life, which have made life difficult for her to live. Down at the Bodega behind the microphone, she feels safe. Michelle thrives in the meeting with the many guests and staff who visit the Bodega. But even though she has found a place where she can be herself, the destructive thoughts often return when she gets home. Screen shot from the video documentary by Anders Holst and Kim Frost.

Multimedia – Group Story or Essay – Award of Excellence
The Last Line by Aku Ratsula and Conor Courtney

Peter Dragsbæk is always by the sea. He is one of the last fishermen in surfing-obsessed Klitmøller, a small town on the northwest coast of Denmark. Dragsbæk’s love for the sea permeates his life. When asked about what fishing means to him, he often leans back and wistfully says, “I can’t describe it.” Klitmøller has been a fishing town for generations, but when windsurfers started moving to the town in the mid-1980s, its identity began to change. Now, the population has nearly doubled, while only a handful of fishermen have remained. Dragsbæk welcomes the influx of visitors and respects the surfers’ love of the sea, but recognizes that he may be one of the last to cast off from the beach that’s now packed with surfers. Screen shot from the video documentary by Aku Ratsula and Conor Courtney.

International Picture Story – Finalist
Where the Sun Hits First by Rune Øe

It is not more than 70 years ago that the first houses were built for the locals, and since then the village Tasiilaq, Greenland has developed rapidly. East Greenland is characterized by many social problems and has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. A place where the youth have no dreams, as the prospects are non-existent, and where unemployment among the adults is high. Picture from the series by Rune Øe.

Team Picture Story – Award of Excellence
I’m Letting it Grow by Rikke Kjær Poulsen and Liv Møller Kastrup

The hair growing on our bodies is under close and continuous scrutiny. It must be shaved off, then it must grow wild and free, suddenly it’s no longer natural, but unhygienic and for some it has become a political statement against various rules and ways of society. What was first their natural choice of appearance changed into actively choosing to let their body hair grow for Mathilde, Laura, Mathias and Anna. It demands a certain level of courage to show it and become a target of the both positive and negative reactions of others. But isn’t hair just hair? »I got anxious that night… I admit it. But then I thought fuck it and turned off my phone in defiance. Some stranger doesn’t get to tell me I’m wrong,« says Mathilde Sara Aramoon (right). A photograph of her with hair under her arms had been shared without her consent in a Facebook group for the members to vote whether she was hot or not.
Photo from the series by Rikke Kjær Poulsen and Liv Møller Kastrup

Portraits – Finalist
Olena by Mathias Eis

8-year-old Olena Shmoylova is an Ukrainian refugee in Denmark, but wants to return to her father who is still in Ukraine. When she arrived with her mom and brother in Denmark, she was given a guinea pig that she would like to take with her back to Ukraine.
Portrait by Mathias Eis

General News – Gold
Valdemar Stroe Ren

Many of the Ukrainian refugees do not know where to go once they reach Poland. Schools, sports arenas and train stations in all major cities they’ve been turned into temporary dormitories where the many refugees can stay if they don’t have a plan. In Krakow, a mother and her two children have been placed in an old train hall, with around fifty other families. The mother and her son are talking with their father, while the daughter is having a breakdown. Photo by Valdemar Stroe Ren.

Interpretive Eye – Award of Excellence
Liv Møller Kastrup

Fashionweek. The present must be hard to grasp when you look at it from the outside. As if we forget that it is happening right in front of our noses. Photo by Liv Møller Kastrup.

Daily Life – Finalist
Flower Vallery by Rune Øe

It is completely quiet in the flower valley, Tasiilaq, Greenland. The silence is only interrupted by the dogs’ howls and the crying Søren Suulut Simonsen. The body shakes, and he gasps for breath while stammering to the cross: “I miss you, little brother”. Photo by Rune Øe.