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Arles 2009

40th Anniversary of the French Photo Festival

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40 Years of Rencontres!

FotoTV founder Marc Ludwig reports from the 40th annual Rencontres awards, conducting unique and informative interviews with François Hébel, director of the Rencontres d’Arles, Supermodel photographer, Peter Lindbergh, and photographer Willy Ronis, who is a living legend at nearly 100 years old.

The Rencontres d'Arles Awards have been an opportunity to discover new talents at the Rencontres d'Arles since 2002, although the Rencontres itself is in its fortieth year. This year the Awards will be featured all summer long in Arles; The Prix Pictet, the world’s first prize dedicated to photography and sustainability, communicating vital messages to a global audience. The Rencontres d'Arles'Discovery Award ‘goes to a photographer or an artist making use of photography whose work has been recently discovered internationally or deserves to be, and the 'Author Book Award' 2009, one of the most prestigious awards in contemporary photography, and the 'Historical Book Award 2009', which is given to the best thematic or monographic documentary work about photography or a photographer.

Festival director Hébel also tells FotoTV that '40 Years of Disruption', a special category within the festival, will showcase photographers whose initial Rencontres exhibitions were controversial in accordance with the accepted standards of the time. In the forefront will be Duane Michals with a retrospective; and Nan Goldin, guest curator, whose 'Ballad of Sexual Dependency' had such an impact it was considered groundbreaking work, as she was the first woman to use photography to present the intimate details of her personal life as a public work of art, and inspired a new generation of artists.

Another incredible highlight is Ludwig's interview with one of the founders of the festival, Lucien Clergue, a lover of photography and the arts, but above all, of artists. Clergue gauges the crucial role photography plays in visual arts at its core. At the conception of the festival he was determined to set up an exchange community that would get photographers out of their isolation. With his friends Michel Tournier and Max Rouquette he founded the Rencontres d’Arles festival, which led to the founding of the National School of Photography in Arles.