Format Festival: FORMAT25 Open Call

FORMAT announces 2025 Open Call theme: CONFLICTED

Take part in the next edition of the FORMAT25⁠!


We are delighted to announce the festival theme CONFLICTED for the FORMAT25 Biennale and welcome diverse and imaginative proposals from international photographers, curators, artists and collectives.

Our eminent panel of international experts and the FORMAT Curatorial Team will view the submissions and select up to 5 outstanding projects to be exhibited at FORMAT25 in Derby in March 2025.

Our Advisory Jury are:

Jean-Christophe Godet (Guernsey/France), Wang Peiquan (China), Wang Xueke Isabella (China), Clare Grafik (UK), Franek Ammer (Poland), Zoe Harrison (UK), Varun Nayar (US/India), Poulomi Basu (India/UK)Louise Fedotov-Clements (UK), Gemma Marmalade (UK) and Peter Bonnell (UK).

Read more about the FORMAT25 Open Call jurors here


Festival Theme:

Throughout history societies, civilizations and cultures have been subject to division and catastrophic change amidst periods of stability and peace. Recent times have borne witness to what would seem to be one monumental change and challenge after the other – a seemingly endless slew of emergencies including the Covid pandemic, a cost-of-living crisis, catastrophic wars, coupled with a sense – across the globe – that political populism is becoming the norm. Consensus, agreement and simple kindness can at times seem to be at a premium. The world is a conflicted place. Yet, photography is a medium that can have an uncanny ability to speak truth to power, to succinctly and powerfully reflect the world about us, and to make us stop, think and reset. Who better to help us through this time, to guide us and to help us understand, than the artist, the photographer; the filmmaker?

We are open to all approaches and ideas – from archives to the most contemporary and conceptual projects. We are keen to receive proposals from all the image-based genres – film, video, photographic series alongside single images; long-term researched documentary; multimedia; VR; moving image; installation; publications; online; interactive; performance; participatory; mobile and interactive.

Awards, Prizes & Opportunities

What Winners Will Receive

All submitting Artists/Photographers will each receive:

  • Submission review by the FORMAT Curatorial team and our diverse jury of international industry professionals
  • Opportunities for project exposure across festival materials, social media, website and press outreach.

Up-to 5 winning Artists/Photographers or Collectives will receive (all amounts in Pound Sterling):

  • Exhibition during FORMAT25 13 March – 6 April 2025
  • Artist fee of £1000
  • Reimbursement of travel costs up to £300
  • Accommodation during main opening weekend of the festival
  • Production costs for the exhibition
  • Feature in and a copy of the FORMAT25 special edition festival catalogue
  • Feature on the FORMAT25 website and social media accounts
  • 10% off tickets for selected events at FORMAT25
  • £20 reduction off the FORMAT25 International Portfolio Review fee
  • Opportunity to win one of our FORMAT25 Open Call awards

FORMAT25 Open Call Awards

  • FORMAT25 Open Call Award, £2500 exhibition production costs
  • The Spectrum Imaging Award for £1000 plus VAT in printing services and 20% discount on print finishing
  • The British Journal of Photography Award for a years full membership of BJP (both digital and a subscription) and an article about the selected artists work published on
  • The Genesis Imaging Award for £1000 credit for photographic printing and finishing services.
  • Lishui Photography Festival Exhibition Award for a selected artist to attend and exhibit at the next festival in Lishui, China.

Application Fees and Deadlines

Application fee, Early Bird 22 EUR (Until 1 June 2024, 11:59 pm BST)
Application fee, Standard 27 EUR (after 2 June 2024, 00:00 am BST)

Deadline for entries 31 August⁠

For full details on how to apply, please visit the submission site here.

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