The Prize

The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation For Documentary Photography & Film

The Prize

Each year our Trustees, our President & Founder and our Advisors will pull together from their resources and experiences over the past year to select — in each of two categories — a recipient of our highest honor, The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation Prize. The Prize will be awarded to one documentary photographer and to one documentary filmmaker for work that decisively and unequivocally moves, influences, motivates and galvanizes entire communities while also inspiring the world.

In tandem with our annual grant award programs, we are honoring the work of global documentarians whose voice transcends cultures, bridging the barriers of time and space, lending credence and a voice to humanity disenfranchised and displaced. The Prize will be awarded on the merits of the greater good and impact the documentarian’s work and life on our society.

The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Prize will honor achievement by a photographer and a filmmaker whose determined vision and bravery brings to light some of the world’s worst atrocities as captured on film and on still images often imbued with the power to change the world. The Prize recipient will be selected from among recommendations made by authorities in and outside this foundation.

Each year, The Prize recommendations will be remain confidential and private with the annual recipients announced at our first opening reception of the year, currently held in Arles, France in July.

And The Prize Goes To

Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has unequivocally sought to award itself for its good deeds, achievements and prowess in achieving something greater than itself or its fellow-man. With The Prize, we are not seeking to award just greatness of the individual sort. We honor greatness of the soul, of compassion, of an eyewitness that transcends well above the self. The Prize is not a monetary award. Instead, it honors documentarians whose heart and message — with the ultimate burden of proof sometimes being incarceration, injury or death — moves, arrests and is so transcendental that the work itself rises above the personal to become iconic.

There are no exceptions as to who can be nominated other than the work and impact being worthy of great accolade. Recipients can be living or may also receive The Prize posthumously.

The Statuette

In the works for almost two years, The Prize statuette depicts the profile of a face signifying all of humanity, and is completed in the likeness of a traditional film strip with an eye signifying the aperture of a camera lens at its center. The statuette is beautifully finished in sterling silver. It was designed by artist Ryan Rivas for the foundation and fabricated by Bennett Awards of El Dorado, California. All photos of the Prize are provided to us by Bennett.

The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film reserves the right to solely and uniquely bestow this honor.

MROF Prize