Calls Contest Deadline 03/2021 English Exhibitions Festivals Photography Prize / Award

BELFAST PHOTO 2021 Open Submission

Deadline: Mar. 5, 2021

Deadline: Mar. 5, 2021


Described as “one of the best photography festivals in the world,” Belfast Photo Festival is now accepting entries for it’s 2021 Open Submission.


All submitting photographers will benefit from:

  • Submission review by Photo Industry Professionals
  • Opportunities for Immediate Exposure

Between 20 and 40 photographers / artists will benefit from:

  • awards and cash prizes (See Awards listed below)
  • exhibition exposure at the Festival’s main city centre gallery
  • exhibition exposure at the 2022 Photo Schwiez Festival (Switzerland)
  • inclusion in the special Festival issue of Abridged Magazine
  • long term Festival representation and promotion
  • an opportunity to participate in an Instagram Residency
  • exhibition alongside some of the biggest photographic names as part of the major photographic event
  • publication and inclusion in the Festival programme
  • inclusion in the Festival’s marketing & PR campaign, which has an estimated reach of 30+ million
  • international press exposure
  • being seen by over 40,000 visitors, including a substantial number of visual arts professionals and the media
  • dedicated feature on the Festival website and online gallery

All finalists who submitted photographs will have their work produced by the Festival for exhibition outdoors at no cost to the photographer/artist


Spotlight Award – £2,000 (e.s.t $2,674 / €2,208)

Years Free RPS Membership – Free membership for one year to the prestigious Royal Photographic Society

GUP Editorial Award – Full editorial presentation in an upcoming printed/digital issue of GUP photographic magazine

Abridged Editorial Award – Presentation in a special Festival issue of Abridged Magazine


Described as “One of the best photography festivals in the world” (Capture Magazine), the annual Belfast Photo Festival provides the perfect platform for gaining exposure to an international audience, with previous editions having welcomed over 100,000 visitors from all over the world.

Belfast Photo Festival is offering artists/photographers the opportunity to exhibit their work in the main Festival gallery alongside some of the biggest names in the field of photography and have their work taken on tour to be exhibited at the 2022 Photo Schwiez (Zurich, Switzerland), with a number also having the opportunity to be featured in the arts magazines Abridged and GUP. The winners will be eligible for a number of awards, including a cash prize of £2,000 (e.s.t $2,674 / €2,208).

The theme has been left open to remove any restrictions; submissions must be photographic or lens-based but can include incorporations of other art forms with the photographic medium (i.e. performance, painting, sculpture, music, literature etc).

Individuals and collectives are welcome to apply; individuals should select and enter between 1 and 15 photographs from a particular series or body of work AND/OR submit their Photo-book for exhibition by providing a link to a single PDF (stored on for example: Google Drive or Dropbox)

(Note: You can submit both a photo-book and photographs of the same project, but a fee will need to be paid for both. If submitting only a photo-book and not photographs, it will be your photo-book that will be selected for presentation and not photographic prints for exhibition)

Collectives are also welcome to apply; as a collective, you can submit up to 15 photographs (a €22 / €29 submission fee will apply for every 15 images submitted)


Belfast Photo Festival has invited a panel of influential international experts in the field of photography to assist in the shortlisting and selection of artists alongside the Festival team. The Jury consists of:

Corey Keller – Curator of Photography: SFMoMA, San Francisco (U.S.A)

Sarah Allen – Assistant Curator: Tate Modern, London (U.K.)

Marta Weiss – Senior Curator: V&A, London (U.K.)

Izabela Radwanska Zhang – Managing Editor: British Journal of Photography, London (U.K.)

Elizabeth Renstrom – Photo Editor: The New Yorker, New York (U.S.A)

Dilys Ng – Photo Editor: TIME, New York (U.S.A)

Emily Graham – Cultural Commissions: Magnum Photos, London (U.K.)

Alexa Becker – Acquisitions Editor: Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg (Germany)

Azu Nwagbagu – Director: LagosPhoto, Lagos (Nigeria)

Gwen Lee – Director: Singapore International Photography Festival (Singapore)

Stella Nantongo – Co-Ordinator: Uganda Press Photo Award, Kampala (Uganda)



Each year our Open Submission award-winners receive international press coverage from publications and media outlets around the world. Winners, finalists and entrants have been featured in major publications such as, The Guardian, TIME Lightbox, Foam, BBC, The Financial Times, British Journal of Photography, The Telegraph, among many other national and international outlets. This kind of press exposure can lead to viral, global recognition of your work.


This year the Open Submission will be hosted by Picter. All submissions must be made via After registering on Picter, please ensure you follow the instructions outlined carefully otherwise your submission may not be valid. Submissions cost €22 / €29*

*The submission fee charged is in aid of the 2021 Belfast Photo Festival and directly contributes to the organisation and delivery of the Festival for the benefit of all participants. Belfast Photo Festival is a registered charity and non-profit organisation.