September 20, 2021 | Awards

IPPVA Irish Videography Awards: 2021 Changes

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A videography awards programme to rival the photography awards was one of the IPPVA’s priority for 2021.

Today, the IPPVA is sending its first call for entries for the IPPVA Irish Videographer of the Year Awards Programme 2021.

  • 30 September 2021 – Closing date for videography heat 1
  • 18 November 2021 – Closing date for videography heat 2
  • 30 December 2021 – Closing date for videography heat 3
Current IPPVA Videographer of the Year: Gavin Gallagher

It’s been an ambition of the IPPVA, since videographers were welcomed into the Association, to devise an IPPVA Irish Videographer of the Year Awards programme to rival the photography awards that the Association has been running for decades. 

The IPPVA has consulted with some videographers within and outside the Association in devising an awards programme, and Council are grateful to everyone who has offered their time and thoughts about how the awards programme should be designed. 

It’s not an easy thing to devise a new awards programme, and certainly not for videography in a way that scales (perhaps there’s a reason why video awards programmes are far less common than photography awards programmes!).  It may well be that we won’t get this fully right the first time, but Council have felt that it’s important that we do fully integrate the videography awards into our successful awards programme as a priority.


There are five key considerations that have gone into the design of the programme:

  1. Judges workload 
  2. Ease of entry 
  3. Cost & Categories
  4. Benefits for the Association 
  5. Use of external editors, additional camera operators, crew etc. 

These are detailed further below, to provide context for members and entrants on the decisions that have been taken regarding rules, terms and conditions and entry criteria.

Consideration 1: Judges’ Workload 

When reference is made to building an awards programme that scales, one of the big challenges is an uncertainty of the volume of entries to expect in the first year, or in future years, and how that translates into what will be asked of judges. 

As with the photography awards, the judging is intended to be a volunteer effort by the community, on the basis that an awards programme like this works for the benefit of the wider community by helping to raise standards, and also recognising that the Association does depend financially on volunteer efforts for all its activities.

We do plan on showcasing our judges to the general public and helping to promote them as experts in their field, but it’s especially important to be reasonable about what is asked of judges.

That has been foremost in the minds when developing the programme. The single biggest thing we can do to attract and retain judges is to keep the judging process as efficient as possible. 

On a related note, recognizing that our current videographer membership is relatively small, the Association will be inviting external judges to judge the awards alongside internal judges. 

Finally on the topic of judges, during the consultation with videographers, it was suggested that having a photographer judge alongside videographers would be of value, so that suggestion has been adopted.

Consideration 2: Ease Of Entry 

A key consideration is a desire that videographers can enter their work without needing to (substantially) re-edit client-delivered videos – e.g. to an arbitrary duration that the programme might set out. Entrants may, of course, choose to edit just for the awards, as can happen in the photography awards. But the awards programme shouldn’t needlessly create extra work for current and new members who may have an archive of award-worthy videos ready to enter

At the same time, though, allowing any duration of videos to be entered and judged may itself lead to a bigger workload for judges. It’s not difficult, therefore, to see how these first two considerations can work against each other, but the Association believe that the rules that have been drawn up for the awards balance both considerations.  

Consideration 3: Cost & Categories

Like the photography awards, the videography awards are not free to run – we incur licensing costs for the software we are using, and hosting costs for the platform – and so entries will incur fees. 

Each heat includes 3 categories: Commercial, Open creative and Wedding. There is a maximum of 3 entries per category, with a total submission per heat not exceeding 3 entries in total.

In each heat, members may enter 1 video free of charge. 2nd and subsequent videos in a heat cost €25. 

The photography awards currently attract an entry fee of €10 per image, and photographers can enter 15 images per heat, with three free entries (a new development this year). As such, a photographer could spend €120 entering a heat. 

Each entrant can also avail of free entries across the three heats, and the Association is ensuring that maximum the cost per entry compares favourably to the photography awards. 

Consideration 4: Benefits For The Association 

The best way to improve the Association generally, as well as in terms of its finances, is to expand the membership, and we hope that this new videography awards programme will appeal to the videography community. That is why Council are keen that we run these awards in an integrated way, on a par with the photography awards. We want the awards to be a benefit for members, and so from the outset, the awards will be open to members only

Recognising that many in the wider community may be waiting for us to start these awards to join the Association, we do intend on working to promptly process new video member applications throughout the next few months so that qualified video applicants have the opportunity to enter the awards before the programme closes at the end of the year. 

Consideration 5: Use Of External Editors, Additional Camera Operators, Crew etc. 

It’s important for the integrity of the awards that the general public has confidence that the videographers which these awards recognize (and showcase) can be trusted to produce work for clients which is consistent with the work that is winning them the awards. 

The Association recognises that it is not uncommon in the videography industry for two- and three-person teams to film weddings/events etc, and/or for non-shooting editors and others to collaborate with the videographer in producing the final product. 

This is facilitated in the awards programme, but entrants are required to undertake that the work being entered by a videographer/studio is the product of that videographer/studio using the typical process that the videographer/studio employs for client work. This is not to say that videos can’t be edited or re-worked especially for the awards – they can be, in the same way that photographers may post-process images for the awards – but it does mean that the workflow and personnel used by the videographer/studio should be consistent with the typical workflow and personnel used day-to-day. 

This is one of those areas where it may be hard to get this right first time, but it will be kept under review, with a view to changing/tightening the rule if required in future heats. 

For instance, the Association could require entrants to disclose what aspects of the final video they had a hands-on involvement in, and allow the judges to take account of that. Additional categories could be introduced, to recognize work which is filmed and edited by individuals. The criteria could be made more restrictive. But our expectation is that the norm is for entrants to be involved with the full flow of video production from planning, capture, edit through to final delivery, and for entries to be true to what the videographer produces day to day, without a need to over-regulate this aspect of the awards programme.

Lots done, more to do…

This is the start of a new era for the IPPVA awards programme. It’s been a lot of work to get this far, and the hard work is probably really yet to come. We hope we get it right, or at least as right as we can for the first iteration of the programme. We hope that all members are supportive of the programme, and work constructively with us to make it a world-class awards programme that helps to bring the work of Irish videographers to a wider audience. 

More video awards related info

Find out more about the video awards programme rules, categories and other frequently asked questions.

Your feedback and questions are also welcome at

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