Talented Leeds student makes final of prestigious national photography awards

Aspiring photographer, Viktors Katilis, is selected as a finalist in Hotel Indigo student programme in partnership with World Photography Organisation (WPO)

Talented Leeds student makes final of prestigious national photography awards

Leeds, 25th October 2013: Viktors Katilis from the University of Leeds has been selected as a finalist in the Hotel Indigo student programme in partnership with World Photography Organisation (WPO). InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG’s) boutique brand, Hotel Indigo, partnered with the renowned WPO, which supports professional, amateur and student photography across the world, to develop a national student programme which will discover the next generation of UK talent.

The eight Hotel Indigo hotels in the UK have been paired with local universities taking part in the WPO Student Focus competition. The students from around the country have been challenged to create individual photography projects inspired by the hotels’ local neighbourhood in a bid to be appointed as Hotel Indigo’s next official photographer.

Viktors is currently in his first year at Leeds University studying for an Masters in Cinema and Photography and is one of eight finalists from the UK who was selected by his lecturer after being acknowledged for his artistic talent.

The winner will be announced on 26th November 2013 and will be rewarded with a paid commission to shoot the Neighbourhood Story for the newest Hotel Indigo to open in Europe in 2014. The students’ photography will also be exhibited at Somerset House in May 2014, followed by a tour of the eight Hotel Indigo hotels in the UK at which guests and local residents will be invited to view the students’ portfolio of work.

As IHG’s boutique brand, no two Hotel Indigo hotels are the same, with each drawing inspiration from its local neighbourhood to reflect the community, character and history of the surrounding area. Each hotel uses art, photography, architecture and design to tell the story of its neighbourhood and the Student Focus programme seeks to cultivate young talent and provide a national platform from which aspiring photographers are able to showcase their work.

As part of his entry, Viktors used his signature style of taking a free-form approach and used the cosy atmosphere of Newcastle city centre as his inspiration for the project due to the fact that this atmosphere is very unique for a city centre. Viktors used this as a starting point to convey the true essence of the city.

Viktors comments:“Right outside the hotel you encounter very sophisticated Assembly Halls, which counter the warm and welcoming neighbourhoods of Grainger Town. Although many things did not go as planned in the shooting process, I am very happy with the photographs and I really enjoyed working on the Arcade, Tyneside Opera House and the many pigeons that habitate on the rooftops.”

Tom Rowntree Vice President Brand Management Luxury & Upscale Brands, Europe, IHG
said, “The Hotel Indigo student programme in partnership with the World Photography Organisation is set to change the future of some of the UKs brightest talents. The work we’ve seen already from our eight finalists has been spectacular and boldly depicts the essence of Hotel Indigo, which is to present the hotel as a valuable and contributing part of its neighbourhood. It has been an honour to see our hotels working in partnership with the country’s up and coming photographers. It will be a challenge selecting the commission winner.”

The Hotel Indigo brand was launched in the United States in 2004, making it one of IHG’s youngest brands. Hotel Indigo offers guests the individuality of a boutique hotel but with the benefits and reassurance of a big hotel company.

For further information or bookings, please visit www.IHG.com/hotelindigo.

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