"This is a novelty that I hope will have a long life," said SEDF director Václav Macek, adding that organizations representing professional and amateur photography were behind the competition.
"Originally, we pondered only awarding one personality, but the jury decided to grant a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Hlaváč," said Judita Csáderová, a member of the international jury.
A jury consisting of Vladimír Birgus, Ján Križik, Aurel Hrabušický, Ján Miškovič, Miroslav Pfliegel, and Csáderová selected from nine nominees.
Apart from Hlaváč and Bán, the short list also included Karol Kállay, Ľubomír Schmida and Miro Švolík.
Ľudovít Hlaváč received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the exceptional organizational skills he demonstrated while setting up and leading Profil, the first photo gallery in Bratislava; organizing exhibitions; and writing fundamental books on photography that are still used as textbooks.
Bán is presented the award.
Andrej Bán got the award for the exhibition and book The Other Slovakia, which portrays Slovakia as neither a "Central European tiger" nor an unchartered "Eden" for foreign tourists. Instead, Bán uses more than 60 black-and-white photos to present the country from its inner, more intimate side.
"I believe the prize will particularly help to encourage Slovak photography. Of course, many other people deserve this prize as much as I do, some maybe more. I personally consider myself to be at the beginning of the journey. But of course, it is a great honour for the book, which I worked on for 16 years," Bán said during his acceptance speech.
- Jana Liptáková