Running this week, the inaugural Independent Photography Festival highlights the next wave of photographic talent via a week of exhibition openings, a photo book and zine fair and a photo prize.

The IPF Photo Prize aims to claim the title for the largest prints-based photography exhibition and competition in Australia. The competition features works from over 100 photographers from all around the world, including Australia and New Zealand, North America, Asia, the UK and Russia. Both a Judge’s Panel Prize and a People’s Choice will be awarded, with prizes including a to-be-announced grand prize, an exhibition at Rae & Bennett and a Yashica camera.

Each night of the festival will see a different show opening, the first being Jackson Eaton’s The Family Unit, which opened Tuesday at House of Bricks. Eaton’s work explores the notions of loss and change through an installation that combines photographic documentary with sculpture. Tonight sees the opening of Deadset at Dear Patti Smith, with portait-based works from Lloyd Stubber, Aimee Han, Linsey Gosper, Hannan Jones, Joel Rees and James Whineray. On Thursday, Rae & Bennett will host the book launch of As Is, a refreshing exploration of everyday life by Melbourne based photographer Natalie Nikitovic. On a similar tangent is Stills From Imaginary Films, Luke Byrne’s study of commonplace happenings in the form of cinematic snapshots, opening Friday.

The Workers Club will lead the festival into the weekend with the IPF Photo Book & Zine Fair taking place on Saturday and Sunday. The Fair brings together a diverse spectrum of photographic publications, from the coffee table book to the stapled-together zine. Saturday will also see the screening of skate photography film Format Perspective, filmed entirely on super 8, also at The Workers.

The whole shebang wraps up with at the Closing Party at The Gasometer Hotel on Sunday. There’s free entry, cheap drinks and festival highlights on display and the winner of the Photo Prize People’s Choice will be announced.

The Independent Photography Festival runs until April 8 at various locations in Collingwood, Brunswick, Fitzroy and Carlton.

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