Image Credit: Chris Corson-Scott: We Passed the Setting Sun

the festival

Photival is a social documentary photography festival focusing on social, economic and environmental issues from around the globe. Our aim is to show people thought provoking photographic work and then give them the tools they need to help. We work with established, internationally recognised as well as home-grown photographers. We showcase new student talent and a small selection of outstanding work from the general public from our Open Call. To enable positive social change each exhibition is linked with a charity, NGO or activist group that works within the area being showcased by the photographer. We hope that by giving people the information and tools they need to get involved immediately they will not only feel more uplifted after seeing hard hitting work but they will be more likely to get positively engaged by giving Koha, signing up to volunteer or by simply educating themselves further.


2017 theme


Our world is in an age of being on the brink in many respects. Will we save or destroy our environment? Will we create technology that vastly improves our lives or that will stop us from living them? Will we alter the current political systems to make a better world? Will we consider cultures, species, languages important enough to save? These are widely important issues that need attention and what better way to do this than through the most communicable of mediums - photography. Our carefully curated selection of photographers explore this theme in hugely varied ways, bringing these issues to life in creative and engaging series of work. Visit our Events page to see what shows are on this year.



Demi Heath - Director

Demi studied Photography in the UK, working with magazines and studios for several years. She arrived in Wellington in April 2016 and founded Photival within her first few months in the city having seen the need for a photography festival in Wellington. She has successfully directed, curated and managed the opening year of the festival with help from a small and plucky team. As well as curating the photographers work Demi also works closely with the galleries, guest curators and affiliated social justice partners to ensure the overall cohesion of the festival. 

With thanks to:

GoldFish Creative - 2017 Producers

Rebecca McMillan - Publicist

William Duignan - Graphic Design

Karen Hermon - Brand Design

Samantha Short - 2017 Logo Design

All of the incredible volunteers, without whom the festival would not have been possible!

Go to our Contact Us page




Funders 2017