FORMAT International Photography Festival was established in 2004.

FORMAT is the UK’s leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media. It organises a year round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and internationally and welcomes over 100,000 visitors from all over the world to its biennale.

The festival and off year programmes celebrate the wealth of contemporary photographic practice and feature everything from major conceptual works, participative projects, documentary photography, mobile phone imagery to the archive and all that falls between. We are concerned with what is happening now in the scene and beyond, whilst sharing and contributing to it.

FORMAT is the place to engage with an incredible range of work from new and emerging photographers alongside that of some of the best-known practitioners in the world. FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be, through our comprehensive professional practice programmes and a yearly international photography portfolio review.

Since its beginning FORMAT has strived to develop and respond to new ideas in photography and has given each festival a distinct and stimulating theme to reflect these ideas.

While at the same time at its core the festival has maintained a consistent committment to inclusivity and participation with regular features such as:

FOCUS: Exhibitions, Commissions, Mass Participation

EXPOSURE: International Open Call

FLASH: Events, Talks, Performance

DEVELOPMENT: Master Classes, Portfolio Reviews, Talks

The biennale edition incorporates over 30 of Derby’s most beautiful buildings and key landmarks including: QUAD, University of Derby, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Derwent Valley World Heritage Sites, Market Place as well as satellite venues in nearby cities.

FORMAT is organised by QUAD and DMARC (Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre of the University of Derby) and is supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and multiple partners from the UK and abroad.

FORMAT was founded by Louise Fedotov-Clements and Mike Brown.