Image Credit: Chris Slupski

      the festival

Photival is a not-for-profit social documentary photography festival focusing on social, economic and environmental issues from around the globe. Our aim is to show people thought provoking and inspiring photographic work and then give them the tools they need to engage with positive change.

education years (next: 2018)

On these iterations we host inspiring and engaging photographic talks, panel discussions, workshops and portfolio reviews with the aim of increasing visual literacy and social awareness. Our programmes present the best photographers and photographic educators, commentators, curators and editors in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as drawing on expertise from a range of other sectors including journalism, NGOs and Technology. Events are charged at an affordable rate with discounts available. All proceeds go back into the festival to ensure its sustainability and enabling Exhibition Years to be free of charge to all.


Exhibition Years (Next: 2019)

On these iterations we show social documentary photography from established, international photographers, New Zealand Aotearoa photographers, new student talent and winners of our Open Call which is open to the general public. To enable positive social change each exhibition we put on 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. All of the exhibitions are free to view and are located in various public, pop up and gallery spaces in Wellington city centre.



Demi bw.jpg

Demi Heath - Director

Demi studied Photography in the UK, working in the photographic publishing industry before moving to New Zealand. She founded Photival in 2016 having seen the opportunity and need for a photography festival in the creative capital. She successfully directed, curated and managed the opening year of the festival alongside an incredibly talented 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. Demi directs the festival alongside working at Te Papa where she has been since 2016. She hopes to expand and update the public photographic offerings in New Zealand over the coming years.

Laura Salminen - Event Manager

Lucy Orbell - Publicist

Hannah Lawrence - Intern

With thanks to:

Karen Hermon - Brand Design

All of the incredible volunteers, without whom the festival isn't possible!


Go to our Contact Us page


Follow us on our social media channels below!