PERPIGNAN, FRANCE — Rocky Mountain News photographer Todd Heisler’s report on grieving families of Marines killed in Iraq took the top award for feature photography at the 2006 Visa pour l’Image festival of photojournalism. Israeli photographer Shaul Schwarz took the Visa d’Or for News for his work documenting Israel’s forced withdrawal of Jewish settlers in Gaza in 2005.

The award for Heisler makes a near sweep of all the major photography prizes this year, including the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. Schwarz previously won first place in the magazine picture story category in the 2006 Pictures of the Year International awards.

Other awards announced in Perpignan included the City of Perpignan Young Reporter Award, the Canon Female Photojournalist Award and the CARE International Award for Humanitarian Reportage.

|| |—| | * Exhibition Highlights * Visa Pour l’Image Preview | Paris-based Tomas van Houtryve won the 8,000-Euro Young Reporter Award for “The Fall of a God King,” one of the most complete accounts of the popular Communist uprising in Nepal last April that led to the ouster of King Gyanendra.

Véronique de Viguerie of World Picture News won the 8,000-Euro Canon Female Photojournalist Award, presented by the French Association of Female Journalists. Her work on Communist militiawomen in Nepal will be exhibited at next year’s festival. Claudia Guadarrama, the 2005 winner, exhibited work depicting the dangerous journey of illegal migrants to Mexico atop freight trains.

Javier Jubierre, a photographer with the Spanish newspaper El Periodico de Catalunya, took the award in the daily press category for his coverage of immigration from sub-Saharan Africa to Morocco.