WaterAid and WorldView have announced the winners in their global sH2Orts competition, with films covering subjects as diverse as Ebola and walking to the moon making the cut. After 21 shortlisted films clocked up more than 60,000 views in just three weeks, the final five winners have been announced ahead of World Water Day on 22 March, a UN day to highlight critical water issues. The films were assessed by an esteemed judging panel, comprising Downton Abbey star and WaterAid ambassador Hugh Bonneville; Indian film director and actor Shekhar Kapur; British director and filmmaker Philip Bloom; British director Gurinder Chadha; Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata; and Head of Documentaries at the Guardian, Charlie Phillips. Entries for the competition, which called on budding filmmakers to submit one-minute films about what water means to them, came from 33 different countries across the globe, ranging from Nepal to Nigeria and Brazil to Bangladesh. The winners The winner was ‘Moonwalk’ by Sven Harding in South Africa, which highlights how, every day, women and children collectively walk as far as to the moon and back 16 times to fetch water. Hugh Bonneville said it was “compelling juxtaposition of mankind's success in space versus his failure on earth” and Charlie Phillips said it was “beautifully shot – a brilliant message told with flair that you can't look away from”. The three runners-up were: ‘Recovery’, a music video by Josta Hopps in Sierra Leone about the importance of clean water in the fight against Ebola. Charlie Philips said it was “very cool with a very clear message”. ‘Joe’s Morning’, by 11-year-old Indie Mark from the UK, features a Lego man called Joe who faces a morning without water. Shekhar Kapur said it was an “innovative film with a strong message from someone so young” and Gurinder Chadha said: “Well done – great storytelling for children and adults.” ‘Right to Water’, produced by Sohel Rana from Bangladesh and filmed with a hidden camera, shows women’s challenges in collecting water. Philip Bloom said it was “pretty good stuff – simple but strong”. Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka from Nepal, managed to drum up more than 27,000 views in 3 weeks for his entry Paani (Water), making it the winner of the People’s Choice award. Watch the winning films at http://www.wateraid.org/sh2ortswinners Catherine Feltham, Film Producer for WaterAid, said: “The competition was tough and it was very close at the end, but we are delighted to be announcing such a fantastic winning line-up of films. “It’s been a truly global competition with such creative and diverse films showing the different way people across the world connect with water. It’s fantastic for WaterAid to have this suite of highly engaging films to use and share for World Water Day 2015 as we raise awareness of the importance of clean water and 748 million people without access to this basic resource.” Marion Simpson, Content Manager from WorldView, said: “What an amazing selection of global films. Huge congratulations to all the winners; with so many entries from so many countries, you were up against fierce competition! “Great storytelling is incredibly hard to achieve, especially in a one-minute film, however, the imagination and creativity shown in the making of these films was truly astounding and brought the theme to life.” Fujifilm generously donated five fantastic cameras for winners of the competition. The top two winners also won masterclasses with Shekhar Kapur and WorldView. Sh2orts – Take two This isn’t the end of the sH2Orts film competition. WaterAid and WorldView are now inviting established filmmakers to pitch story ideas for the chance to be awarded a grant of up to £3,000 from WorldView to make a documentary film, in time for World Water Day 2016. The global water crisis is one of the greatest challenges facing us today, but we know there are inspirational people who are taking the future of water into their own hands. We want to hear and share their stories. Find out more at www.wateraid.org/sh2orts. Ends Download photos: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/y61dieclpdrzhlo/AAAiQl8v64XRy89xNsRAZetaa?dl=0 For more information please contact: Laura Crowley at [email protected] / 0207 793 4965. Notes to editors: WaterAid WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific Region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org, follow @wateraidUK and @sh2orts on Twitter or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That’s one child every minute. 748 million people in the world live without safe water. This is roughly one in ten of the world's population. 2.5 billion people live without sanitation; this is 39% of the world's population. For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity. WorldView WorldView, a project of the Public Media Alliance (the largest global association of Public Service Broadcasters),(the largest global association of Public Service Broadcasters),(the largest global association of Public Service Broadcasters),(the largest global association of Public Service Broadcasters), provides grants and support to documentary film makers across the globe enabling them to use great storytelling to bring the richness and diversity of the world to mass audiences through multi platform media. Find out more at www.worldview.org.uk Follow WorldView at @WorldViewPMA and www.facebook.com/worldviewpma.