Our prestigious judging panel will be led by Shekhar Kapur.
Shekhar Kapur is an Indian film director, producer and actor, best known for his BAFTA nominated historical films Elizabeth and The Golden Age, as well as Bollywood films including award-winning Bandit Queen.
He said: “Water is life. We interact with it every day in so many different ways; it is our most important resource, with no substitute. Yet it’s so easy for us to take this basic necessity for granted.
“Through this competition, we’re hoping to see the many ways water impacts on our daily lives through the powerful medium of film. This is a great opportunity for filmmakers to make a mark for themselves.”
Actor Hugh Bonneville is best known for his roles as Robert Crawley in popular drama Downton Abbey and in award-winning comedy Twenty Twelve. He has also appeared in films including Notting Hill, The Monuments Men and more recently, Paddington.
Hugh says: "WaterAid works closely with communities to change their lives forever by using simple, sustainable and effective technology, which I find inspirational.
"WaterAid's vision is of a world where everyone, everywhere has clean water and sanitation by 2030, this is an ambitious aim, but one that is achievable in our lifetime. I am pleased to become their ambassador and support their work to reach even more people around the world with clean water and sanitation."
Jeta Amata is a Nigerian filmmaker who at the age of 21 produced and directed his first film. Jeta’s film The Amazing Grace won the Best West African Film Award in the 2006 Screen Nations Awards UK, and it holds the honour of being the first Nigerian film to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Jeta's recent credits include, Inale (A musical on an African fairy tale) and Black Gold (A film that chronicles the suffering of oil rich Niger Deltans of Nigeria).
“I believe that films can reflect and tackle current issues and turmoil’s challenging us in the world. Using the medium of film to give a voice to these issues can only bring positive change, and that is why I am honoured to on the judging panel of Sh2orts. I am looking forward to seeing the creative scope of the water-inspired films that are entered. Water is essential to life, but in my home country of Nigeria over 63million people live every day without access to a clean water source. That is shocking. So I hope that through the film competition we will raise awareness and support to change this statistic, not just in Nigeria but around the world.”
Gurinder Chadha OBE is a British film director. Born in Kenya, her family moved to Britain when she was a young child, and her films often explore the lives of Indians living in the United Kingdom. She is best known for the hit films Bhaji on the Beach, Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice. A musical version of Bend it like Beckham will open in London in May 2015.
“I am delighted to be on the judging panel of the Sh2orts film competition, and am looking forward to seeing the short films that are created from around the world.
Water is a precious resource, and it’s a sad reality that 748 million people live every day without access to clean water. Having family from both Kenya and India, countries with large numbers of their population living without access to clean water; makes this an issue I am very passionate about. This film competition will raise vital awareness around the world about the value of water and hopefully encourage people to get more involved.”
Philip Bloom is a world-renowned british filmmaker who, for the past seven years of his 25-year career has specialised in creating incredible film-like images with low budget video. One of his most successful projects was “How To Start A Revolution” which won a BAFTA in 2012 and was also awarded prizes at several film festivals including Best Documentary at the 2011 Raindance festival.
Water is essential to life. We are made up of it, we are dependent on it, and often we take it for granted. There are so many water stories out there so go out, find one and make a film about it for the global sH2Orts film competition.
“You don’t need fancy equipment to be able to capture a strong story, and so this competition is open for entries filmed on anything from a mobile phone or GoPro to a broadcast camera.
“Surprise us! Get creative, get imaginative – we want to hear your stories told your way.”
Charlie Phillips is the Head of Documentaries at The Guardian, and was previously the Deputy Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest for 7 years. Guardian Documentaries is a new project to commission and acquire new documentaries from all around the world for the one of the world's most visited serious online media platforms, The Guardian's global website.
"I'm delighted to be involved in this project which brings together independent filmmakers and the great work that WorldView and WaterAid do. I can't wait to see what they come up with in response to this brief, it'll be a great opportunity to view lots of new ideas."
sH₂Ort stories, lasting impact: Charlie Phillips discusses the sH₂Ort 2015 competition and expresses his admiration for all of the shortlisted entries. Read the blog >