WaterAid and WorldView are inviting filmmakers to pitch story ideas for the chance to be awarded a grant of up to £3,000.

This competition is now closed for entries.

The brief   The grants   The panel      The FAQs   The partnership  

The brief

The future of water

WaterAid and WorldView are inviting filmmakers to pitch story ideas for the chance to be awarded a grant of up to £3,000 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.

Innovators, scientists, campaigners and entrepreneurs across the globe are rising to the challenge. We want to hear and share their stories.

Pitch your film concept today to be in with a chance of winning the grant you need to bring your idea to life.


The grants

Filmmakers can apply for up to £3,000 from WorldView, a Public Media Alliance project, as part of sH2Orts to produce a three to five minute short film.

The Public Media Alliance is the largest global association of public broadcasters. The WorldView team will be using their unique access to this global network of broadcasters to promote and offer screening opportunities for the winning films worldwide. Grantees may also be offered mentorship and support to complete their films from relevant industry experts.

We’re looking for original ideas that engage audiences through well-told creative storytelling. Films can be at any stage, whether an idea on paper or a project currently in development that needs new light. You might need the full £3,000 to take the project from start to finish, or require a crucial £500 for that final edit to complete the short. Grant funding decisions will be made on the strength of the application and an assessment of the budget and project proposal.


The panel

WaterAid and WorldView will assess the applications, and a shortlisted selection will be reviewed by an external panel of assessors to help us make the final decision.

Adam Gee

Adam GeeAdam Gee is Multiplatform & Online Video Commissioning Editor for Channel 4. He is one of the most experienced commissioners in UK broadcasting of multiplatform interactive productions around TV. His projects range from Don’t Stop The Music and Fish Fight to Jamie’s Dream School and Embarrassing Bodies. He has won over 80 international awards for his productions, including four BAFTAs, an Emmy and the Grand Award at the New York International Film & Television Festival. Adam has served on BAFTA’s Television and Interactive Entertainment committees and is a voting member of the European Film Academy. He is a trustee of Culture24.

Victoria Noble

Victoria NobleVictoria Noble is Executive Producer and Director of Production and Development, Factual, for Discovery Networks International. Based in London, Victoria develops and executive produces some of DNI’s most successful factual and specialist factual programming for its male-skewing networks, including Discovery Channel – which reaches 463 million households in more than 220 countries and territories around the globe. Recent credits include global hit returning series Wheeler Dealers, and spin-off series Wheeler Dealers Trading Up, Robson Green: Ultimate Catch, Supertruckers, The Man Who Doesn’t Breathe and Steve Backshall’s Swimming with Monsters. Victoria is also responsible for identifying and developing new factual talent and programming for DNI, and is currently in production with Idris Elba: No Limits and Engine Addict with Jimmy de Ville.

Charlie Phillips

Charlie PhillipsCharlie Phillips is Head of Documentaries at the Guardian, and was previously Deputy Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest for seven years. Guardian Documentaries commissions and acquires new documentaries from around the globe for one of the world's most visited serious online media platforms, the Guardian website.

Moneeza Hashmi

Moneeza HashmiMoneeza Hashmi is President of the Public Media Alliance and General Manager – International Relations for Hum TV in Pakistan. She served as Director of Programmes at Pakistan Television for over four decades. Moneeza teaches Master’s classes on TV production at colleges and universities across Pakistan. She also works as a trainer/consultant for agencies such as Unicef, UNDP, GIZ, UNFPA, Action Aid and USAID. In 2013 she was appointed Benazir Bhutto Chair of Lahore College for Women.

Shekhar Kapur

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: “After seeing such innovative and varied films entered in the first round of the sH2Orts competition, I’m excited to be working with WaterAid and WorldView on the next stage and am intrigued to see what ideas come in for a feature on the future of water. I’ll be looking for inspiring stories told in unique and creative ways.”

Guy Davidi

Guy DavidiGuy Davidi has been directing, shooting and editing since the age of 16. After directing several award winning short and mid-length documentaries, his second feature 5 Broken Cameras was nominated for an Oscar in 2013 in the best documentary section and won the 2013 international Emmy award for best documentary. Beside his work as a filmmaker, Guy has been teaching cinema for many years and is consulting on documentaries in the development and editing stages.

Jordan McGarry

Jordan McGarry is Vimeo’s Director of Curation, heading the team that programs the site’s illustrious Staff Picks channel, the Vimeo On Demand homepage and its new Curated Categories, ensuring that the site’s 170 million monthly visitors can always find something to entertain their eyeballs. Before Vimeo, Jordan worked as Executive Producer at Partizan London for five years, working on everything from branded content to installations and interactive music videos; and before that worked as a journalist at titles including shots, Res, Media Guardian and Screen International. She has commissioned films for Dazed & Confused and Nowness, and curated programmes and chaired panels for the BFI, the British Council, onedotzero and ResFest.


The rules

  • We are looking for pitches for films that will be between three and five minutes in duration.
  • It must be possible to shoot and produce the film you propose during the seven month period of June 2015 – January 2016.
  • Please adhere to the word counts for each section on the application form.
  • Entries to the competition are welcome from 6 April 2015 up until midnight 18 May 2015.
  • This competition is open to applicants of all nationalities from any region.
  • All ideas must be original.
  • The film you plan to make would need to include subtitles/dubbing if it is in a language other than English.
  • You can enter a maximum of two pitch ideas (which means completing the whole application form twice).
  • All pitches will be reviewed by a panel from WorldView and WaterAid.
  • A shortlist of pitches will be shared with an external panel. The final decisions on winners will sit with WorldView and WaterAid.
  • The winners will be announced on 15 June 2015.
  • Winners will be awarded grants subject to a contract with WorldView/PMA.
  • Applications are open to those aged 18 or over.
  • By entering this competition you are agreeing to the terms and conditions.
  • Always respect the feelings and privacy of those you refer to or include in your film and seek their written permission for inclusion in your film.

The FAQs

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1. How can I contact you if I have a specific question not answered here?

Email [email protected], or get in touch on Twitter: @sh2orts

2. When is the competition deadline?

18 May 2015.

3. When will I find out if I’m a winner?

15 June 2015.

4. Does it cost anything to enter?

No, its completely free!

5. What is the maximum duration my film can be?

Five minutes.

6. Is this a documentary film competition?

Yes, however the films could include elements of other formats, such as animation, reconstruction etc.

7. Where could my film be used?

The Public Media Alliance is the largest global association of public broadcasters. They will be using their unique access to this global network to promote and offer broadcast opportunities for the winning films worldwide. The film could also be used on WaterAid's website or at screenings.

8. I have a short film already started but not complete. Can I submit that?

Yes, if the film is relevant to the brief and adheres to all terms and conditions you may apply for funding to finish a film already in production. Please attach the film link to your application. However, no element of this film can already be public facing or have been screened elsewhere.

9. I have already completed a short film on water. Can I get funding retrospectively?

No. We cannot offer grant funding for a film’s retrospective costs. We can consider covering outstanding costs yet to be paid, e.g. final edit, but this will be determined on a case by case basis.

10. I have a long-form feature film but can make a short from the rushes. Is that allowed?

Yes, if the content is still relevant to the brief and if there are no conflicting rights with the final content produced. However, no element of this film can already be public facing or have been screened elsewhere.

11. I have a long-form feature film and would like to use the funding for a short trailer. Can I apply?

No. Funding will not be granted for trailers or for promotional content for organisations.

12. I have already received funding from another source. Can I still apply?

Yes, if there are no conflicting rights with the existing funder for screening, broadcast and distribution strategies. Please include all relevant details on your application and this can be discussed at a later stage.

13. Who will retain the rights to the final film?

You will. For the avoidance of doubt, the producer will retain all copyright and other rights in the proposal and the programme except for rights granted to PMA:
-screening and promotion rights of the film on the PMA and WorldView websites.
-non-exclusive broadcast rights in all media for use by PMA member organisations.
-non-exclusive use by PMA’s partner organisation WaterAid for screening and promotional rights worldwide including website.

14. I will be applying on behalf of a production company. Can I still apply?

Yes, however you must provide the details of a primary contact who will be responsible for management of the grant and contractual obligations.

15. Will the grant cover travel costs abroad?

Yes, providing that you can demonstrate travel is justifiable to the project proposal.

16. Can I buy filming equipment with the grant?

Potentially, but only if the cost of doing so is less than the cost of hire. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

17. Where can I find out about the water crisis?

Further information about the 748 million people worldwide still lacking access to safe water and the 2.5 billion people with no place to go to the toilet can be found in The crisis section of our website.


The partnership


WaterAid is an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to transform lives by improving access to safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities.

We use film to document and share stories about the people we work with, and places we work in, to raise awareness and inspire action on the global water and sanitation crisis.

Films made by WaterAid >

Read more about the water and sanitation crisis >


WorldView is a project of the Public Media Alliance and provides grants and support to documentary filmmakers 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.

The Public Media Alliance is the largest global association of public service broadcasters. Its members are the organisations that communicate daily and free of charge through TV, radio and online with the 2.5 billion citizens living in the 54 countries that our members serve.

In a globalised world the PMA regards international coverage as a cornerstone of public broadcasting. But international coverage is not only about news – innovative storytelling is crucial for contextualising world events and raising awareness of issues affecting the wider world.

Find out more about WorldView >

Find out more about the Public Media Alliance >

World Water Day

Every year, the UN designates 22 March as World Water Day. It's a chance for us to think about what safe water means to us and what it could mean to the millions of people around the world living without it.