Today, Faith Shorts 2012, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s global short film competition, opens calls for entries from around the world. Any young person aged between 14 – 27 is invited to submit a short film showing how faith impacts their life and the lives of those around them.
These films will be judged by a high profile panel including: Tony Blair, Hollywood stars Hugh Jackman and Jet Li, Bollywood star Anil Kapoor, Oscar- winning producer David Puttnam, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and British actress Dawn French. The winning filmmakers will be flown to London to have their films premiered at 195 Piccadilly, the home of BAFTA.
The Foundation is accepting film submissions from 29th March 2012, with the competition closing on 9th July. Faith Shorts is designed to be as accessible as possible. Those who don’t have access to film making equipment can apply to win a portable video camera, in order to enter the competition. This pitch competition also opens on 29th March and closes on 7th May 2012. Entrants need to outline their thoughts for a film to enter into the main competition, and the winning entries will be sent a small video camera with which they can film their entry.
Through sharing personal stories and providing insights to their world, young people are given the chance to correct some of the presumptions that exist around religion and religious views, and show that faith means different things to different people. This competition also counters the notion that religion is not only a source of conflict. For the last two years Faith Shorts has been inundated with stories of solidarity, strength and solace.
Last year a group of Canadian Baha’i rappers won the competition overall, producing a creative and uplifting rap encouraging young people to be agents of social change. The winner of another category, a Christian Filipino film student, explored the darker side of religion and the way in which faith can be tested in moments of adversity.
Tony Blair, Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and Faith Shorts Judge said:
“I am delighted to announce the launch of Faith Shorts 2012. Now in its third year, this global short film competition provides young people with a creative and innovative opportunity to showcase their personal views about faith, their ideals and the world around them. More than ever before, filmmaking has the power to expand the reach of religious ideas to new horizons. But film also has the power to shape public perspectives on religious traditions. Films that feature faith often focus on religious conflict and division, leaving out scores of positive stories of co-existence and co-operation.
“Modern technological innovations have allowed citizens access to journalism and filmmaking. The world is at an important juncture, where each day people make decisions about whether to be open or closed minded about difference. It is my hope that this competition continues to nurture a generation of young people who embrace and respect difference rather than fear it.
Faiths Shorts Judge Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman encourages young people to embrace the challenge:
“This year, as events around the world have shown, the ability to give young people a voice and a platform with which to tell their story, is incredibly important. I am really looking forward to judging the entries – what impressed me last year was the quality of the insights, the skill of the storytelling and the ability and openness of the young people to share their perspectives with us. I hope Faith Shorts 2012 will continue to break down barriers and give young people a chance to be heard.
Esteban Pedraza, 21 year old NYU Film School, Nashville, Faith Shorts winner:
“I entered Faith Shorts because I wanted to make a good and honest film about how faith impacted on the people that I love. The opportunity to present this story of love and sacrifice to an audience of incredible judges was something I didn’t want to miss.
“Seeing the names of my favourite film directors printed on the wall outside the theatre my film was shown was surreal and an experience I will never forget.”
Since the competition launched in 2010 the shortlisted films have attracted over 60, 000 views and been used as teaching resources globally. Don’t miss this opportunity to share your insights and talents with the rest of the world.
For further details about the competition visit the Faith Shorts website: http://www.tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/news/2012/03/28