Hugh Jackman and Tony Blair launch global film competition 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 closes 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. A Christian Filipino film student focused on the darker side of religion and the way in which faith can be tested in moments of adversity and a Muslim high school student worked with her class in the UK to explore the true meaning of Islam.

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.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation
In an increasingly globalised world, religion is at the very core of life for billions of people and it cannot be ignored. The Tony Blair Faith Foundation aims to promote respect and understanding between the major religions. We empower, support and train young people in over 140 countries to take multi-faith action to eliminate deaths from malaria, providing them with a positive alternative to those who try to use faith as a means to divide. We create opportunities for people of faith and none to come together to learn directly from each other and to take joint action on shared humanitarian goals.

Photo by Greg Williams ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC

Further details about the competition

The competition is open to those of all faiths and none, aged between 14 and 27 years old.
Film length: three minutes maximum.

Age Categories:
• 14-17 years old
• 18-27 years old

All films can be uploaded onto Youtube, one of the easiest and most widely used sites for sharing and watching original films.

Deadlines and important dates:

Competition closes 9th July 2012.
Entries open from Thursday 29th March 2012.
Awards ceremony: November 2012.

Films have to answer the brief “Let me show you how my faith inspires me” but there are no specific themes.

What are the judges looking for?
Originality, creativity, a clear story and a viewpoint that brings home the reality of the story they tell about faith.

Prizes include:
• An all expenses paid trip to London to the Faith Shorts red carpet VIP Awards Ceremony at 195 Piccadilly, the home of BAFTA.
• The opportunity to shoot and edit a short film with a professional film crew (for the 18 – 27 year old category).
• A personal tour of the National Film and Television School and the Q & A session with the school’s director, Oscar-winning producer Nik Powell (for the 14 – 17 year old category).

Go to to find out more. For the latest updates follow us on Twitter @TonyBlair_TBFF #FaithShorts2012 and like us on Facebook

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