Winners of #sH2Orts announced!

We’re delighted to announce the winners of our global sH2Orts competition with WaterAid. We were overwhelmed with submissions of all sorts of fantastic stories on The Future of Water from all over the world. Our esteemed judges were delighted with the entries and found the selection process very difficult.

Winners will receive a grant of up to £3,000 to make their 3-5 minute short film. Read on to find out more about the winners and their stories:


VardanHovhannisyan_EditVardan Hovhannisyan

Blanketed Snows, Armenia

Vardan’s sH2Orts proposal ‘Blanketed Snow’ takes place on the slopes of Armenia’s Mount Aragats. The film is about the exciting, dangerous and joyous ups and downs of a scientific project trying to give Armenia and other mountainous countries clean, drinkable water all year round.

Judge Charlie Philips said the proposal had lots of activity, with Shekhar Kapur describing it as a ‘dramatic adventure’. When told his application was one of the winners Vardan said – ‘my team and I are very happy to be selected by the sH2Orts competition! We are very excited to tell the world about the “snow blankets” of Mount Aragats, and the ingenious and surprising ways that scientists in Armenia are doing their part in fighting the water crisis!

Vardan’s film ‘A Story of People in War and Peace’ (an international co-production with BBC, ITVS/PBS, ARTE, WDR and YLE) has won more than 20 international awards including the FIPRESCI Prize and the Best Documentary Filmmaker Award at Tribeca Film Festival. In 2010, Vardan produced the acclaimed documentary ‘The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia’, an international co-production with NHK, ITVS, YLE, SVT and TVP.


Giselle Santos_Edited

Giselle Santos

Automatic Tubig Machine, Philippines

Giselle’s sH2Orts documentary visits Sison, Pangasinan, a hilly farming town in the Philippines. In order to efficiently distribute water to its residents, the local government has invested in an innovative technology known as Automatic Tubig Machines (ATM). The technology enables residents to use their ATM cards to draw out clean water from communal water stations for drinking, cooking and washing.

Jordan McGarry, sH2Orts judge and Head Curator at Vimeo, said the film was ‘an interesting idea which feels very human’. Delighted at the news Giselle said she was ‘grateful for the opportunity and to be a part of such a great competition. Hopefully, this film will help raise more awareness and inspire people to be more engaged with the fight against the global water crisis.”

Giselle has worked on productions ranging from corporate videos to documentaries and short fictions. In 2013, Giselle produced and directed the short documentary ‘Meal of the Day’ commissioned by YourWorldView as part of their Thought for Food season, which was part of the Encounters Film Festival 2013.



Sven Harding

Place of Sweet Waters, South Africa

Place of Sweet Waters’ is about the hundreds of kilometres of underground brick tunnels that run beneath the centre of Cape Town, transporting millions of litres of Table Mountain’s ‘sweet water’ directly into the sea. In the film we learn about Caron von Ziel, who has passionately campaigned for the restoration of this fresh water resource.

Adam Gee, our Judge from Channel 4 in the UK, said that Harding’s film was ‘a fabulously visual approach to a resonant story’.

Sven was delighted at the news that his project will be made: ‘I’m thrilled to have been awarded the funds to make my film ‘Place of Sweet Water’.  As of 2013 Cape Town, ceased to be ‘water secure’ – it can no longer supply enough safe water for its 4 million inhabitants.Yet, everyday millions of tons of potable ’sweet’ water, filtered through the bedrock of Table Mountain, is wastefully channelled through tunnels that run under the city centre, straight out into the ocean. Hopefully this film will raise awareness of this almost ‘criminal’ waste of a much needed natural resource; the longer term aim being the lobbying of the city’s administration to restore the gathering of this resource to help those without access to safe water’.

Harding’s TV commercial ‘Check Check’ won Silver at the 2010 Dubai Lynx Awards for Best TV/Cinema Advertisement. Sven also directed ‘Sunshine’, a Greenpeace campaign film which won silver for Best Viral at the 2008 Midsummer Awards.



Ibrahim S Kamara

The Electric Hoist System, Sierra Leone

Ibrahim’s winning sH2Orts proposal is set in Sierra Leone, where inadequate access to safe water is a major crisis – only 57% of the population has access to safe drinking water. This documentary follows 19-year-old Khadija, who has invented an ‘electric hoist system’, which replaces the hand-drawn rope and bucket with a motorised system.

Panel member and Judge Moneeza Hashmi said that the film was ‘an inspiring study of a young girl out to save her community  and help others’. Ibrahim said that is was ‘important [for him] to tell the world about the issues affecting Sierra Leone, I am happy to be on the winning list to be able to help my country and work on this great project. Competition like this will create opportunity for young film makers in Sierra Leone and around the world to tell a great story.’

With more than eight years of professional experience in the film and television industry, Ibrahim S. Kamara has worked on projects from advertising and corporate production to music videos and advocacy films. Ibrahim is a Media Producer who, since gaining a National Certificate in Performing Art & Media from the Ballanta Academy of Music, has worked as a producer/director, editor, cameraman and freelance journalist.

Stay tuned for news as the films develop by following us on social media or @sh2orts on Twitter.