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Offer: Tony Blair Faith Foundation Global Youth Short Film Competition - Submit an entry by July 9!

Faith Shorts is a global film competition launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that provides young people with the opportunity to express their faith through film.

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 Lord 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.

Judge for the third year in a row said, Hugh Jackman said:

“I’m delighted to support Faith Shorts 2012, the annual global short film competition for young people. 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.”

Through sharing personal stories and providing insights to their world, Faith Shorts gives young people 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. The competition also counters the notion that religion is only a source of conflict. For the last two years, the competition has been inundated with positive stories of community interaction, individual activity and creative solutions to combat religious discord.

Tony Blair, Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and Faith Shorts judge, encourages young people to apply:

“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. It is my hope that this competition continues to nurture a generation of young people who embrace and respect difference rather than fear it."

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. 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.

The winning films will be premiered at a red carpet event in central London later this year. The winners will receive all-expenses paid trip to London for them and a parent or guardian, if they are under 18. Accommodation has been kindly provided by the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, London.

Last year, the competition prompted a flood of inspirational and powerful entries from around the world, and from many people with many different religious beliefs: Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Humanist backgrounds.

The winning films came from a young group of Baha’i rappers from Canada, a Filipino who made a dramatic film about the nature of illness and the restorative power of faith in times of difficulty and a class of British students who looked at the life and work of the prophet Muhammad, and what that meant to them.

The standard of entries and breadth of stories covered, inspires and galvanises audiences every year, with Dawn French, one of the judges remarking: “I was incredibly impressed with the high standard of films....They were, in fact, a pleasure to watch, and if it was my call, everyone would get a jelly and a medal!”

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