The winners of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation's global film competition, Faith Shorts, were announced at BAFTA last night. The films were based around the premise of 'Let me show you how my faith inspires me'. Ironically, the overall winner was created by an atheist.
The competition aims to counter prejudices and extremist views by building understanding about different religions and cultures through short films produced by young people. The three winning filmmakers from Israel, the Philippines and India received their award from Tony Blair in front of an audience that included members of the judging panel, the film industry and religious figures.
The overall winner was Death Bed the Musical by Liat Har-Gil from Rosh Ha'ayen, Israel. The first stop-motion 'claymation' entry the competition has received, the film features a dying man and his nurse debating the existence of god and the meaning of life. Death Bed the Musical also won the category for 18-27-year-old filmmakers.
"I myself am not a religious person but I believe that promoting an understanding between different religions is very important and should be celebrated," says Liat. "I am grateful that the Foundation understood the message of my movie: the dangers of religious intolerance and selected me for this award. Building bridges between different religious communities is important. We must show the different sides of faith through a new medium, like film."
15 year old Mudit Muraka from Apeejay School in New Delhi, India won the Face to Faith category for his film The Mirror, which explores the social pressures that many young people face each day.
16 year old Charles Flamiano from General Santos City, Philippines won the 14-17 year old category for his film Letting Go, Letting God, which is a story about faith in the face of adversity.
"Through these excellent Faith Shorts films, we can help build understanding about different faiths and cultures and help combat ignorance and fear, so creating a strong basis for peaceful coexistence," said Tony Blair at the event. "It is vital that we nurture a generation of young people who embrace and respect difference."