Our content-development project WorldView has run a competition with international development charity WaterAid to encourage the creation of fresh takes on the topic of water

The competition, sH2Orts, is being supported by British TV and film star Hugh Bonneville and a panel of top film directors and is now open for entries. Up and coming filmmakers and broadcasters from anywhere in the world have been invited to produce one-minute films about what water means to them.

Broadcasters are often looking for new ways to engage audiences on core topics such as the environment, weather and climate. Water is central to this, and we encourage broadcasters and journalists to use the competition as a opportunity to discuss key environmental topics from new angles.

Bonneville, best-known for his roles in period drama Downton Abbey and the new film on Paddington bear, has become a WaterAid ambassador, and explained the impetus for the competition: “Most of us take water for granted, yet one in ten people around the world have no choice but to drink water from unsafe sources. 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and inadequate sanitation – that’s a shocking statistic. WaterAid’s work is essential if we are to tackle this global problem.”

And on the role of film he added: “I’m looking forward to seeing the range of films illustrating this vital resource in its many forms. Our hope is that these films will encourage people to think about how they might help make a difference, particularly in parts of the world where the provision of water isn’t as simple as turning on a tap.”

You don’t need fancy equipment to capture a strong story

The judging panel includes Indian film director Shekhar Kapur; British directors Gurinder Chadha and Philip Bloom; Nigerian filmmaker Jeta Amata; and head of documentaries at the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Charlie Phillips.

Philip Bloom said: “There are so many water stories out there, so go out. You don’t need fancy equipment to be able to capture a strong story, and so this competition is open for entries filmed on anything from a mobile phone or GoPro to a broadcast camera. Surprise us! Get creative, get imaginative – we want to hear your stories told your way.

Five winners will be chosen by the judges and public vote, with prizes of digital cameras and mentoring from renowned filmmakers up for grabs. Entries are now closed, but you can currently view a sH2Orts taster on our home page. For more information on the competition timetable, visit wateraid/sH2Orts