Tony Blair film awards celebrate faith

A 16-year-old Christian teenager was one of the winners of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation's film competition, Faith Shorts.

Charles Flamiano travelled with his father all the way from his home in General Santos City, Philippines, to attend the red carpet award night in London on Monday. It wa the first time he and his father had ever left the Philippines.

Charles won the 14-17 age category with his film "Letting Go, Letting God", which tells of how faith can be a source of strength in difficult times.

The annual competition challenges film makers aged 14 to 27 to produce three-minute films answering the brief "Let me show you how my faith inspires me".

The competition gives young people the opportunity to show what their faith means to them in their own words and take this to a global stage.

The panel of judges included Tony Blair, Hugh Jackman, Lord Puttnam and Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

In his acceptance speech, Charles said: "This award has been the greatest thing which has ever happened to me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to receive this award and to see this very lovely place.

"I would like to thank the judges for selecting my film my class mates who served as cast and crew and my family and my school for nurturing my faith since elementary years.

"Above all God for guiding me every step of the way and making this happen."

The other two winning filmmakers were Mudit Muraka, 15, from New Delhi, who won the Face to Faith category for his film The Mirror, which explores the social pressures that youth of today face each day.

Liat Har-Gil, 25 from Rosh Ha'ayen, Israel, won the 18-27 category and was the overall winner for the first claymation entry to date - Death Bed the Musical, which features a dying man and his nurse debating the existence of god and the meaning of life.

Mr Blair, founder and patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation said: "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.

"It is vital that we nurture a generation of young people who embrace and respect difference."

Watch "Letting Go, Letting God" here

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