I am an Emmy award-winning, BAFTA nominated filmmaker who has directed over twenty documentaries for international broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4 and PBS in America. My films have covered everything from war crimes in the Congo to the colourful lives of residents in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

My film Escape from ISIS exposed the brutal treatment of the estimated 4 million women living under the rule of the Islamic State and, for the first time on television, told the extraordinary story of an underground network trying to save those it can. It received numerous international awards and citations, including an International Emmy and Bafta nomination for Best Current Affairs Documentary.

The film also won Amnesty International’s award for Best Human Rights Documentary 2015, the Royal Television Society’s award for Best International Current Affairs 2016 and a Broadcast award for Best News & Current Affairs Programme 2016. It has also been honoured by the Overseas Press Club of America for Best International Reporting in broadcast media and the Robert F Kennedy Center for Human Rightsreceiving the Best International Television award. I was also nominated for Best Factual Director 2015 by the Royal Television Society.

The Guardian described it as “a breathtakingly bold piece of journalism,” while the Spectator said it was “such an important documentary it ought to rank with the footage of British troops liberating Belsen”.  Prime Minister David Cameron cited the film in a major policy speech on ISIS. I was also invited to testify at the US Congress about the film’s key findings at the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Washington DC in July 2015.

My film-making aspires to tell visceral, gripping stories about people who live in far flung corners of the world, to bring their humanity, courage and humour to audiences at home.  I have an eye for the unexpected: the intimacy found even in the bleakest places; the stories of hope amid horror. I create my films on a strong foundation of riveting narrative story-telling and striking, cinematic images.

I have just completed my first narrative short film Oksijan which tells the incredible true story of a 7-year-old Afghan boy’s fight to survive as he is smuggled to the UK in a refrigerated lorry and the air inside begins to run out. I wrote and directed the film, which premieres at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.

Download a copy of my CV here: EdwardWattsCV-Oct-2017