Edward Watts is an Oscar nominated, Emmy award-winning, BAFTA-nominated filmmaker who has directed twenty-five narrative and documentary films, telling true stories from far flung corners of the world. He won a BIFA for Best Director, alongside fellow director of FOR SAMA Waad al-Kateab, as well as a BAFTA nomination for Best Debut by a British Director.
His first feature documentary FOR SAMA tells the story of a young woman’s journey through love, marriage and motherhood across five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. An epic tale of courage amid catastrophic war, the film was the first documentary to win a BIFA for Best Film alongside three other awards. It secured the most nominations ever for a non-fiction film at the 2020 BAFTAs. It also won the L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival 2019, together with over 50 other awards worldwide. It has been described by The Times as “one of the most important documentaries you’ll ever see”.
His film ESCAPE FROM ISIS about the brutal abduction of thousands of Yazidi women and girls, and the efforts of a few brave members of their community to save them, won an International Emmy, Amnesty International’s Award for Best Human Rights Documentary and a BAFTA nomination for Best Current Affairs Documentary. The Spectator said it was “such an important documentary it ought to rank with the footage of British troops liberating Belsen.” Edward was invited to testify at the US Congress about the film’s findings at the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Washington DC.
His first narrative short film OKSIJAN told 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. It premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017 and thereafter played at prestigious film festivals around the world.