Edward Watts is an Emmy award-winning, BAFTA nominated filmmaker who has directed over twenty narrative and documentary films, telling true stories from far flung corners of the world.

He has just completed his first feature documentary, ‘For Sama’, which 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 won the L’Oeil d’Or for Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival 2019. It has been described by The Times as “one of the most important documentaries you’ll ever see”.

In 2015, he produced and directed ‘Escape from ISIS’ about the brutal ISIS abduction of thousands of Yazidi women and girls, and the efforts of a few brave members of their community to save them. The film received numerous international awards and citations, including an International Emmy and Bafta nomination for Best Current Affairs Documentary.

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. Edward was also invited to testify at the US Congress about the film’s key findings at the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Washington DC.

Among his other work, 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 and the air inside begins to run out. It premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017 and thereafter played at prestigious film festivals around the world.

Edward’s film-making aspires to tell visceral, gripping stories that highlight our common humanity. He has an eye for the unexpected: cinematic images in the bleakest places; humour found in hard times; stories of hope amid horror.

Download a copy of his CV here: EdwardWattsCV-Jan19


  • For Sama (2019)
  • Oksijan (2017)
  • Marovo Medical Mission (2016)
  • Escape from ISIS (2015)
  • The Mega-Brothel (2014)
  • Nigeria’s Hidden War (2014)
  • Welcome to Rio (2014)
  • Chinese Murder Mystery (2012)
  • Norway’s Massacre (2012)
  • Secret Pakistan (2011)
  • Defenders of Karachi (2011)
  • Children of the Inferno (2009)
  • Forest of the Dead (2009)
  • Sea of Tears (2008)
  • God’s Own Country (2008)
  • It Shouldn’t Happen to a Muslim (2008)
  • Reign of the Rockets (2008)
  • Children of the Genocide (2007)
  • Cocaine Country (2007)
  • Israel’s Wild West (2007)
  • Anarchy in the Andes (2007)
  • Red Sun Rising (2006)