Just Add Water by Jeffrey Mead won the Strongest Call to Action Award at the 2015 Fast Forward Film Festival in Rochester, NY. The short film showcases the mission of Water for South Sudan (WFSS), which delivers direct, transformative and sustainable quality-of-life service to the people of South Sudan by efficiently providing access to clean, safe water and improving hygiene practices in areas of great need.
In accepting the award Jeff said it has been a privilege to work with Water for South Sudan. He acknowledged WFSS Founder Salva Dut, and his journey from a schoolboy forced to leave his home in a small, rural village in southern Sudan, to leading 1,500 boys from a refugee camp in Ethiopia to another camp in Kenya, and finally to Rochester, NY as a refugee. Many years after fleeing his home, Salva returned to southern Sudan to visit his father, who was critically ill from drinking contaminated water. When he came back to Rochester, Salva enlisted the help of friends to establish a nonprofit to drill a well in his family’s village and Water for Sudan was born.
Mead noted that clean water brings so much in South Sudan. "Clean water enables education and commerce and a flourishing of life," he said in a recent interview.
Since drilling its first well in 2005, the nonprofit has drilled 253 wells serving over hundreds of thousands of people. Water for Sudan became Water for South Sudan when that country gained its independence in 2011.
Inaugural Fast Forward Film Festival
The Fast Forward Film Festival celebrates the short film format, challenging filmmakers to utilize the power of visual storytelling to convey the urgency of environmental problems. As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, Fast Forward encourages films that tap into the local experience and compel audiences to engage with the community and raise environmental awareness.
Embracing the short film format, Fast Forward challenges filmmakers to utilize the power of visual storytelling to convey the urgency of environmental problems. Shorts are a liberating form that allow for greater experimentation and give voice to both aspiring and veteran filmmakers. By focusing creativity into films under five minutes in length, Fast Forward films hope to become an important communication tool to inspire change, connect people and build an environmentally concerned community. Fast Forward Film Festival is an initiative of The Lost Bird Project.
Jeffrey Mead is an award winning Producer/Director and co-founder of POV-Rose Media. He has produced webisodes, films, DVDs, broadcast documentaries, national PSAs, syndicated broadcast features, Fortune 200 marketing communications, and commercials in locations around the world, from Rochester to Shanghai, Seoul, India, Africa, Europe, and throughout North America.
Jeff lives with his family in Caledonia, NY.