Jo Southwell’s Film Wins Best Producer & Cinematography at Film Festival

Local film Director and writer Jo Southwell’s ECHO film has won Best Producer and Best Cinematography at The Big Syn International Film Festival.

ECHO shines a light on child loss and grief at this festival of hope, peace and change that has reached 45 million in over 120 countries.

A Grand Jury comprised of OSCAR, BAFTA and EMMY award-winners and leaders from sustainability, business, media and policy such as green investor Deborah Meaden, BAFTA, EMMY & CANNES award-winning filmmaker Waad Al Kateab, BT group’s head of sustainability Gabrielle Giner, OSCAR winner Chris Tashima, London Business School’s Sustainability Guru Prof. Ioannis Ioannou, Freegle’s founder and UK’s resource goddess Cat Fletcher, amongst others, selected the winners of the 2023 Big Syn International Film Festival from over 400 films and over 200 charity films received from over 120 countries.

The film was screened worldwide to millions between 15-25 October 2023. Echo is the story of Alice, a grieving mother who finds hope in an imagined memory of her child; was shot on location at CamberSands and in the underwater tank at Pinewoods Studios. Writer | Director Jo Southwell commented, “Echo was a very ambitious short film because of the underwater cinematography and VFX – both a first for me.”

“As a story inspired by miscarriage it was not only a passion project but a story that needs to be told. During the crowdfunding stage, Sara and I were overwhelmed by the
number of women and men who shared their stories with us – the common theme being…miscarriage is not discussed enough.”

Echo was shot in September 2022 and produced by Sara Gibbings of Troy TV, Bristol. Both Jo and Sara are Creative UK Female Founders with a slate of projects in
development. Jo said, “We are delighted with the response that Echo is receiving at festivals. We have already won Best Fantasy, Best UK Short, Best Soundtrack and been selected at BIFA and BAFTA qualifying festivals. The Big Syn shared such appreciation for Echo and supports filmmakers in a truly unique way.”

Following a gala awards ceremony at the iconic Curzon Mayfair in support of #savecurzonmayfair, the winners were publicly announced with their films screening on
Europe’s biggest screen, London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights on 14 November to the roaring support and cheers of scores of onlookers, filmmakers and their supporters.

The founders of the festival Dr Ragini G Roy and Dr Sourav Roy remarked, “This is the world’s biggest platform unifying the power of all forms of films from shorts, features, documentaries, animations to charity films and public service videos that draw attention to sustainability, and inspires people to act on the 17 United Nations Global Goals to combat major issues such climate change, mental health, inequality, discrimination, poverty and many more.”

Ardent champion of this movement and Grand Jury member, Deborah Meaden said, “It was a pleasure to be on the Grand Jury of Big Syn International Film Festival – the world’s biggest sustainability film festival. Films have a powerful role in showing us the big-picture of sustainability and its significance for our own lives through relatable stories from across the world. This is how Big Syn Film Fest is spreading awareness about sustainability and the UN’s Global Goals to inspire positive action.”

The organiser of the festival and awards, Big Syn Institute, is a part of the Centre for Big Synergy, a CSO of the United Nations Department of the Social and Economic Affairs, tasked to create a thriving, capable and responsible future for us and generations to come.


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