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SPTN, UN Foundation launch special fest to showcase emerging filmmakers

People from over 70 countries are invited to submit short videos for the Picture This festival for the Planet, inspired by a set of global goals agreed upon by all 193-member states of the UN to end poverty, protect the planet and promote prosperity for all

Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN), in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, has announced the opening of the Picture This Festival for the Planet, a short-film competition for emerging filmmakers, everyday storytellers and changemakers worldwide to showcase the positive future they see for our planet.

Starting January 30, people from over 70 countries around the world were invited to submit videos between one and eight minutes in length inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of global goals agreed upon by all 193-member states of the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet and promote prosperity for all.

Andy Kaplan, President, Sony Pictures Television Networks, said, “At Sony, we are proud champions of the intersection between storytelling and innovation and are incredibly excited to spearhead Picture This. With the support of the United Nations Foundation and our other partners, we look forward to elevating and amplifying these important development goals through the voices of emerging creatives and acknowledge their good work in a meaningful way.”

The partners in this year's festival are – The United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Association of the United States of America, WeTransfer, Sony World Photography Awards, Sony Alpha Universe, the Environmental Media Association and leaders and environmental visionaries from around the globe.

In addition to Kaplan, the list of celebrity advocates and industry leaders who will judge film submissions
includes – Megan Boone, environmental advocate and actress from the hit TV series “The Blacklist,”; Elizabeth Cousens, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, United Nations Foundation; Marie Jacobson, EVP Programming & Production, Sony Pictures Television Networks; Tom Bernard & Michael Barker, Co-Presidents, Sony Pictures Classics; N.P. Singh, MD & CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India; Glenn Gainor, President of Physical Production, Screen Gems; Debbie Levin, President & CEO, Environmental Media Association; and Damian Bradfield, President and Chief Marketing Officer, WeTransfer.

N.P. Singh, MD & CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India, said, “Much of India’s development agenda is
embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals. Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) is supporting the Picture. This festival for the Planet because we believe that heightened social consciousness leads to positive social impact. Visual storytelling is a powerful tool to inspire social change. That is why we would like to invite students, professionals, academicians, environmentalists and filmmakers to submit their entries. Picture this, to picture a change.”

Elizabeth Cousens, Deputy CEO of the United Nations Foundation, said, “The Picture This Festival for the Planet is an innovative new platform to connect global audiences to what is happening on the ground as people put the SDGs into action in their daily lives. The United Nations Foundation appreciates Sony’s deep commitment to sustainability and its willingness to leverage its creativity and reach to bring the SDGs to new audiences. By celebrating individual stories of people around the world actively working to protect people and planet, Picture This will help inspire others to join the effort to realise these ambitious – and achievable – goals."

This summer, eight (8) regional winners will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the Picture This Festival for the Planet for a day of networking and training alongside industry leaders and social impact partners at the Sony Pictures Studio lot, followed by a screening of the regional winners’ films. Regional winners will receive airfare and accommodations for two nights in Los Angeles, along with a Sony RX0 Camera and a one-year WeTransfer Plus account, with the grand prize winner honoured with a Sony A6500 camera and a SEL1670 lens.

There will be three winners selected from India. While the first winner will receive gratification, the other two winners from India will be rewarded with a Sony PJ675 Handycam® with Built-in Projector (HDR-PJ675) camera, each. In addition, the first 100 entries from India will each receive a WeTransfer Plus account for a year.

The Picture This Festival for the Planet is Sony Pictures Entertainment’s latest project to bring awareness to the SDGs.

Submissions for the Picture This Festival for the Planet opened on January 30 and will close on April 30.

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