Sony Unveils New Short-Form Filmmaking Competition with the UN


Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN) has teamed up with the United Nations Foundation to kick off the Picture This Festival for the Planet, a short-form competition for emerging filmmakers.

From today until April 30, individuals from 70-plus territories around the globe can submit 1- to 8-minute-long videos inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed upon by all 193 member states of the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet and promote prosperity for all.

This summer, eight regional winners will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the Picture This Festival for the Planet for a day of networking and training, followed by a screening of the regional winners’ films. They will also get accommodations for two nights in Los Angeles, along with a Sony RX0 Camera and a year-long WeTransfer Plus account, with the grand prize winner receiving a Sony A6500 camera and a SEL1670 lens.

Celebrity advocates and industry leaders who will judge film submissions include Megan Boone, star of The Blacklist; Elizabeth Cousens, deputy CEO of the United Nations Foundation; Marie Jacobson, executive VP of programming and production at SPTN; Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics; N.P. Singh, managing director and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks India; Glenn Gainor, president of physical production at Screen Gems; Debbie Levin, president and CEO of Environmental Media Association; and Damian Bradfield, president and chief marketing officer at WeTransfer.

SPTN launched a similar contest in 2016 across its channel portfolio worldwide, including AXN, Sony Channel, Crackle and Animax, and those same flagship networks will participate in this year’s festival.

Andy Kaplan, the president of 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.”

Cousens added: “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 realize these ambitious—and achievable—goals.”