Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN), in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, today announced that Malaysian filmmaker Mark Lee, and Singaporean filmmaker Wally Tham are the Asia finalists of the Picture This Festival for the Planet, a worldwide short-film competition for filmmakers to showcase the positive future they see for our planet.

Lee’s short film, Mr. Garbage, tells the story of Chua Hock Boon, an electrician and Loh Keat Geok, an environmentalist, who work tirelessly to recycle the mountain loads of garbage that have accumulated for generations in their hometown, Ketam Island, a small fishing village located off the coast of Port Klang, Selangor.

Mark Lee

Lee and Tham are two of eight regional finalists from around the world who will receive a Sony RX0 camera and a trip for two to Los Angeles, where they will attend the Picture This Festival For the Planet at the Sony Pictures Studios lot on July 31.

On this day, the regional finalists will meet with Sony Pictures executives from the television and the motion picture group, followed by an evening event exploring how stories can promote a better world through the lens of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). All regional finalists’ films will be screened and a winner will be announced at the event.

Entries for the Picture This Festival for the Planet opened in January, with aspiring filmmakers and environmentalists from over 70 countries submitting videos between one and eight minutes in length. Each submission was inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals, 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.

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, Connect4Climate and leaders and environmental visionaries from around the globe.

In addition to internationally renowned musical artist and the judge of Asia’s Got Talent, Anggun and YouTube sensations Damon and Jo, 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; Mr. N.P. Singh, MD & CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India; Marie Jacobson, EVP Programming & Production, Sony Pictures Television Networks; Tom Bernard & Michael Barker, Co-Presidents, Sony Pictures Classics; Glenn Gainor, President of Physical Production, Screen Gems; Brett King, Vice President, Creative Programming, Diversity & Inclusion, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Tetsuya Bessho, actor, Founder and President, Short Shorts Film Festival; Debbie Levin, President & CEO, Environmental Media Association; and Damian Bradfield, President and Chief Marketing Officer, WeTransfer.

The Picture This Festival for the Planet is Sony Pictures Entertainment’s latest project to bring awareness to the SDGs. In 2016, the United Nations and SPE launched Angry Birds for a Happy Planet, a global youth outreach campaign that leveraged online and social media platforms to encourage action to protect the planet and fight climate change. Centered on the Sustainable Development Goal #13 – to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, the campaign featured Red and other characters of The Angry Birds Movie. In 2017, supported by the cast of the Smurfs: The Lost Village, audiences were encouraged to join “Team Smurfs” for the “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign that inspired everyone to learn about and support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.