The future. Are you an optimist, or a pessimist? If you’re the type of person that thinks of bright blue skies and rolling green fields, with technology and nature working in harmony, then “Picture This”– a global short film contest with sustainability at its heart – is for you.
The latest Xperia handsets feature 4K video capture capabilities, meaning shooting our own masterpieces should be pretty straightforward, so we decided to grab Sony Pictures Entertainment’s (SPE) John Rego (VP, Sustainability) to give us a few more details. John leads SPE’s global efforts to meet our ‘Road to Zero’ environmental goals, which is a plan to achieve a zero environmental footprint across all of Sony.
John, what is the “Picture This” campaign and where did the idea come from?
The Picture This Festival is a short-film competition. It is open to anyone across 70 countries who wants to share a one to eight minute video about the positive future they see for our planet with an emphasis on stories about our environment, food and the importance of education. Entrants can win Sony equipment and a trip to the Sony Pictures Studio in Los Angeles. The deadline for submissions is April 30. To enter, go to sonypicturethis.com.
Picture This began in 2016. Sony Pictures has a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and in 2015, the global television channels collectively wanted to use their reach to connect with people around the world about this critical issue. Each of our network channels chose an environmental topic, from plastic pollution to biodiversity to energy efficiency, partnered with a local non-profit organization and distributed messaging across on-air and social media platforms. What began as a global public service campaign now includes a short-film festival.
You’ve previously mentioned the UN Sustainable Development Goals, what are they and why are they important?
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a roadmap for a better future. Agreed upon by 193 member states of the United Nations, the goals outline solutions and targets to end poverty, protect the planet and promote prosperity for all. And it’s all of our responsibility to accomplish them.
How can budding filmmakers get involved?
Beautiful imagery is captured on mobile phones every day. And now, with 4K video capture capability on a number of Xperia devices, users have a camera capable of the same resolution that our professional productions use. Anyone with an Xperia smartphone should go and shoot a one to eight minute video with their vision for the future and submit it at SonyPictureThis.com
You say 70 countries are invited to take part, have you seen any variation so far in what a positive future looks like from nation to nation?
Every country is different in its challenges, yet there is a common theme of hope. Whether the stories are told as a comedy, animation, spoken-word or documentary, the importance of the environment and education across our communities shines through.
If you made a video for Picture This – what would you capture?
I’d take my Xperia outside to capture the natural wonder of a strong rainfall. Living in Southern California, you are reminded about the importance of clean water. It feeds us, bathes us, and makes the world beautiful by nourishing the plants around us. In addition, it’s fun to run around in the rain and stomp in puddles while searching for rain barrels, water catchment systems, and solutions people have put in place.
What can you tell us about upcoming Sony Pictures sustainability initiatives?
We have a few items in the planning stage both from an operational improvement and cause marketing perspective. One likely includes a web-crawling super-hero. I’d be happy to come back and tell you more about them soon!