India’s Vinamra Pancharia is the global winner of Sony Pictures Television’s Picture This Festival for the Planet with his short and moving film Tubelight. Pancharia has won other honors for such films as Unsung Hero,The Affair, Raju and Lots of Love.
The all-day festival, which was created in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, was held Tuesday, July 31, on the Sony lot in Culver City, Calif. Each movie was to be inspired by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so topics included poverty, hunger, climate, gender equality, clean energy and water and sustainability.
Pancharia’s movie, which will stream free in the U.S. on Sony’s free, ad-supported Crackle streaming service, portrays a homeless orphan boy and dream to attend school. Even though he has no means, he sits outside a classroom window during the day and studies under a street light at night, hence his given name, Tubelight.
“Education is the foundation for building prosperity and health,” said Pancharia in a statement. “In Mumbai, at traffic signals, you find these kids selling books. They should be using them in the classroom. True progress is only possible when every child is in the classroom. It all boils down to education. With this film, I just want to create that call to change.”
The Picture This Festival for the Planet was established to celebrate everyday storytellers and change-makers worldwide, showcasing the positive future they see for our planet through the art of film. Earlier this year, people from more than 70 countries were invited to submit videos between one and eight minutes in length inspired by the 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. This initiative was supported by Sony Pictures Television’s networks around the world.
From these submissions, judges selected eight regional finalists, including ultimate winner Tubelight:
Mark Lee, Malaysia, Mr. Garbage:
Yatri Niehaus and Constantin Campean, Germany, Atlantis Real Estate:
Daniel Mendoza, Mexico, Flying Home:
Wally Tham, Singapore, Sayang Kalimantan:
Francisco T. Navarro Ruescas, Spain, Huevos Ecologicos:
Bethany Borg, United Kingdom,The Conductor:
Carolyn Meub, United States, Why Do You Give?:
Regional finalists received airfare and accommodations for two nights in Los Angeles, along with a Sony RX0 Camera and a one year WeTransfer Plus account. The grand prize winner was honored with a Sony Alpha A9 camera and a SEL 2470Z lens.
“Through Picture This, we want to empower aspiring filmmakers to use their storytelling talents to inform audiences about the important issues we’re facing in today’s world, including the threat of global warming,” said John Rego, vice president, sustainability, Sony Pictures Entertainment. “Thanks to Sony Pictures Television’s vast networks around the world and the UN Foundation, this initiative helped shine a light on these global goals that will make our planet a better place for all of us.”
The global judging panel for The Picture This Festival for the Planet consisted of celebrity advocates and industry leaders including Megan Boone, environmental advocate and star of the Sony-produced series The Blacklist; Anggun, internationally renowned recording artist; Elizabeth Cousens, deputy chief executive officer, United Nations Foundation; Mr. N.P. Singh, MD & CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India; Marie Jacobson, EVP programming and production, Sony Pictures Television; Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, co-presidents, Sony Pictures Classics; Glenn Gainor, president of physical production, Screen Gems; Brett King, vice president, creative programming, diversity and inclusion; Tetsuya Bessho Actor, founder/president of Short Shorts Film Festival; Damon and Jo, YouTube vloggers; Debbie Levin, president and CEO, Environmental Media Association; and Damian Bradfield, president and chief marketing officer, WeTransfer.