Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Singaporean Filmmaker to Represent Asia in Sony’s Global Picture This Festival for the Planet in Los Angeles

It is always inspiring to hear our fellow Singaporeans representing the world in their own way!

Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN), in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, today announced that Singaporean filmmaker Wally Tham, and Malaysian filmmaker Mark Lee 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.

Tham’s short film, Sayang Kalimantan, is a compelling insight into the 2015 forest fires that devastated Kalimantan in Indonesia. Tham and his team spent two years in Kalimantan designing and building Indonesia’s first functioning haze shelter, while documenting the arduous journey that the local residents experienced. Watch the film below!

Tham and Lee 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.

Visit www.sonypicturethis.com to watch all eight regional finalists’ videos.

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.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Definitive Rat Pack Charity Gala For The Business Times Budding Artists Fund

Last week, I had the chance to attend The Definitve Rat Pack charity gala and it was a night to remember where all the well heeled and influential dressed to the nines!

Photographed by José Jeuland
A crowd of over 300 guests came together last Wednesday to support The Definitive Rat Pack Charity Gala Performance Night organized by British Theatre Playhouse, in aid of The Business Times Budding Artist Fund. The charity gala night was a huge success with having sold out tables. It was also highly attended by Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, the British High Commissioner H.E. Mr. Scott Wightman, the Malaysia High Commissioner H.E. Zulkifli Adnan and several prominent members of Singapore society and business leaders.

Photographed by José Jeuland
The Definitive Rat Pack performed some of their classic singles, which includes Love and Marriage, Sway and Fly Me To The Moon and left us humming and grooving along. It was indeed a night filled with emotions, memories, humour, inspiration and passion. People got to relive the Definitive Rat Pack’s charisma and entertainment of the century. This event was also successful in raising a total estimated amount of S$60,000 for The Business Times Budding Artist Fund. The British Theatre Playhouse has also brought the show to Kuala Lumpur and Dubai after the performance in Singapore.

I was definitely allured by their rendition of Sway, That's Amore, My Way and Fly Me To The Moon. The Definitive Rat Pack today did certainly emulated their predecessors very, very well.

The act of Nancy Sinatra made a special appearance and entertained us with major classics like Bang Bang and Downtown - classics you have always heard used in some great movies today!

British Theatre Playouse once again has allowed us to enjoy the Rat Pack's legacy of hits from the Great American Songbook. The amalgamation of classics and raising funds for the Business Tims Budding Artists Fund could not have been more apt. It lives up to Frank Sinatra's spirit of generosity in his day, raising millions of dollars for charities for the underprivilegdged and disabled children, including setting up a centre for abused children and their families and there are stories of Frank giving cash donations to families, friends and strangers.

Hopefully there will be more initiatives like this for us to support! Very happy for the organizers and the show! In Malaysia, even my favourite singer Dato' Siti Nurhaliza attended The Definitive Rate Pack. Hope you enjoy the performance photographs taken by José Jeuland!

Performance photographed by José Jeuland
According to Founder and Managing Director of the British Theatre Playhouse The aim of the British Theatre Playhouse has always been to inspire and bring world-class live entertainment shows from London to Singapore and the region, as well as to organize charity events for those who need them the most. On behalf of the British Theatre Playhouse, Ms Cecilia Leong-Faulker would like to thank their sponsors Singapore Turf Club, One Farrer Hotel & Spa, British Airways and TWG for making it possible.

The British Theatre Playhouse is a theatre production company based in Singapore. The company has produced many highly successful plays and musicals in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the UK. Some of them include Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, Salute to Sinatra, Stars of The West End, Leo Sayer in Concert and Let’s Dance – Paul Roberts Sings David Bowie.

The British Theatre Playhouse also organises an ‘Art for Charity Gala’ with each show to raise money for a charity. The Business Times Budding Artists Fund (BT BAF) BT BAF is an initiative started by The Business Times in 2005. Started with a conviction that no child with strong interest and potential in the arts should be denied the opportunity to develop his or her talents due to a lack of financial resources.