March 16, 2016—IMAX Corp. today launched an ambitious corporate social responsibility initiative, “Big Picture,” as an extension of its core mission to educate, entertain and inspire movie audiences globally. The wide-ranging campaign (#IMAXBigPicture) will leverage the power of film to promote awareness of and appreciation for the “big picture,” the understanding that the actions we take in our daily lives can significantly impact the future of the planet. Under the initiative, IMAX has partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) specifically to address the host of environmental, societal and economic issues facing society as a whole.

With the launch of its highly anticipated documentary film A Beautiful Planet, which opens April 29, IMAX hopes to showcase the power of film in addressing these issues.

The IMAX-UNEP partnership will promote solutions against climate change as well as actions to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through film. Formally adopted by 193 member countries in September, the UN's 17 development goals range from eradicating poverty, promoting gender equality and protecting the environment to ensuring universal access to clean water, modern energy and quality education. Under the partnership, the organizations will encourage the production of sustainability-themed films on a wide array of issues that lie at the heart of the UN's efforts to protect the planet, end poverty and ensure peace and prosperity for all.

As part of the agreement, IMAX will launch a series of educational screenings and charitable premieres—called “In Feature”—to showcase sustainability-themed films. It will also encourage the development of films and documentaries to promote the UN's 2030 sustainability agenda (the Sustainable Development Goals) and to promote global action around World Environment Day on 5 June and the UN Campaign on the Illegal Trade in Wildlife.

“This global endeavor builds upon IMAX's DNA and bridges to our legacy in advancing society's understanding of and appreciation for mankind's natural surroundings and co-habitants through documentary films,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “We couldn't think of a better partner than UNEP to help mobilize action and build on this foundation. Our hope is that by launching this campaign, we will change minds and hearts and make a greater impact across the world.”

UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP Achim Steiner said, “As an iconic storytelling platform and distribution network, IMAX brings entertainment and information to captive audiences across the world. Such an impact is immensely valuable. IMAX has also made a commitment to corporate social responsibility in the form of its Big Picture initiative, which is being launched today. This work is just as important. Coupling the two in efforts to bring attention to the social, economic and environmental issues affecting our planet aligns with UNEP's goals of engaging the public to better our world.”

As the UN's environmental authority, UNEP exists to tell the story of what is happening to our natural world. From climate change to the illegal wildlife trade to marine litter, UNEP works to raise awareness of the issues affecting our environment. How we exploit, change and damage it affects our economies, our societies and our institutions.

As part of the “Big Picture” campaign, IMAX also launched “In Focus,” a program to shine a light on the work of young filmmakers and inspire them to pursue careers in filmmaking. Under this initiative, IMAX—in collaboration with UNEP—will establish an annual young filmmakers' competition, challenging participants to create public service announcements or short films addressing issues like climate change and access to clean water and quality education. The program builds on the mission of The Michelle & Kevin Douglas IMAX Theatre and Immersive Media Lab at The USC School of Cinematic Arts, which opened in 2014, to provide student filmmakers hands-on opportunities to work with the latest in cinematography and IMAX film technology.

As a first step, on March 16, IMAX will convene a panel discussion at USC's Michelle & Kevin Douglas IMAX Theatre and Immersive Media Lab to discuss “The Power of Film to Effect Change.” Moderated by USC's School of Cinematic Arts' Dean Elizabeth Daley, the panel will include Gelfond together with Naysan Sahba, Director of Communications at UNEP, World Bank's Action4Climate program director Lucia Grenna, and film producer Lawrence Bender.

The session will take place from 10-11:30 am PT and will be followed by a reel featuring several of IMAX's noteworthy environmentally focused documentaries as well as an extended clip of A Beautiful Planet.

To access a live feed of the day's program, go to

About IMAX Corporation
IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you've never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX's network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.  

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing.  As of Dec. 31, 2015, there were 1,061 IMAX theatres (943 commercial multiplexes, 19 commercial destinations and 99 institutions) in 67 countries. On Oct. 8, 2015, shares of IMAX China, a subsidiary of IMAX Corp., began trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the stock code “HK.1970.”  

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience®, The IMAX Experience®, IMAX Is Believing® and IMAX nXos® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (, Twitter ( and YouTube (

About UNEP
UNEP, established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. UNEP work encompasses: assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends, developing international and national environmental instruments and strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment.

About the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a momentous UN Summit—officially came into force on 1st January 2016.  Over the next fifteen years these new Goals that universally apply to all countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. The new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries—rich and poor—to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that to end poverty economic growth must go hand-in-hand with addressing a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental degradation.

Source: PR Newswire