Craig Leeson is a passionate ocean and mountain explorer, surfer, diver, aviator and an award-winning filmmaker, television presenter, news correspondent, and entrepreneur who has a passion to develop mind-growth for the betterment of humanity and the species we share the planet with. He was the Australian of The Year (TAS) in 2022.
Craig found his voice as a journalist and filmmaker broadcasting awareness about pollution (single-use plastics), biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. His documentary filmmaking career began in 1999, and since then, he has produced and directed numerous award-winning films.
Notably, he is the director, explorer/narrator, and writer of the multi-award-winning documentary feature film “A Plastic Ocean” (released 2017) and he is also the producer/director/writer of The Last Glaciers (released on IMAX giant screens in 2022 and in cinemas and platforms in 2024). His films have been produced in partnership with the UN and screened at the COP 27,27 and 28 climate conferences.
A Plastic Ocean has been publicly screened in cinemas and at public events in over 70 countries on 6 continents. These screenings facilitated both support and partnership with
Government & multilateral agencies, Australian and UK Parliaments and the Mexican senate, as well as the private & social sectors and academic institutions. The film was screened by the US Senate and chosen as one of 50 showcase films screened in 55 US embassies around the world. A shorter 22-minute version of the film was premiered at the UN General Assembly, in conjunction with the Permanent Mission of Colombia, in 2018, in New York City. The film counts among its patrons UNESCO.
Craig has been advising governments around the world on environment issues and was instrumental in helping frame and introduce legislation banning single use plastics to the Colombian and Mexican congresses. He has also advised and worked with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on oceans and single-use plastics-related issues and helped ADB’s president launch a US$5billion global healthy oceans initiative at the Fiji annual general meeting in 2019.
Filmmaking & broadcasting work:
Craig has produced and directed numerous National Geographic Channel top Asia television programmes and Earth Day promos shot in multiple countries. He also produced and directed Asia’s first extreme sports television series - the Action Asia Challenge – and screened it on two networks simultaneously, NGCI and ESPN. He has worked with the world’s major broadcasters as a producer and foreign correspondent, including BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, PBS, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Bio Channel, Universal, Al Jazeera and the Seven Network.
Craig is committed to charity work and has produced successful multi-million-dollar fundraising films for Room to Read, Operation Smile, The Sovereign Art Foundation and FilmAid.
Craig is a renowned public speaker, moderator and emcee and has been the keynote at major corporate conferences and film festivals globally that includes the Royal Geographic Society, Tedx, Forbes, Fortune Magazine, International Congress on Conservation Biology, FilmAid Asia, EarthX, The Klosters Forum, BNP Paribas Sustainability Future Forum, and many more.
Craig is the CEO of Leeson Media International, Leeson Global Media and Ocean Vista Films and founder of the I Shot Hong Kong Film Festival. He is the Sustainability Partner to BNP Paribas, an advisor to The Klosters Forum Founder of A Plastic Oceans Foundation (Hong Kong) and Plastics Oceans Mexico and an advisor to Plastic Oceans International. He is the ambassador to the Footprint Foundation, Canada Goose, Good Citizen sunglasses, and on the board of advisors for Ocean 14 capital.
Awards and accreditations:
• “Marco Polo: The China Mystery Revealed”, (National Geographic Channel).
• Best International Affairs Documentary on “The fall of President Suharto” - New York Festivals Medal
• 17 awards for A Plastic Ocean, which has been translated to more than 25 languages and was released on Netflix by Leonardo di Caprio.
• Voted number one documentary on iTunes in the US, Canada and the UK.
• First Change-maker Award recipient – Cathay Pacific.
• A qualified bronze medal certified surf lifesaver having represented Tasmania at the Australian titles
• Holds medical, CPR and surf rescue crew certification as well as a surf rescue boat license.
• He is also a qualified advanced SCUBA diver
• An FAA-rated private pilot’s license & a UK paragliding pilot’s certificate.
Craig plays guitar in a published rock band. He is the fourth-generation media entrepreneur in his family.
30-Apr-2024Oceans & Waters ForumCOMMUNICATING CONSERVATIONISM