Activist Maya Penn has revealed the trailer and cast for her upcoming directorial debut, “Asali: Power of the Pollinators.”
Penn dropped the trailer at South By Southwest during the Empowering the Next Generation to Build a Better Future featured session.
“Asali: Power of The Pollinators,” is an animated action-adventure short film that follows honey bee Asali after she meets a group of pollinators and a human environmental scientist. The unlikely group slowly saves Asali, her family and their home from a deadly monstrous force.
Penn stars alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Monique Coleman (“High School Musical”), Ronen Rubinstein (“9-1-1 Lone Star”), Joy Ofodu (Mighty Express), and activist Lupita Pineda. Viola Davis and Julius Tennon serve as executive producers. In addition to starring and directing the short, Penn is also animating and producing the film with her production company Upenndo! Productions.
Before her directorial debut and for the past 15 years, the activist has pursued sustainability and environmental education. The 23-year-old activist founded the global sustainable brand Maya’s Ideas when she was just eight years old. Three years later, Penn founded Maya’s Ideas 4 the Planet.
By the age of 16, Penn received a commendation from Pres. Barack Obama for outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship. Prior to her stewardship, Penn made history when she was commissioned to create an animated film for the opening of the first-ever digital report presented to US Congress. In addition to her non-profit and political activism, Maya is certified in Circular Economies and Sustainable Business by Cambridge Business School and she teaches biomimetic design.