Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Welcome to the International Year of Energy for All!

Can the world:
- ensure universal access to modern energy services?
- double the rate of improvement of energy efficiency?
- double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix?

And do it all by 2030? Those are the stated aims of “The International Year of Energy for All.”

Energy and access to energy are vital in the development of communities and nations, but is so often overlooked as a cause of poverty and economic hardship.

Watch this to find out more:

In 2012, the Asian Development Bank joins other leading global organizations in highlighting the need for access to reliable, sustainable, renewable energy. There can be no development without energy. Poverty cannot be addressed sustainably without energy services.

Energy can assist in alleviating poverty – access to modern energy for heating, cooking and electricity can generate cash, supplement incomes and improve health and education.

Electricity can improve health and health services, keep kids in school, alleviate the burden of ”women’s work.”

Watch music group Linkin Park and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon talk about Sustainable Energy for All

If you want to show your support for alleviating poverty through energy, you can download this banner for your website, Facebook page, Twitter account or blog:

You can also enter MyView --- yes, you still have plenty of time!

If you need inspiration have a look at some useful links:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Question and Answer with Alvin Tiamzon – the winner of the first MyView competition (2009)

Why do you think you won the first My View?
I think the greatest edge of my entry was its simplicity and straight-to-the-point message and the fact that it was infused with humor that speaks directly to its target audience - the youth.

Did anything unexpected happen after winning the first competition?
Well...first off, my business assignment in the US was cut short by a week and I had to ask my manager to allow me to fly back to Manila for the [MyView Competition] press conference!

Next, my entry was subsequently remade for broadcast purposes - that gave me a chance to work on a “big” production that I hadn’t experienced before. I also did receive an offer from a carbon-management company to make videos for them, similar to my MyView entry, but I had to refuse because I chose not to leave my job. I can’t manage to do it as part-time work either.

What have you been doing since you won the first MyView?
- Joined some video contests in the Philippines, as well as ASEAN-wide competitions.

- Founded a Film Club in the Philippines. As a founder and lead of the Film Club, I help produce internal videos and organize several activities related to filmmaking from videography to video-editing, etc.

- I met more budding filmmakers by attending the free filmmaking seminar with Brillante Mendoza at the ABS-CBN Foundation. Together with a team of five, we produced a short film related to the Pasig River. In fact, I unknowingly met the then-future MyView H2O Under 21 category winner Nash Anggahan at the seminar.

- I also help cover the 10-10-10 Pasig River Run (in Manila) with some of my fellow colleagues from the filmmaking seminar.

Any plans to work in the film industry further?
Definitely. Working in the film industry is still my dream job. I guess when I’m 30, I might consider leaving the IT corporate world completely and do something else – you never know – but  I’d like to think that I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to come along before I can totally break in to an industry that is still quite unfamiliar to me. I don’t even know where to start!

Favorite films you have seen in the past year and why did you like them?
(please feel free to choose any one of these...I just can’t decide which movies are my absolute favourite in the past year so I’m putting a lot of them here)

Black Swan – I like how director Darren Aronofsky shows the gritty side of ballet and how the film managed to build up into a very satisfying climax. Not to mention the phenomenal performance of Natalie Portman.

Toy Story 3 – The incinerator scene alone is worth the price of admission. It’s been well-cited that the ending made even grown men cry but the incinerator scene caught me unprepared.

Limitless – I like well-crafted and intelligent sci-fi films and this one along with Duncan Jones’ Moon and Source Code belongs to my favourites.

The Ghost Writer – The mystery within the film that didn’t reveal itself even until the last few minutes of the film kept me hanging and I love the ambiguousness of the ending.

Never Let Me Go – I don’t know but I seem to love the depression expressed throughout the whole movie.

Hanna – I like how it defies the typical action film genre.

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank – A spot-on and totally outrageous look on Filipino indie cinema which I hope will change how future Pinoy indie filmmakers make a movie that is not about poverty and all its dead seriousness. I do hope more films like this will be produced because people are tired of mainstream movies that are all about love teams and nonsense comedy.

Atonement – Even though I’ve seen this about three years ago...I can’t help but to put this in since this is one of the movies I absolutely adore in recent memory. Everything in this movie is top notch – from directing, costume, music, cinematography and acting – this is a rare film that surpassed my expectations and has affected me for days. Having not read the book or even not seen the trailer, I watched this movie with absolutely no expectations. In fact, being a film music aficionado, I was just curious on how composer Dario Marianelli used the typewriter in the score and also to see the acting debut of Saoirse Ronan. Never did I realize that this seemingly just another period piece turned to become one of the affecting movies I’ve seen.

Your advice to making a great MyView entry?
Keep it simple. Think about how you can best deliver a simple message that is relevant, witty and fresh enough to be interesting to the target audience. It’s also best if the message you’re trying to deliver is coming from your own experience.

Where can people find you? (please provide your twitter address, - and facebook if you want to connect with people).
A “fan” page made by a friend: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alvin-Tiamzon/100497006660239?sk=wall

Monday, January 09, 2012

Q&A with Mun Chee Yong – one of our brilliant judges

You've been very successful in a short time - how did you get to make a feature film so quickly out of film school?

Thanks... time is a relative concept!  I did a radio interview in Singapore and the radio host thought I took very long! Well, I am one of the lucky few among my University of Southern California classmates who have made our first feature films. Like everyone else, I graduated from film school with a thesis short film, did the festivals, won some awards, got a manager and took meetings. After a while I decided that I didn’t want to wait for someone to hand me my break. I decided to find out the steps I needed to take to make my movie. Film school taught us how to make a movie creatively. But it didn’t teach us how to get it made, the business side of it. I investigated the process and learned as I went. Having been a journalist gave me the toolset to find information and piece it together. Then when I had to put together my first business plan, make deals, talk to investors etc., it was helpful that my background was in economics so I was able to speak their language.

So all of that has to do with getting the movie financed, which is the biggest hurdle for most first time feature film director with no track record. I'm quite a fearless optimist and that helped. I also have a hard time giving up.

You went to film school in the United States. Do you think there is any difference between Asian cinema and Western cinema?

Yes, there are huge differences as well as similarities. Films tell stories. I believe that the voices behind that storytelling make the biggest difference between Asian cinema and Western cinema.  Those voices are different because they are shaped by very different sets of circumstances and life experiences. The cinematic languages are different too. For instance, western color theories and design concepts are unlike their Asian counterparts. The audiences are different too. What appeals to one audience doesn't necessarily appeal to the other - and that is a big factor in what gets made, east or west.

People who are into digital art, cinema and computers often say that "feature film is dead" - your thoughts?

A lot of people have declared that cinema was doomed ever since the day it was invented. As I’ve said before, I am an optimist. And I am a cinema lover. I believe that cinema will continue to reinvent itself endlessly so that the joy of movie going experience will continue to be relevant to its audience. It will evolve. It will not stay the same. But it will find its place in the new media landscape. In fact I happened to visit two countries recently where cinema is still very much alive and thriving -  China and Brazil.

Where are you and what project are you working on now?

I'm in Los Angeles right now. I have just been to the Bahamas, for the Bahamas International Film Festival where my movie was screening in competition. I’m also doing some work on a thriller script that I’m attached to direct, as well as developing some other scripts.

What do you think would make a good MyView entry? 

I don’t know. I’m looking forward to be surprised!

How can people link with you online? 

They can message me on facebook... I will answer messages. I tweet as @wtrmts when we had our release in the [United States]. So they can check out @wtrmts for the latest about my movie or check out my movie's facebook page where they can also reach me: