Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Winners of MyView 2011 / 2012 Announced

Well, it’s done and dusted for another year. And what an extraordinary year! There were so many great entries that our judges told us what an astonishingly hard time they had getting down to a short list, and then choosing the winners.

Thank you all so much for your entries. Without your continued support, MyView would not enjoy the great success it does, so again thank you all so very much!


The Rivals was an outstanding entry.

The silent film aspect of The Rivals was inspired by the recent Oscar-winning film The Artist, says producer/director Adrian Sibal. “With only one week before the deadline, adopting the style is the most practical approach to shoot the film in less than a day since we don't have to deal with spoken dialogue and multiple sets.”

Adrian drew inspiration from another somewhat surprising source - an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants “wherein a prehistoric version of SpongeBob and Patrick first discovered fire,” says Adrian. “In that episode, SpongeBob and Patrick are competing over the control to a piece of log which was set on fire due to a lightning. We decided that having two characters competing against each other is a good way of comparing the pros and cons of renewable and non-renewable energy sources”.

Adrian Sibal, 26, lives in Manila where he works in risk management and financial analysis. Outside of work hours Adrian is vitally interested in “creative thinking and the visual arts. I used to do oil painting. My hobbies are photography and photo and video editing. Together with peers, I am also fond of movies and dream of creating a real one someday. I created quite a number of video presentations for our youth organization”.

Adrian is a youth leader and active in his church and in the past four years has been involved in leading advocacy through organizations in his local community.

Of his winning entry Adrian says, “We tried to squeeze in a lot of ideas about the pros and cons of renewable and non-renewable energy sources to maximize the 5-minute limitation. [The film] shows that renewable energy sources are at hand, non-renewable energy sources are exhaustible, non-renewable energy sources bring forth pollutants and harm the environment”.

“One major aspect which the video emphasizes is that renewable energy implementation requires a significant initial investment but it has far more impact in the long run,” he added.

All the judges loved The Rivals’ sense of humor while delivering a strong message.

The Rivals story was awesome,” said award winning film maker Mun Chee Yong one of the judging panel, “It gets the clean energy message across in a funny and simple way. “


1st prize The Smarter Species - Carlo Marco Cruz, Philippines

2nd prize What If - Van Cleef Emnacen, Philippines

3rd prize The Treasure – Benjar Ramos, Philippines


1st prize A Day in the Life - Kai Syuen Loh, Malaysia

2nd prize Think - Yeasin Rahman, Bangladesh

3rd prize The World Runs of Gasoline - Abigail Kristy Javellana, Philippines

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jiwan Acharya – a Nepalese childhood creates a life long commitment to energy for the poor

Jiwan Acharya is a Senior Climate Change Specialist with ADB's Sustainable Infrastructure Division. He is responsible for overseeing the Energy for All Initiative which works to increase ADB's investments in projects that bring modern energy to the poor.

I was born and raised in Nepal, and until I was nine years old, I had never seen an electric light. When I first saw one being switched on, I was amazed. Even at that age, I could tell that this light was better and brighter than any candle or kerosene lamp being used by my family.

When I was ten, another new thing was introduced to our household – biogas for cooking. This change was especially beneficial for my mother. The gas burner was better, cleaner and much more convenient for her, compared to using firewood.

I know that I am not alone in this direct experience - to the life changing effects of modern energy.

Over the past few decades, millions of families gained access to electricity and fuels throughout developing Asia. These people now have bright lights in the evening, and the energy to mill grain, or pump water, or cook their food without worrying about smoke from an open fire damaging their lungs. Modern energy allowed new schools to open, giving many more people a chance at an education - myself among them.

My path eventually led me to the Asian Development Bank and working with Energy for All, which is helping to expand the number of people who benefit from modern energy.

Even with all the progress that has been made, there are still too many people with no access to modern energy. In my home country, at least 16 million people, or more than 40% of the population, do not have access to electricity.

Asia and the Pacific region is home to most of the world’s energy poor – 700 million without access to electricity and 1.9 billion people without access to modern fuels. The rural poor are those most in need of modern energy, but the hardest to reach with traditional infrastructure.

ADB is working on solutions to this, such as piloting the concept of a renewable energy village whose mix of renewable energy technologies can be replicated almost anywhere else in developing Asia.

There are many ways to make energy more accessible for the poor. Working for Energy for All, I have seen that there is no lack of innovative approaches, but a common problem is a lack of scale. Solutions that bring access to hundreds have to be scaled up with financing and policy support to reach thousands and hundreds of thousands.

We have to think big to take on energy poverty at the regional level, and that is the great feature of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All – it is a global scale effort to improve energy access for everyone, nine years old or otherwise. Speaking on behalf of Energy for All, we hope to see some excellent videos out of the My View contest that we can highlight during this very important year.

Speaking on behalf of Energy for All, we hope to see some excellent videos out of the My View contest that we can highlight during this very important year.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Sing, Dance and ….. Make Energy?

For those who are used to flicking a switch for light, turning on the TV for entertainment, and keeping food healthy through refrigeration, it’s pretty hard to imagine life without watts.

But over 700 million people in the Asia and Pacific region do not have access to electricity.

It’s so easy to overlook the lack of electricity when thinking about the causes of poverty – but education, good health and economy are all connected to a country’s supply of energy.

There are many ways you can find out about how to be more energy efficient in your life, and back in December we looked at some unusual renewable resources – including turkey guts, chocolate and onions.

While some of the ideas may sound, well, unconventional, necessity is the mother of invention, and if turkey guts light up your life, why complain?

More research is being done on building prototypes for sustainable, renewable energy. At the University of Utah, work is quickly advancing on turning heat caused by sound into energy. While you would need an awful lot of noise to create even a small amount of heat, right now the researchers say they can power up computers, televisions and other small devices through sound waves.

Like waves created by sound, people create a lot of hot air. Researchers have started harnessing that human movement to create energy. Already it’s being used on a small scale here in Asia.

Hungry for more? We’ll leave you with another off the wall idea: spinach. There’s a new solar energy harvesting system currently in development based on on photosynthesis. The solar cell system is generated by a protein called Photosystem I, which is derived from spinach. When researchers extracted the Photosystem I and exposed it to light, heat was generated. While spinach was initially chosen because of its intense green color ( indicating high photosynthesizing power) the energy researchers are also looking into the potential of peas, olives and other green vegetables.

There may be a day in the near future where we could plant vegetables for power as well as for food. But in the meantime, conserve what energy you have...flick on your brain...and enter MyView.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You're in Luck - MyView's Deadline Has Been Extended!

That’s the thing about deadlines, they’re sometimes made to be broken. And so, broken ours we have. Or extended it, would be more accurate.

And so, there is your very first prize – more time! Now you have no excuse, no reason,  and no justification not to get out into world and make your short video about renewable energy.

You now have until 23 March to get your entry in. Details here:

Don’t forget - this really is a great competition! Scroll back through our blog to look at the thoughts of previous winners and get to know some of the judges. It’s impressive, even if we say so ourselves.

So, think about the challenges of providing clean, sustainable energy for Asia and the Pacific.....because right now 800 million people still lack access to a modern supply of electricity.

Now, here’s the money stuff - a total of $10,000 worth of prizes in two categories, Under 21 and Over 21. That means every citizen of ADB’s 67 member countries is eligible to take part.

Registration for the contest is easy. Complete the online entry form, and then upload your video to or, tagging it with ‘ADB-MyView’.

Don’t forget! The new deadline for submission of entries is 23 March 2012. 

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Q&A with My View Judge Malek Shafi’i

Malek Shafi’i is an Afghan documentary maker. Malek lived in exile for 20 years and returned to Kabul 5 years ago. He launched the Afghanistan Cinema Club and is the organizer of the Autumn Human Rights Film Festival.

Malek's films  have been seen around the world and been awarded many international prizes. Malek has sat on film festival juries in Canada and Afghanistan.

What are some of the challenges of being a filmmaker in Afghanistan?
People were not aware of the power of film until the last few years, although cinema has a 60-year history in Afghanistan. Many youth began filmmaking in recent years but there have been security problems that threaten filmmakers.

Speaking about problematic social situations through cinema is a new event in Afghanistan. So many organizations that are aware of the power of cinema do not show interest in supporting filmmakers to debate these dilemmas in their films.

There are other challenges for Afghan filmmakers as well. The domestic market is not prepared to financially support filmmakers.

For people in places like Afghanistan who may not have great opportunities, what advice would you give them about getting into making films professionally?
Cinema in Afghanistan is experimental and amateur. However, there are some creative and talented youth involved. I would advise them to expand their links to overseas, to international film festivals and to gradually try to produce films in partnership with outsider producers. This way, they can continue their profession, get new skills and attract more audiences.

Favorite documentary (or documentaries) you have seen in the past year and why did you like it/them?
I have seen many documentary films! I like those that take you into the depth of events like war, earthquakes, etc. Filmmakers, who go into the depth of such events and capture the affects of them, in fact do great efforts to humanity. I also like ethnographical documentaries. Afghan-produced documentaries are gradually becoming stronger and more attractive. These films provide very valuable information about Afghanistan today, through their critical pictures.

A lot of documentaries are now being made in Afghanistan by foreign film makers. Do you think they get your country right or wrong most of the time?
Many foreigner filmmakers have a negative image of Afghanistan in their minds. They enter the country with a pre-made judgment and image about Afghanistan and try to make a black image of here as much as they can. They think that it helps them to make a very good story if they focus on showing good - and the bad!

But, most of the long feature films produced by Afghans do not have real link with the Afghan society. The short feature and documentary films are the best films – they reflect the realities of the Afghan community. These films capture the country and people exactly how they are and play the role of mirroring our community.

Describe some of your films for us please. 
I have made several documentaries and some of them won prizes.
  • The End of the Earth is about lives of immigrants in Europe at the time of 9/11. This film was in different film festivals and especially won prizes from anti-war film festivals.
  • Pamir Territory is an ethnographical look to people of Wakhan in Badakshan (province). This film was shot during the first presidential election in Afghanistan and won the best documentary award from “Kazan” film festival in Russia.
  • Up to the Parliament is about the lives and campaigns of three women in three different provinces of Afghanistan who are candidates for the first Afghan parliament.
My films in fact, reflect an important part of Afghanistan history.

Your advice to anyone making a MyView entry? What will you be looking for?
I really liked the works of previous MyView competitions, and especially this year’s focus on renewable energy. I think there is a demand for such ideas because human needs today are very similar. So, it will be very good and effective if filmmakers look at the needs of all humans. I hope that this kind of competition continues.

Where can people find you?
Weblog (in Pashtu): (in Pashtu)
Website: ,

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:

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: