Announcing the Microfinance film of 2013

After six weeks of voting, and a review from MicroFlicks’ esteemed panel of judges, Reggie Schickel's film 'The Cashew Queen of Puttlam Village' has been crowned the ‘Microfinance Film of 2013.’

World Vision and VisionFund are grateful for all who voted and congratulate the other four finalists as well for their outstanding submissions. MicroFlicks was an exciting way for talented filmmakers to use their skills to showcase compelling microfinance efforts around the globe, so watch this space for more information on our future efforts.

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The Cashew Queen of Puttlam
Reggie Schickle
The other four finalists
Open Doors
Tara Askew
Albert: A Fisherman's Story
Michael Hobbs
Beyond a Craft
Muchiri Njenga
Enduring Design
Chris Roberts

The MicroFlicks Judging Panel

A collection of judges from World Vision, VisionFund, the film industry, and the microfinance industry were assembled to review and provide the final vote crowning the winner of the microfinance film of 2013.

The collection of esteemed judges reviewed all of the films and provided feedback based on each film's artistic efforts, story and evocative nature, and how well they champion microfinance. Finally, the judges reviewed the popular vote and used this as the greatest weight to decide on and choose the microfinance film of 2013. Please take a moment and review the judging panel who served MicroFlicks in 2013.

Natasha Bedingfield

Natasha Bedingfield

Ever since her multi-platinum solo debut in 2004, British-born Natasha Bedingfield has been one of the world's most inspiring and innovative female singer-songwriters. Hits like "Unwritten," "These Words" and "Pocketful of Sunshine" topped international charts and led to many prestigious music awards over the years, including a Brit Award nomination for Best British Female Artist and a Grammy nomination.

With parents who work tirelessly for international charity efforts, Natasha is always ready to give something back, including lending her support to the five filmmakers and the global microfinance efforts of World Vision and VisionFund.

Scott Brown

Scott Brown

Scott Brown is President and CEO of VisionFund International, the microfinance subsidiary of World Vision. Scott joined VisionFund in May 2006 with nearly two decades of banking experience and board roles, is responsible for providing the over 800,000 rural poor with the same financial services available in developed countries in order to create wealth in families and communities. Using technology to access costly remote areas, VisionFund continues to ensure the clients are treated with dignity.

Before entering banking, Scott provided engineering services to Canada’s First Nations in the Arctic and Newfoundland. He and his wife live in the UK and three boys in Canada.

Deborra-Lee Furness

Deborra-Lee Furness

Deb is an Australian actress, director and producer. Having spanned decades working in both TV and film, Deb’s credits include hit TV shows and Hollywood films.

Having adopted two children with fellow actor and husband, Hugh Jackman, Deb is passionate about promoting adoption in her native country of Australia, as well as the development of orphanages within Africa.

Rick Goldsmith

Rick Goldsmith

Rick Goldsmith, Producer/Director, is a twice-Academy-Award-nominated filmmaker, most recently for The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009). His 1996 documentary, Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press also earned Rick an Academy Award nomination.

His documentary films address important social issues, have been broadcast nationwide and internationally, and are used in high schools, colleges, universities and by activist and community organizations in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Edith Meyers

Edith Meyers

Edith Myers’ career in the entertainment industry has spanned over twenty years. She has worked with some of the world’s greatest entertainment organizations. As CEO of Pinewood Toronto Studios, Myers filled empty stages with the largest feature films to be made in Toronto and turned around the business.

As COO of the Scott Group of Companies (owned by directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott) Myers was involved in films including Gladiator, Enemy of the State, Kingdom of Heaven and television shows such as Numbers, The Good Wife, and Pillars of the Earth. She has served on boards in Canada, the United States and the UK.

Michael Mithika

Michael Mithika

Michael Mithika serves as a board member for VisionFund International. Michael is an independent financial services consultant. He is also the co-founder and Principal of JM Mantle & Co. Limited, a firm that provides specialist financial advisory services and management consulting to both private and development-oriented clients in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2005, he founded the School of African Microfinance - an international executive microfinance training program that has trained over 900 professionals from more than 40 countries.

Rob Sixsmith

Rob Sixsmith

Rob worked on documentaries in the UK for a number of years until seized by the desire to join the UN. After a few years field producing for UNICEF across Syria he found his world consumed by the chaos of a Civil War.

When finally tired of ducking blockades as a correspondent for the British papers he found himself knee deep in the Alaskan mud as a series producer on The Discovery Channel's Gold Rush. And it's something he just can't give up.

Rich Stearns

Rich Stearns

Rich Stearns is president of World Vision USA. Prior to joining World Vision in 1998, Rich had a successful 25-year corporate career including time as CEO for Parker Brothers Games and Lenox, Inc.

Driven by his passion for the poor and issues of justice, Rich has become a thought leader on humanitarian issues from a faith perspective. He has appeared on CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, and PBS, and written for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and other media outlets. His first book, The Hole in Our Gospel, is a national bestseller. Unfinished, his second book, was released this spring.

What is the Global film Challenge?

Microflicks

MicroFlicks is an initiative of VisionFund and World Vision to locate and promote talented filmmakers around the globe and their films focusing on microfinance. These filmmakers use their skills to travel to interesting and unique locations while bringing microfinance into focus through captivating film.

Global Film Challenge

The MicroFlicks Global Film Challenge is sponsored by VisionFund and World Vision. This contest sends five talented filmmakers on an all expense paid trip to interesting and unique locations all over the world. Once they're there, these filmmakers are tasked to create compelling films showcasing microfinance. When the films are completed, they are posted online and promoted world wide in the global film challenge.

After all of the popular vote is in, a panel of esteemed judges review and decide on the final "Microfinance Film of 2013." All five finalists will receive awards and prizes, with the grand prize winner receiving a pro level film editing suite.

Microfinance

Microfinance provides the economic engine to enable the world's poorest communities to turn business ideas and opportunities into successful enterprises. 'Micro' refers to the relatively small sums needed to provide start-up capital or funding for growth. Microfinance providers work with communities who don't have access to mainstream financial services. To learn more, visit: www.visionfund.org/1526/microfinance/

VisionFund & World Vision

VisionFund improves the lives of children in the developing world by offering small loans and other financial services to families living in poverty. Their work empowers clients to grow successful businesses, which enable children to grow up with improved health and education. Working in partnership with World Vision, a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation, we are committed to long-term change, which will unlock potential for future generations.

Microfinance Film of 2013