WomenTalk TV is an International Emmy Nominated digital program that champions, celebrates and enables empowerment of women. It was created in 2012 and launched in 2013 as an independent interview series featuring everyday women who are extraordinary in Asia, our unsung ‘sheroines.’
Delivered in a concise lifestyle interview format, these compelling and moving stories on Womentalk TV are true personal accounts of Asian women who have made a difference to their own lives or to the lives of others around them. Each video ends with the question “What is empowerment to you?”, and sums up the interview beautifully, as we believe that if we can try to find what empowerment means to us, it might be able to help us set goals in life and hold us up in times of extreme adversity.
We always aim to provide these women whose stories need to be told, a platform to have honest conversations, in hope that women all over the world can draw strength from their stories. We also hope that women who are in similar situations will not feel alone.
In 2015, WomenTalk started to grow and we created WomenTalk Pulse, a series featuring unsung ‘sheroines’ who have initiated projects in their communities. That was followed by WomenTalk Soul, where we work with experts in their fields to provide personal and workplace wellness tips and advice to women who otherwise might not have easy access to this information.
In 2017, we will launch WomenTalk Radio, an interview series on Podcast with unsung ‘sheroines’ around the world. We are also looking forward to WomenTalk Enterprise where we work with corporates and zoom in on women in specific industries, focusing on how they are impacting these industries and defying the norms.
WomenTalk is dedicated to sharing stories of strength, courage and inspiration, work with different partners who believe in women’s empowerment, engage good men in the conversation and be a voice for women, whose stories must and need to be heard.
If we as media profile everyday women who are extraordinary, and other women in this group witness and are inspired by what they see being featured, it helps them realise that if there are women similar to them that can achieve and do it, then they can too.
We aim for women to feel empowered to take action in their own lives or in the lives of others. We believe in the motto of #Ican2.
Eunice Olsen is the founder and Executive Producer of WomenTalk TV, and is no stranger to Singapore, regional audiences and media channels. After winning Miss Singapore Universe 2000, she began a career in television as the co-host of “Wheel of Fortune” in 2002, and went on to host numerous talk shows and acted in various television dramas. In 2005, Eunice was appointed a Nominated Member of Parliament of Singapore, making her the youngest ever at age 27. In March 2006, she received an Honoree for The Outstanding Young Persons of Singapore Award. In the same year, she was conferred the Singapore Youth Award. Olsen was also the proud recipient of the ASEAN Youth Award in 2008 and was nominated as a Young Global Leader in 2009 to represent Singapore in the World Economic Forum. She is bi-lingual in English and Mandarin and is taking classes to improve her Mandarin to business level.
She has over the course of her career worked with international brands like Motorola, Blackberry, GSK, Omega, SKII and Redken.
Eunice has acted in various feature films, most recently, 3.50 – the first ever co-production between Singapore and Cambodia of which she acted and produced. Her strength for telling stories led her to found House of Ou Studios that creates original video content.
Her wide reach over the hearts and minds of her fans extends beyond the scope of entertainment, to social activism. Eunice is actively involved with non-profit and philanthropic causes, namely, the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Singapore and Habitat for Humanity. Olsen has multiple ongoing humanitarian projects in Cambodia ranging from Project Precious, a menstrual hygiene management education program, to building sanitation for schools and evicted communities. Ongoing are her advocacy talks on Human Trafficking. She has a passion for the unsung ‘sheroines’ of the world.
Eunice has been playing the piano since she was three and enjoys playing for her family and friends whenever she can.
What is empowerment to you?
Empowerment to me is acknowledging and being grateful for the privileges in life and with that in mind, be fearless of failure.
Frances Chong (Chief Operating Officer)
Frances Chong has 24 years of experience in the world of marketing and advertising. She started her career as a slave of event management and production in Singapore, working her way to becoming one of the top event producers in the 1990s. Having made her mark in event production, she joined Nokia and eventually to Vertu to head marketing in the region. Building an expertise in mobile communications, she moved to Motorola, where she led marketing in Singapore and worked on many award winning Campaigns, including the (Red) campaign started by Bono, and led the region with a Singapore campaign that featured 13 top celebrities. At Motorola, Frances together with her marketing team, supported many local musicians and fashion designers. In addition, she also focused her efforts in numerous Corporate Social Responsibility programmes that reached out to various Volunteer Welfare Organisations and grassroots. Following which, she set up her own boutique advertising agency, supporting clients such as Blackberry and Standard Chartered Bank. She joined WomenTalk on a full time basis as COO in 2015.
What is empowerment to you?
Empowerment is the ability to make choices for yourself.
Teng Long (Editor & Technical Director)
Long is WomenTalk’s resident cameraman/editor, with years of experience despite his young age. With a passion in film making, Long has been directing his own short films, including ‘Chopsticks’, which made first runner up at Cathay’s Motion Picture Awards 2014.
Sandy beaches are basically Long’s second home. He makes time to surf and wakeboard a little during vacations and loves getting back to nature. Long also loves a mean ride, often taking road trips on his bike. Having gone on an adventure from Singapore to Bangkok, he now hopes to conquer Cambodia, China and Europe!
What is empowerment to you?
To constantly set goals for yourself and accomplish them. By doing so, you empower yourself to work harder and inspire others to keep striving to improve themselves.
Daryl (Permanent Intern)
Daryl, aka WomenTalk’s permanent intern, has been with us for a year and counting. In his personal time, Daryl cooks (only in private) and sings (occasionally in public). As the saying goes, “Jack of all trades. Master of none. But better than master of one.” He constantly seeks to improve himself be it personally or professionally, which is why he is grateful to be in the WomenTalk team.
What is empowerment to you?
Empowerment is to do what is necessary to do the right thing. After meeting so many inspiring women, they have taught me that it will not always be easy, but if you aren’t going to do it, who is going to?
Elizabeth Low (Associate Producer, Assistant Writer & Editor)
Elizabeth is a Political Science graduate from NUS. On the side, she is also a violinist who performs regularly with string quartets and orchestras. She’s interested in all forms of the arts, be it music, fine art, film or the humanities. She is also incredibly honored to a part of the WomenTalk team, and is excited to help tell the stories of these extraordinary women. As the saying goes “Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another”.
What is empowerment to you?
Recognizing your privilege and using that to help others who may not have access to the same opportunities as you.
Lim Shu Min (Content Development and Marketing Executive)
Shu Min is a History graduate from NUS. She’s an avid fan of superhero movies and more often than not, can be found scrolling through the depths of Tumblr. She finds great pleasure in eating and much to the chagrin of her friends, also spends much of her time trying to make bad puns. She is thankful for the chance to explore her passion in storytelling through WomenTalk, and looks forward to uncovering more hidden stories amongst the everyday women around us.
What is empowerment to you?
To be empowered is to have the ability and freedom to make your own choices about your life. It is also about having the courage to be different from everyone else and in standing up for what you believe in.
Chermaine Ng (Business Development and Marketing Executive)
Chermaine just graduated from NUS with a degree in Political Science and is interested in the study of women in politics. She spends her free time scouring Instagram, hitting the sand bag at Muay Thai classes (and trying not to get hit herself), and also talking herself out of buying new clothes online on a weekly basis. Joining the WomenTalk has been an incredibly exciting and enriching experience for Chermaine, and she looks forward to telling the stories of amazing women on the show.
What is empowerment to you?
Empowerment to me is the freedom to determine who you want to be and to be yourself, without fear of stereotypes or others’ opinions.
Sher-li Torrey (Founder and Director of Mums@Work)
Sher-li Torrey is the founder & director of Mums@Work (Singapore) – a social enterprise that supports women and is a point of information source for flexi-time work or Mumpreneur business-owners. Founded in 2010, Mums@Work has close to 32,000 member mums (as of end 2016) and partners employers to implement a new way of work by holding various training workshops and career events.
In 2012, she co-authored the book “Successful Work-Life Balance: The Flexi-work Way/ The Mumpreneur Way” and in 2015, she was hired by the Ministry of Education as a Specialist trainer for conducting Career-related training workshops for all ECG Counsellors across tertiary educational institutions in Singapore and In 2016, she started a subsidiary of M@W, Career Navigators – focusing on bringing women back into the workforce in full-time roles. Sher-li is a frequent speaker on Diversity & Inclusion and Women-related issues and has appeared on several Channel News Asia’s news programmes, 93.8FM and Kiss92 FM Radio to discuss topics related to Mumpreneurs, back-to-work and career-advisory matters. She has also conducted training for Employer Alliance, NTUC Women’s Development Secretariat, TAFEP and career workshops for many schools including NUS, SMU and NTU. She is currently married with a daughter and son who inspire her to be better every day.
Kareen Lai (Founder of Mums In Sync)
Kareen Lai is the founder of Mums In Sync (2013) – an organisation which runs fitness and nutrition programmes to empower mummies with adequate knowledge to get into tiptop shape and rock the world with renewed confidence. She believes that every mother has the right to live a fit, healthy & confident motherhood. She was awarded the Singapore Mumpreneur of the Year 2014. Her story and work has been featured and shared on several media platforms including, The Straits Times, SHAPE, Simply Her, KISS 92, The Asian Entrepreneur etc.
Kareen is a highly qualified personal trainer who holds accreditations by both the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Being a certified Power Plate® Postnatal Specialist, Kareen developed the Core Connection Principles™ to help postnatal mothers heal adequately after delivery. Kareen is also the author of ’18 Again – Bringing Out the Sexy Fit Mummy in You’.
Melvyn Goh and Serena Tan (Fitness Couple and Parents)
Melvyn and Serena are now parents to two lovely children.
Since young, Melvyn have always been training his body to perform at a high level – including training of Ashihara karate at age 14, and then achieving the black belt in karate and 2nd degree black belt in Jissen Karate later in life. With this interest in the fitness industry, he began pursuing his interest as a floor trainer in California Fitness Center during his army days.
From there, he became a Personal Trainer and a Multi-Certified Group Exercise Instructor who is trained in most Les Mills programmes, Polestar Allegro Pilates, Zumba Fitness, Hatha Yoga, Power Yoga and etc. He is also a Certified Personal Trainer (American Fitness Professional Associations) and Certified Food and Nutrition Fitness Professional (California Fitness Centers School of Excellence). He is also trained in Polestar Allegro pilates, Les Mills Body Combat, Body Pump, Body Balance, Body Jam, Reebok Core Instructor (Reebok University), Stomp Instructor and Muay Thai (Muay Thai Institute in Bangkok).
Serena is a group exercise instructor who battled with anorexia when she was younger. She embarked on her fitness journey by going for runs and signing up with a gym before she started enrolling in training courses. She eventually began her fitness career as a multi-certified Group Exercise Instructor, leaving her professional job as a compliance officer with DBS Vickers Singapore after 4 years.
She holds certifications in Les Mills programmes like Bodypump, Bodycombat, Bodystep and Bodyattack. She is also trained in Polestar Allegro Pilates, Zumba Fitness, Zumba Gold, Aerial Flow and Yoga.
Dr Radiah Salim (Founder of Club H.E.A.L.)
Dr Radiah Salim is the founder of CLUB H.E.A.L (Singapore), a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering individuals with mental illness to lead meaningful lives. With an optimistic outlook and a bubbly personality, she not only continues to pursue the difficult path of mental health advocacy, but also actively combats the stigma surrounding mental illness in Singapore.
Driven by her her background as a family doctor, as well as her own personal experiences, Dr Radiah seeks to create hope for the mental health community by helping them to regain confidence in themselves. Her organisation also offers assistance to caregivers and family members, and serves as a support network, where loved ones of individuals with mental illness can lean on each other during difficult times. While Club H.E.A.L was established to cater to the needs of the Malay-Muslim community, they have also remained open to helping all persons suffering from mental health challenges, regardless of their race or religion. Through her work, she advocates for the establishment of a more loving and compassionate society which will look beyond one’s mental illness to accept individuals for who they really are.
Sam Kan (Founder of Bodyworks Studio)
Sam Kan is the founder of Bodyworks Studio, a physiotherapy practice in Singapore and also a trained physiotherapist who has been in the industry for around 20 years. He started Bodyworks Studio in 1999 with the aim of creating a community of like-minded practitioners that are committed towards helping their patients to ease their pains and to return their bodies to a condition where optimum function is possible.
Sam works in tandem with his patients during the recovery process to determine the cause of their problems. He believes that by engaging them as active partners, he can, in turn, tailor an individualised treatment plan which relates more strongly to both the physical, as well as emotional, state of his patients. Through such a collaborative process, Sam hopes to educate and share with others knowledge that would allow them to know their bodies better, thereby empowering them to make better decisions about their health.
Sharmilah Begum (Founder of Big Is Gorgeous)
Sharmilah Begum is the founder and editor-in-chief of Big Is Gorgeous. Big is Gorgeous is an e-magazine and digital community for plus-sized women. It aims to encourage body acceptance and self-love amongst plus-sized women in Asia and the world. It also serves as a one-stop portal for them to gain tips on health, beauty, travel and various other topics related to lifestyle. Sharmilah deeply understands the issues faced by plus-sized women given the discrimination she has faced for her body shape ever since she was young. Despite these negative experiences, she maintains a bright spirit and is determined to empower other plus-sized women to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
When Sharmilah was diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy, she became very sick and was hospitalized several times. She decided to take her health into her own hands as her diabetes began to affect her eyesight. Picking up belly dancing and making a conscious decision to eat healthier have helped her to cope with her illness. This painful ordeal spurred her to encourage plus-sized women to lead healthy lifestyles so as to avoid chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. To achieve such a goal, she has kickstarted initiatives, such as fitness belly and dancing classes for plus-sized women.
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is a membership based organization comprised of leading media and entertainment figures from over 60 countries and 500 companies from all sectors of television including internet, mobile and technology. The Academy’s yearly schedule of events includes the prestigious International Emmy® Awards held in New York, The International Emmy® Kids Awards at MIPTV and a series of industry events such as Academy Day, The International Emmy® World Television Festival and Panels on substantive industry topics. The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognizes excellence in television produced outside of the United States, as well as US Primetime programs produced in languages other than English, with the prestigious Emmy® Award. Currently celebrating programming across varied areas including: Arts Programming, Current Affairs, Comedy, Documentary, Drama Series, News, Non-Scripted Entertainment, Telenovela, and TV Movie/Mini-Series, it also recognizes excellence in Performances, Kids programming and Digital.
Humanitarian Award – Award of Distinction
The goal of the Humanitarian Award is to honor filmmakers who are bringing awareness to issues of Ecological, Political, Social Justice, Health and Wellness, Animals, Wildlife, Conservation and Spiritual importance combined with quality film making expertise.
This is not an award that can be submitted for. Rather – these selections are hand picked by the staff and judges that are judging the films received throughout the year in the general competition. Of the hundreds of films that are screened that may have a qualifying topic – only those that are nominated by the judges go on to be considered for the Humanitarian Award. In addition to the Grand Prize – films whose score qualifies them to receive an award at another level – will go on to be bestowed a Humanitarian Honor in the Outstanding Achievement, Award of Distinction or the Honorable Mention levels.
Web Fest – Official Selection
The first Raindance Web Fest took place in September 2013 and 50 international web series were screened. The internet and mobile technology have created so many new opportunities for independent filmmakers, and web and mobile series have become the new short form content that creatives and studio executives have started looking at in order to find the next generation of filmmakers and stars.
Award of Excellence – Documentary Shorts, Women Filmmaker
The Best Shorts Competition is unique in the industry. Attracting both powerhouse companies as well as talented new filmmakers it is an exceptional, truly international awards competition, not a traditional film festival – which allows filmmakers from around the world to enter their films in this prestigious competition. Talented Best Shorts award winners have gone on to win Oscar, Emmy, Telly and other awards.
Best Documentary Short
LAIFFA is a monthly film festival which celebrates Short and Feature films from around the world with 50 awards in different categories and Genres.
Best of the Fest “Best Picture’ wins the specially curated LAIFFA trophy every month.
Films for the screening during the festival are selected by their programming Dept. from the pool of winning films. Not all winning films will be selected for the screening, but all winning filmmakers will be invited to the award ceremony.
Best Women Filmmaker
We at HIIDA value the effort documentary filmmakers put into bringing the film together, be it subject / location or funding / distribution. HIIDA’s goal is to promote and recognize documentary filmmakers from around the world.
Out of all our monthly winners, every month ONE documentary will be selected as “Best Of the Month” and will be awarded HIIDA Trophy during our yearly festival award ceremony.
Best Documentary Short, Best Women Filmmaker
Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival Celebrates Short Films, Features, Television and New Media worldwide. Our mission is to support filmmakers, recognize their hard work, and Award them so they are more inspired to keep telling amazing stories.
HIMPFF is a monthly film festival with yearly LIVE screening, Red carpet Interviews and Award Ceremony held @ The Historic Raleigh Studios Hollywood.
Award of Merit – Documentary Short
IndieFEST discovers and honors the achievements of filmmakers who produce high quality films and new media. Attracting both powerhouse industry veterans as well as talented new filmmakers, the IndieFEST is an exceptional, truly international awards competition, not a traditional film festival. The goal of traditional film festivals is to bring entertainment to local audiences making the filmmaker of secondary importance. IndieFEST is about helping independent filmmakers gain the credibility and publicity they justly deserve.