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Young aspiring film-makers from Curtin Sarawak vie for top accolades in short film competition


Miri – 19 April 2010 – 15 young aspiring film-makers from Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) are vying for top accolades in Detik-detik MH, Malaysia Airlines’ Short Film Competition.


The Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication students from the university’s Department of Media, Culture & Communication submitted 5 short films recently for judging.


The films and production crews were Sekampung Sehati (Belinda Yip Chien Jiun, Julia Chong Yee Ling and Wong Sie June@Jason Wong), Berihani Hati (Rachel Kedung Bulan, Law Siaw Wen and Lu Shan), My Precious Moment (Martin Tengeler, Suhas Tadas and Chan Yue Yong), Memories (Yang Zi, Noora Ibrahim Zahir and Njiiri Eric Maina) and Share (Ting Mei Mei, Wong Tien Tien and Esther Choo Tuong Wee).


Buoyed by a ‘Meet the Judges’ workshop held at the university campus on 25 March 2010, during which they got to meet some of the competition organisers and judges and gained insightful pointers from them, as well as the impressive track record of fellow BA Mass Communication students in film competitions over the last three years, the students are hoping for a good showing in the competition.

Inspired by the rising popularity of short films, Detik-detik MH aims to provide a platform for creative talents at tertiary institutions in the country to express their personal interpretations of Malaysian Hospitality on film. The competition is open to both local and foreign students in Malaysian-based universities.


The Curtin Sarawak students were glad for the opportunity to meet the judges during the recent workshop. They said it inspired them to develop further a number of creative ideas and concepts for their films.


The judges are MAS Senior General Manager, Communications Indira Nair, CEO of TMI Malaysia George Aveling, filmmakers Tan Chui Mui and Liew Seng Tat, and film producer Bahir Yeusuff.

Similar workshops were held in the Klang Valley and Kuching. They covered such aspects as low-budget filmmaking, developing concepts and ideas for short films, story-telling strategies, and working with actors.


According to Film & Television Lecturer Rama Venkatasawmy, who supervised and produced all five of the participating entries from Curtin Sarawak, the Department of Media, Culture & Communication constantly encourages its BA Mass Communication students to take part in film competitions like Detik-detik MH.


“It allows them to apply what they learn in their course of study, to increase their film-making experience, to learn from industry professionals, and of course, to showcase their talents and expand their video production portfolio,” he said.


Also involved in the production process was Film & Television technical officer Juliana Yong, who also acted as producer for all five films.


Rama is most pleased that Curtin Sarawak’s BA Mass Communication students have achieved rather remarkable results in film competitions in the last three years.


He related that two documentaries, Asi and Irama Tradisional, made by BA Mass Communication students were Top Ten finalists last year in the documentary category of Radio Television Malaysia (RTM)’s Program Karyawan Muda film competition. In 2007, another documentary by BA Mass Communication students entitled Nenek Inyak won the AFP Special Jury Award for ‘Best Cinematography’ (Anugerah Khas Juri – Sinematografi Terbaik) in RTM’s Anugerah Filem Pendek.


“All these achievements reaffirm the very high standard of film-making expertise in Curtin Sarawak’s Department of Media, Culture & Communication. I am very proud of our past and present students’ efforts. Their achievements give us the impetus to keep on working hard towards achieving even wider recognition for our students, the department and the university. Ww currently have other BA Mass Communication students already working on yet another film competition,” added Rama.


Working in five groups of three, the students participating in Detik-Detik MH were required to develop scripts and produce short films from scratch according to the competition’s theme of ‘Malaysian Hospitality’. They were encouraged to be as creative as possible as their entries will be judged on the originality/freshness of ideas and story style; the quality of cinematography techniques; and the clarity of translation, presentation of storyline and emotional nuances in relation to the theme.


One of the participating BA Mass Communication students, Gerain Chan Yue Yong, said, “This kind of competition gives us the opportunity not only to show off our talents and potential in film-making, but as we are encouraged to be as creative as possible, also incorporate some rather distinctive ideas and messages into our films, which we hope will make our films really stand out.”


Chan added that the film production process was a wonderful experience for all the 15 students involved, helping them forge stronger friendships and working together as tight-knit teams under the supervision of Rama and Yong.


Head of the Department of Media, Culture and Communication Mawi Taip applauded the students’ dedication and advised them to treasure the experience gained from the process.


“Although our geographical location limits our access to media happenings like in Kuala Lumpur, we train our students in the latest techniques in film and television production. I am confident they will be as skilful as graduates from any other institution that offers the same course,” remarked Mawi.


For more information on Curtin Sarawak’s Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication course, visit, or call its Student Recruitment Department at +60 85 443 939.


The students listening to one of the competition judges during

'Meet the Judges' workshop.


The students pose for a group photo with competition organisers and judges.