CELCOM Axiata Berhad recently awarded 12 winners of the ‘Escape Shots Merdeka Video Contest’ with cash prizes worth more than RM157,000.
The video contest, which ran from June 25 to Sept 9, saw an overwhelming response with more than 1,000 people registering their interest to participate.
The 12 winners were selected from a pool of 400 video submissions from Malaysians of all ages who were inspired to share their love for the country as the nation celebrated 57 years of independence.
The contest, the first of its kind for the group, was themed ‘Di Sini Lahirnya Sebuah Cinta’, a title which was part of the hit single Warisan, originally sung by legendary Malaysian singer, the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad.
Celcom Axiata Berhad and ESCAPE Axiata Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shazalli Ramly said the theme was chosen as the song illustrated the many values of love that one can display for their country.
The contest encouraged all Malaysians to creatively share their memories of the times that not only portray their love for the country but also unforgettable moments, evoked by their feelings and emotions about their loved ones, beliefs, causes, places, situations or scenarios,” he said.
Thirty-two-year-old Lee See Teck’s short but touching film about interracial relationships bagged him the first prize of RM57,000.
Lee, who is a commercial director, took about two weeks to complete his film.
He said his film, titled Eraser, was made as “we live in an era where interracial relationships are still taboo.”
He added that by turning this view into a short film, he was able to highlight the issue in a ‘sweeter’ way.
Coming in second place was Paul Gan with his video The Ingredient in Us, which showed how different ingredients in nasi lemak represent different races in Malaysia and that all these races come together to make a perfect dish.
Seven consolation prize winners were each given RM10,000.
Celcom Escape also initiated the ‘Inter-University Challenge’, aimed to encourage young talent from local public and private institutions of higher education to participate in the contest.
The first-prize winner was Muhammad Hafiz Raslin.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, who was present at the event, lauded the work of all the contestants.
“The videos produced show that contestants have put a lot of thought and effort into their videos in such a short span of time,” he said, adding that the winning video left him close to tears.
Shazalli said the total number of video submissions exceeded their expectations and doubled their target of attracting 200 entries.
“Usually when contests like this are held, there are about 65 entries but we were surprised to get such a response.
“This clearly shows the public’s interest in supporting this initiative,” he said.
Shazalli also said the idea to organise the event came about after a chat with Ahmad Shabery.
“We talked about how Merdeka sessions are not the same anymore as the spirit of Merdeka is not there. We want to nurture talent and bring back the love for our country in all Malaysians,” he said.
Shazalli added that the group looked forward to organising the contest on a bigger scale next year and planned to attract 2,000 entries.
Videos for the contest can be viewed atwww.celcomESCAPE.com