Record numbers for film fest


IF it were not for the pandemic, the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) 6th Mini Film Festival (MFF) would not have been such a huge success.

Finding themselves migrating online due to the virus, the organisers had to endure several setbacks and challenges to pull off the virtual awards ceremony.

But their hard work proved fruitful as the virtual awards ceremony conducted through its social media on July 27 saw a strong audience of 700 registering to attend.

The large crowd, the varsity said in a statement, would not have been possible if MFF was organised on-site.

Festival director Dr Teo Miaw Lee said despite all the challenges, MFF was the first Malaysian onsite film festival which had successfully migrated online due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

The event has since been viewed by over 5,000 netizens, making the challenges worthwhile.

Sharing how a temporary breakdown of its online screening platform left everyone scrambling, festival programme coordinator Yow Chong Lee said making sure the festival ran without a hitch had even caused him to develop neck and shoulder pains from the long hours of working in front of the computer and on mobile devices.

Out of 20 films submitted in two categories this year, five films were awarded the Best Short Film and Jury Award.

Blue Light, directed by filmmaker Cheah Kah Sing, won the Best Short Film award.

“Blue Light was thought provoking and truly reflective of the time that we live in, ” said Nadiah Hamzah, a member of the jury.

Meanwhile, PEON and Here I Am both won the Jury Award for their creative approach towards their portrayal of migrant workers and undocumented children in Malaysia.

“The juries had a hard time in choosing the winner, hence the unprecedented two jury awards given in the same category”, said Yow.

For the MAS See Films: Student Category, Best Short Film was awarded to The Darkest Night directed by Toh Tze Wei who is currently furthering her studies in Nanjing, China.

Sunway University students Sheldon Chong and Alina Wong won the Jury Award under the same category for their film With Love, Elaine.

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