Award-winning PSA against bullying stays ‘real’ for impact


PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian anti-bullying public service announcement (PSA) was honoured at the international advertising awards Cannes Lions.

The PSA comprises three short videos, each depicting a student being bullied. The victims will finally turn to the camera and tell viewers to help them instead by sharing and liking videos like these.

It was directed by Nadiah Hamzah (pic), Emir Ezwan and Syed Madnuh, with the help of advertising agency Leo Burnett.

“There were so many videos like these circling around. And these were real videos with real people.

“So we thought we could recreate them and viewers will believe it. But when they reach the end, they will get the message (of being more proactive in combating bullying), ” Nadiah said, adding that the directors hope it will inspire anti-bullying policy-making.

She said the videos were shot with a smartphone to drive home the message.

“It was a stylistic decision we made early on. That treatment was necessary. If it was a nicely-shot, glossy PSA, I don’t think it would’ve been as powerful, ” she added.

The PSA not only stunned viewers for its raw and real depiction of bullying but its director, too, when she first shot it.

“After I shot it, I immediately edited it on set.

“Looking at the footage, I was shocked at how real it seemed.

“And if it was so real to me as a director, I knew it would be a very impactful film, ” said Nadiah.

The PSA was made for Voice Of The Children, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to protecting the rights of children in Malaysia.

It was first released on social media platforms late last year but only gained traction when it picked up the Bronze Lion medal in June.

Cannes Lions is an annual festival that celebrates the best of advertisements from around the world.

The PSA was also honoured at The Kancil Awards 2019, Malaysia’s largest and most prestigious advertising awards competition.

Nadiah, who has been directing commercials for seven years, is slated to release her first feature film, Motif, a murder mystery, on Sept 26.


   

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