Hey! It is me, Neru here. I’m currently pursuing Bachelor of Pharmacy in the very established university known as International Medical University (IMU), starting my studies there in 2016. Oh yes, let me just narrate what the title depicts. Well, I won the international photography awards last year in Italy last year (if you could spot me on the IMU Achievements Board); indeed, the same passion once again takes a whole turn for me as I manage to grab the ‘champion’ title for Best Photo Presentation amongst 4000 submissions from all over the world at the recent Flicks Fiesta Awards Night on 20 October 2018. I was nominated for 4 categories which are Best Photography, People’s Choice Awards, Best Photo Presentation and not to miss, Best Cinematography (Short Film ‘Kembali’). Flicks Fiesta is a student-organised short film festival initiated by degree students of KDU Penang University College in 2015. The initial idea of Flicks Fiesta was to provide a platform for students to showcase their final year productions. It was aimed at young filmmakers to showcase their independent productions, giving them new exposures, and to experience a sense of accomplishment. Since then, this short film festival grew from a local event to a national festival. In 2016, Flicks Fiesta received submissions from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), UCSI University College, INTI International College, University Malaysia Sabah (UNIMAS) and many other institutions all over Malaysia. In the same year, a new award – Yasmin Ahmad Award – was introduced to acknowledge young creative filmmakers with multi-cultured submissions. Flicks Fiesta was back again this year with the theme “Celebrating Talents, Celebrating Lives.” This year, they added a new category: Photography. They decided to do this because they believe that photography is a great tool for self-expression. Being able to express oneself through a photo is very powerful. Even though anyone could do it, it still takes skills and talent to be able to tell a story through a still picture. The organisers of Flicks Fiesta wanted to recognise these young creatives not just in filmmaking, but as well as in photography. The annual filmmakers’ award night was organised by KDU Penang’s Bachelor in Public Relations and Communication students, who collaborated with Penang Youth Development Corporation.This year’s Flicks Fiesta celebrated the young filmmakers with prizes worth up to RM20,000. The event took a step further by receiving submissions from Indonesia, Taiwan and India to acknowledge young filmmakers and their creative talents in those countries. Prof Dr Chong Beng Keok, Vice-Chancellor of KDU Penang, encouraged the students to be a part of the arts even though the world is being changed by Industrial Revolution 4.0. “Although these are revolutionary steps for mankind, we also need to celebrate and nurture our fundamental humanity, which is the arts. We need to raise awareness, change perceptions and encourage a positive appreciation towards our society, hence the theme of this year’s Flicks Fiesta,” said Dr Chong. At the same event, Datin Orked Ahmad, sister of the late legendary filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad, thanked KDU Penang for honouring the legacy of Yasmin. The moment they announce my very first award was a “grammy-awards” kind of feeling, felt so over the moon. I received an oscar-like trophy and a cash prize worth RM500. Photography has always been my passion. For me, I believe art allow us to go above boundaries of what we currently know or think. This means that arts can be used in a way for us to challenge our current beliefs, spark new ideas or generate critical thinking.
|“Art is a universal language, you don’t need any degree or any kind of prior experience to create, participate in, or be moved by art”|
I would like to thank my parents and siblings whom were my backbone to all activities I’ve participated in. Without them, I wouldn’t have the honour to receive awards at the international platform. I would like to extend my appreciation towards IMU especially my supportive mentors, lecturers and friends for recognising my talent and being a good sport towards all my engagement in national and international events. I hope to soar even higher and spread my wings into the sky! Written by Nermesh Singh aka Neru Related article: Passion Never Fails