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MCM students win local film award

With one "Oscar" already in the bag from the Singapore Film Competition last year. 19-year-old student, Nisar Husain this time picked up the Special Jury Prize this year with his entry.

The second-year Mass Communication (MCM) student felt that he again did not put in much effort into the production. The modest student added that this year's entry "was as impromptu as last year's".

Once again, filming was completed without prior planning with a story-board or script. "It was a very rush job … filming was completed within three days," admitted Nisar.



"We were trying to jolt people from their sweet dreams and show them that the world is not all sugar, spice and all things nice, not even in Singapore"


The 5-minute movie entitled "Hurt Instinct" rides on visual impact. It consists of numerous rapid cuts of newspaper headlines about people hurting each other and shots of congested highways and busy streets.

All these were put together to suggest the "ugly reality we live in, in contrast, to the delusion of pleasantness that most Singaporeans have," Nisar said.

His successful attempt last year was far from being the inspiration or reason for his entry this year. "Hurt Instinct", according to Nisar was made to show how teenagers feel.



The 5-minute movie rides on visual impact. It consists of numerous rapid cuts of newspaper headlines about people hurting each other and shots of congested highways and busy streets.

Nisar teamed up with his elder brother, popular movie critic, Nazir Husain, to work on the production. "We don't care about the competition or the prize money," said Nisar with conviction.

Nisar further explained that his brother observed a contrast between the surreal environment in which people live in, against the violent reality reported in the newspapers. This turned out to be the inspiration for the movie.

A friend's collection of newspaper clippings on violent crimes also contributed to the birth of "Hurt Instinct".

 

"We were trying to jolt people from their sweet dreams and show them that the world is not all sugar, spice and all things nice, not even in Singapore," Nisar explained.

Two other second-year MCM students, encouraged by Nisar's success last year, also took part in the Singapore Short Film Competition this year.

Dzulkilfi Sungit and Remi Mohamed got together during the school holidays to put together a simple ten minute movie entitled "Eddy" which tied with Nisar's effort for the Special Jury Prize.

"We couldn't believe it," said Dzulkifli of their accomplishment. "It was a last minute thing and we did it because we were very bored during the holidays," he confessed.

Dzulkilfi who initiated the project, originally planned to participate only in the Panasonic Video Award. However, on the encouragement of Nisar, they finished editing in a short period of time and entered "Eddy" for the Singapore Short Film Competition instead.

"Basically, the movie was about self-pity and personal expectations which were too high to meet," said Remi, who also wrote the script.

The success of the students leaves Mr. Peter Yeo Eng Hwee, a Television Production lecturer, very proud of their accomplishments. He noted that the two entries from the MCM students made up 20 per cent of the finalists, "which is not at all a small number," he said.

Mr. Yeo believes that participation in the competition can be a "test to see how bad or good you are." The competition is a good gauge of the student's skills and he encourages them to take part. For a major part of Nisar's production, Mr. Yeo had given useful advice and guided the student on the technical aspects of his video productions for both years.

The Video Award Presentation for the Year (to be held on May 7 at Lecture Theatre 76) with outstanding Video Television Production Projects was set up to cultivate interest in production work. "Only in a competition can students get to see how they stand amongst others," said Mr. Yeo.

Mr. Yeo encourages more MCM students to take part in the Singapore Short Film Competition, "only if it is affordable and they have the time to balance school work with it."

 

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