Two teams from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) were in the spotlight when they scooped five of the nine awards for the Merdeka Award Video Competition (MAViC 2010) at the award ceremony held in Pusat Kesenian & Kebudayaan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Serdang on 25 September 2010.
One UTAR team was made up of eight students and another of four students; eleven of them were undergraduates majoring in broadcasting and one was pursuing UTAR Master of Communication. The eight-member team was named champion for the Best Short Video category, one of the two awards under Anugerah Perdana , for their entry titled "The Call of Freedom" while the four-member team was crowned champion for the Best Public Service Announcement (PSA) category, the other award under Anugerah Perdana, for their entry titled "One". The teams had to stave off competition from four other finalists in their respective categories to claim the champion's title.
The eight-member team from UTAR was also awarded the Special Jury Award for Best Poster. In addition, Mark Woo Mun Kit, the leader of the eight-member team, received the Best Director Award and the Best Concept/Script Award, two of the five awards under Anugerah Cipta of the competition.
UTAR teams were also among the ten teams from various institutions of higher education nominated for the other three awards under Anugerah Cipta - Best Cinematography, Best Sound/Special Effect and Best Editing.
The UTAR students walked away with prize money totaling RM13,000, and numerous trophies for their short videos, a 3-minute video with messages conveying the value of national independence and an 8-minute video conveying the value of mutual respect and "give and take' in nation building in conjunction with the 53 rd Malaysia Independence Day celebration.
Winning must have become a habit for Mark Woo and Adrian Lai Tjun Kong for they were in the team that won prizes and awards at the Festival Filem & Video Pelajar Malaysia Ke-6 (FFVPM6) when UTAR students swept 14 out of the 33 awards of the competition, at the Astro Nextgen Contentpreneur Awards (NCA) 2009 and at the Jerneh Friend of Green Malaysia Short Film Competition 2009 .
Quek Shio Chuan, who graduated from UTAR in March last year, was their leader in the three competitions. Quek also led the victorious team from UTAR at the Astro Nextgen Contentpreneur Awards 2008 .
On what was behind their series of successes, Adrian Lai said, "But I guess we just enjoyed our work and what we do and lady luck just helped us out."
Sarannya Komarakuru, the leader of the four-member team that won the PSA Award, said it was their first participation in such a competition and she did not expect her team to win any prizes at the competition.
The award ceremony of MAViC was a very much celebrated occasion for the UTAR team members and their lecturers who attended the award ceremony and shared the joy of another sweeping success of UTAR students.
It must have been 'déjà vu' for UTAR broadcasting lecturer Beh Chun Chee when UTAR's name was mentioned many times followed by cheers and applauses from the students and audience at the ceremony. He had a similar experience at the award night of Festival Filem & Video Pelajar Malaysia Ke-6 when UTAR students went on stage to collect 14 awards that night last year.
On UTAR's achievement at MAViC, Beh said, "It was remarkable that UTAR teams were nominated in all the categories under Anugerah Perdana and Anugerah Cipta. "
Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) was the runner-up for the Short Video Category, and also bagged the other Special Jury Award, and awards for Best Sound/Special Effect, and for Best Editing.
FINAS Director-General Mohd. Mahyudin Mustakim presented the Special Jury Awards and local celebrities presented the awards for the other categories.
The competition, themed "Aku dan Merdeka", drew 170 entries from local private and public institutions of higher learning but only 80 entries made it to the Super Pitch round for the selection of ten finalists.
The competition, open to all students of local institutions of higher learning including polytechnics and community colleges, was held with the aim of acknowledging and giving recognition to the creative works of young talents pursuing communication, filming, broadcasting and multimedia at local institutions of higher learning.
MAViC 2010 was organised by the Merdeka Award Secretariat and the Communication Department of Faculty of Modern Languages, UPM in collaboration with The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) and ASTRO, the Malaysian provider of direct broadcast satellite (DBS) pay television service.