Curtin News: ‘Sekampung Sehati’ wins People’s Choice Award in Malaysia Airlines’ short film competition

The Sekampung Sehati crew with (L-R front row) Mawi Taip, Prof Ian Kerr, Rama Venkatasawmy, Shamsul Kamariah Abdullah, cast member Maizatul Azni, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Joan Gribble, cast member Roger Kho and Juliana Yong.

Miri – 7 June 2010 – Sekampung Sehati, a humorous short film about a couple’s dilemma of what to pack for their first-ever flight to Kuala Lumpur, emerged winner of the People’s Choice Award when the results of Malaysia Airlines’ Detik-detik MH Short Film Competition were announced on 21 May 2010.

Sekampung Sehati was one of four entries by Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communication) students shortlisted for the finals of the competition.

A total of 13 out of 68 entries from tertiary institutions throughout Malaysia made it to the final. The shortlisted films were posted on the Detik-detik MH website from 1 to 14 May 2010 for online viewing and voting. Sekampung Sehati received the People’s Choice Award for garnering the highest number of votes from the public. To view the shortlisted and winning entries, log on to

Sekampung Sehati’s production crew consisting of Belinda Yip, Julia Chong and Wong Sie [email protected] Wong walked away with three return tickets to any domestic destination serviced by Malaysia Airlines.

It was the trio’s first participation in a national film competition. Being passionate about film-making and eager to showcase their creativity, they were very enthusiastic about the whole process and, along with the other three teams from Curtin Sarawak, eagerly awaited the results.

Naturally, they are now elated at winning the People’s Choice Award.

“We are delighted that our film captured the hearts of so many Malaysians who voted for it. We thank them wholeheartedly for their support,” said film director Belinda Yip.

She also thanked Film and Television lecturer Rama Venkatasawmy, who supervised and produced all four Curtin Sarawak entries, as well as Film and Television technical supervisor and co-producer Juliana Yong, for their continuous dedication and support.

Teammates Julia Chong and Jason Wong also expressed gratitude for the constant encouragement they received, adding they were glad their hard work had been rewarded with the People’s Choice Award.

Rama ranked the team’s achievement among the best by Curtin Sarawak’s BA Mass Communication students in national film competitions. He described it as yet another milestone in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication’s very consistent track record in such competitions.

“Our students previously won an award in Radio Television Malaysia (RTM)’s Anugerah Filem Pendek in 2007, and two finalist awards in RTM’s Program Karyawan Muda national film competition last year. Four finalists and a People’s Choice Award in the Detik-detik MH short film competition marks yet another milestone for the department and for Curtin Sarawak as a whole,” said Rama.

He added that, so far, every BA Mass Communication student film entered in a national film competition ends up in the finals. This kind of achievement, he said, reaffirms the very high standard of film-making expertise at Curtin Sarawak’s Department of Media, Culture and Communication.

Indeed, Minister of Information, Communications, Art and Culture Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim said at the launch of the ‘Liga Remaja Kreatif Peringkat Kebangsaan’ in Sibu recently that he was impressed with the film-making facilities at Curtin Sarawak and other institutions in Sarawak and their ability to produce quality films.

In congratulating the students and staff involved, Curtin Sarawak Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Kerr said, “Having four of our films in the finals is in itself a great achievement, and for the Sekampung Sehati team to win the People’s Choice Award is certainly a bonus. Congratulations to all the participating students, to producers Rama Venkatasawmy and Juliana Yong, to Department Head Mawi Taip, and to School of Business Dean Shamsul Kamariah. It was an excellent effort by everyone.”

The other three films by Curtin Sarawak BA Mass Communication students shortlisted in the competition finals were Berani Hati, Memories and Share.

Inspired by the rising popularity of short films, Detik-detik MH aimed to provide a platform for young creative talents at tertiary institutions in the country to express their personal interpretations of Malaysian Hospitality on film. The competition was open to both local and foreign students enrolled at any Malaysian-based university or college.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak’s Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication course, visit, or call its Student Recruitment Department at +60 85 443 939.

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