Animation is a powerful tool for storytelling and communicating emotions as well as ideas. It is engaging, entertaining, educative, and can never get boring, reasons why it is becoming more popular by the day among kids and adults alike. Through animation, visual content creators are able to stretch their imagination and creativity way beyond what the world as we know it allows. Animation has helped connect people throughout the world in a way that sometimes exceed what writing and live-action films can do.
Recognising its importance, the SEA Kre8tif! Awards is a platform organised annually by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in collaboration with 17 Southeast Asian countries and territories, to seek and recognize the talents of animation content creators and awarding them for their outstanding work. This year, the awards garnered more than 100 short animation submissions regionally among its five categories – Best Animation Shorts – Student, Best Animation Shorts – Professional, Best Animated VFX, Audience Choice Awards and International Animation Awards.
A team of 24 final-year students from The One Academy’s Digital Animation and Illustration majors won the ‘Best Animation Shorts – Student’ award with their animated short film “Origin”. This category is open for students that are still in the academic term and have not graduated, with animation content that has a running time of 15 minutes or less.
“Origin” is about two gods, the Sun God and Water Goddess, competing to nurture a growing plant by showing off their powers to prove their capabilities and importance. Each time they did, the plant flourished, but unable to withstand their elements, it ultimately began to wither. The gods soon realise and rush to save the plant together, recognising the importance of their cooperation.
“We wanted to write a story exploring the themes of family and cooperation. The two gods were written as parental figures who thought their own ways of nurturing was the best and only way. The story revolves around how their selfish actions can lead to other people around them or in this case, the plant, suffering from the consequences of their arrogance,” said producer Amelie Loh Min Wey.
The soul-stirring animation which took almost a year to complete had also previously won two other international awards. It was named a winner in the Animex International Festival of Animation and Computer Games, and won Second Prize in the 2022 Three Acts of Goodness International Microfilm Contest.
“It’s truly a blessing to see our short film successfully completed and the outcome was pretty amazing. I hope that our film will inspire whoever watches it,” said Too Cheng Shuang, the director. “We just wanted to create something we were proud of, and we are super grateful that so many people enjoy it as well,” added Loh.
The students had memorable experiences while working on the project, having fun by making funny animation edits and bonded over their late night hangouts to rush over their work. Speaking about their learning experience at The One Academy, both Loh and Too attest that the lessons they received on cinematography, storyboarding, compositing, videography and the production pipeline, among others, truly prepared them to create their own short film.
According to MDEC’s Chief Executive Officer Mahadhir Aziz, the animation industry will continue to grow with its global market value estimated to be worth US$298.2 million this year, and is forecasted to reach US$519.6 million by 2028. He went on to add that it is vitally important for the creative and animation industry to continue its momentum, seeing as the growth of streaming platforms worldwide brings a plethora of opportunities for those involved in the industry.
These remarkable feats by Malaysian students who shine with their hard work and outstanding effort on the global stage truly brings pride and recognition to our country. “Origin” can be watched at https://youtu.be/GMKryjazGO8.
The One Academy is committed to providing the best art education programmes and continues to nurture its students passionately through its “Masters Train Masters” coaching philosophy, which has been practised for over 30 years, by providing diploma and degree courses in Advertising & Graphic Design, Digital Animation, Digital Media Design, Film Visual Effects, Interior Architecture & Design, Illustration, Fine Arts, Paris Fashion Design & Pattern Making, Computer Science, Game Design and Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation. For more information on The One Academy, visit www.toa.edu.my or call +603-7875 5510 or e-mail your enquiries to [email protected].
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