Lights, Camera, Awards!

by Tan Zhen Lin Janine

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Current students from the School of Film & Media Studies (FMS) mentor participants in editing softwares such as Adobe's Premiere Pro.

Youths explore talent in digital media for an annual media competition.

Bigger and bolder, the School Digital Media Awards (SDMA) returns with workshops introduced for both teachers and students.

SDMA aims to provide students with a platform to express themselves creatively through digital media and enhance their media literacy.

Co-organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s (NP) School of Film & Media Studies (FMS), SDMA affirm the creative efforts of students from over 200 schools from the primary, secondary and pre-university levels. Participants undergo a series of workshops designed by FMS’s very own lecturers. Unlike the previous years, the workshops conducted this year are not just for the teachers.

“This is the first time we’ve organised this many workshops for both teachers and students – it used to be for only the teachers,” says Mr Lim Hsien Yong, a FMS lecturer in NP.

“I didn’t want to join SDMA to win, I just want to learn.”

– Zen Sng

Working with video, animation and audio, participants are required to produce a documentary, drama, advertisement or animation. The theme this year revolve around SG50, when Singapore celebrates her 50th birthday next year.

The entries will be judged on their content, creativity, engagement and technicality in depicting how and what makes our country special.

The workshops conducted over a span of four days at FMS exposed participants to targeted production techniques and refined their skills needed to excel in their video submissions.

“Our [Co-Curricular Activity] CCA educates all members on photograph taking skills, video recording and editing skills. Members share knowledge not only in school but with the community or even beyond Singapore through various productions,” says Mr Ernest Lim, teacher-in-charge of MediaWorks, the infocomm club in Jurong West Secondary School.

Aside from the competition aspect, SDMA also introduces FMS to the students, especially those in the secondary level, to consider it a place for a distinguished polytechnic education in the media. With participants as young as nine years of age, workshops provided by the lecturers of FMS caters to even primary school students.

Nine year-old Zen Sng from Bukit Panjang Primary School, says, “I didn’t want to join SDMA to win, I just want to learn.”

The volunteers involved in the SDMA wokshops were FMS’s very own current students. One of them was second year Film, Sound & Video (FSV) student, Nur Khairah Samion.

She says, “It’s nice to see lower secondary students showing strong interest in filming. I feel like that will better their decision on tertiary education after secondary school.”

“The volunteers assist the lecturers in conducting the film production workshops. It is a good way to expose our current students to experience an extra hands-on activity, beneficial to their course of study,” says Ms Sharon Ismail, another lecturer from FMS.

Last year’s SDMA saw some submissions that exceeded creatively beyond expectations, such as “Make It Right for a Better Ride” by Park View Primary School, a one-minute video to encourage gracious behaviour on trains. The submission was awarded with a gold award and garnered over a thousand views on YouTube.

“We definitely look forward to what the participants are going to offer, especially since it gets better every year,” adds Mr Lim.

The competition officially started in May and will cease in November.

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