Serian MP proposes award-winning young animators be recognised with incentives, scholarships

Macgres (left) and Nabiatul took 10 days to produce their award-winning winning animation titled ‘Batuh Bijanji’ ('Promise Stones' in Bidayuh).

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Dec 16: Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem has proposed that the Ministry of Education (MOE) give one-off incentives or even scholarships to two pupils from SK Temong in Tebedu district for their inspiring win at an international school film festival.

The two Year 5 pupils, Macgres Sawet and Nabiatul Dania Zulfiqa Mohd Zulfadhli won the Best Film Award for an animated short film at the Festival de Cinema de Alvorada in Brazil recently.

“I have suggested that the government give them special incentives in the form of one-off for them and even consider scholarships for both pupils for winning the international award despite coming from a rural school,” Riot said while debating the 2021 Budget at the committee level for MOE in Parliament yesterday.

He also congratulated SK Temong, a remote primary school in Tebedu, Serian, for elevating international awareness about Malaysia.

Riot who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan stressed that the two pupils—one a Bidayuh and the other a Malay—showed that racial unity is very strong in Sarawak.

Replying to Riot, Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin said he took note of Macgres and Nabiatul’s achievement.

“Regarding students who had won awards at the international level, what the ministry currently implements is to look at their potential. Sometimes we come across those who are from rural areas with outstanding ability.

“We at the ministry will look at how we can assist so that their potential can be optimised,” said Radzi in his winding-up speech for 2021 Budget committee level for MOE.

Radzi added that MOE has allocations for students selected for international competitions sanctioned by the ministry including sporting events.

Macgres and Nabiatul were declared winners in the ‘Best Film By Popular Jury’ for primary schools category at the film festival also known as ‘Festival de Cinema Escola de Alvorada’ (FECEA).

Their winning film titled ‘Batuh Bijanji’ (‘Promise Stones’ in Bidayuh) tells the story of two childhood friends, Bibi and Sarah.

FECEA, a festival that recognises audio-visual works at the school level, was held online and the voting was held from Nov 17-28 through the FECEA RS YouTube channel.

The award presentation was also held online via ‘Google Meet’ on Nov 28, and the trophy was sent by post.

Both Macgres and Nabiatul took 10 days to produce the film using the rotoscoping technique that animators use to trace over motion picture footage, frame-by-frame, to produce realistic action.

They started the project was started last year after attending a Digital Storytelling Animation workshop organised by the state’s Education Technology Division, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, and Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA).

Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong was reported as saying both Macgres and Nabiatul will receive incentives from the state in recognition of their achievements.

He had also revealed plans are in the pipeline to upgrade SK Temong, one of the bigger schools in Tebedu constituency, with another school block. — DayakDaily