Penang native, Nadiah Hamzah, became the talk of the town recently. She and two other Malaysian directors, Syed Madnuh and Emir Ezwan won the bronze medal from Cannes Lion for their public service announcements (PSAs) called “Voice of the Children”. The PSAs showcased the theme of national unity and an anti-bullying campaign.
Watch the award-winning video here.
The moving masterpiece urged bystanders to take action and stop bullying instead of taking to social media for shares and likes. The video impressed both judges and the international audience eventually beating over 100 other videos from around the world.
“When we received the good news from Cannes, we were thankful that our hard work and strong social messages touched many lives. The medals are merely a bonus for us,” said Nadiah in an interview with The News Straits Times.
The “Voice of the Children” has also won local accolades including the Kancil Awards 2018 (Bronze), Adfest 2019 (Gold) and The One Show (Bronze).
According to Nadiah, the anti-bullying campaign was Leo Burnett’s idea. They were told to come up with a creative and impactful short film which was “hard-hitting and emotional”.
Film-making was a natural progression for Nadiah who had always wanted to be a “storyteller” as a young girl. In fact, she regards herself as the “odd one out” in her family with her parents being chemistry lecturers and all her siblings are engineers!
A graduate of the Tisch School of The Arts in New York City, Nadiah had the golden opportunity to train under legendary filmmakers such as Spike Lee. Her debut short film “Hujan Panas” set in New York City received rave reviews and earned her the title “the one to watch”.
After returning to Malaysia, she worked as a copywriter. However, like her idol, the late Yasmin Ahmad (who started out as a copywriter), Nadiah soon began directing commercials. She counts herself fortunate to come in contact with people who once worked with late filmmaker.
For now, Nadiah is excited for the release of her first feature film, ‘Motif’ with a stellar local cast, Datuk Rosyam Nor and Sharifah Amani. The movie about a police investigation into the disappearance of a teenage girl is set to hit local cinemas next month!
Well done, Nadiah!
We wish you success in your future endeavours!
*Featured image sourced from dhia.com