This year, 1,760 students were recognised for their creativity in video production and photo essays in the annual Schools Digital Media Awards (SDMA). Judged on their content, creativity, engagement and technical quality, a total of 52 awards (2 Platinum, 11 Gold, 14 Silver and 25 Merit) were given out at the SDMA awards ceremony graced by Ms Rosemarie Somaiah, partner of Asian Storytelling Network.
2. In its 17th year, this year’s SDMA saw 427 entries, which was an increase of 57 entries over the previous year’s competition. These came from 180 schools across all levels. The SDMA is co-organised by MOE and Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film and Media Studies. The competition provides a platform for students to express themselves creatively through video and (online) photo essays. It promotes the values of teamwork and collaboration, and enriches the development of media literacy among students and teachers.
High quality entries
3. The themes for this year’s competition were “Cyber Wellness”, the “Singapore Spirit” and “Watch Me Teach”. Of these, “Cyber Wellness” received the most interest among the participants, with a significant number of entries showing concern for their peers’ safety online and the impact of cyberbullying. For “Singapore Spirit”, some entries mused on what being “Singaporean” meant, in the wake of Singapore’s golden jubilee.
4. The judges, who had professional experience within the media and education industries, found the quality of the entries striking. They felt that the winning entries had displayed engaging stories which were well executed, often accompanied by skilful use of sound and music. The themes were also treated in a variety of styles ranging from whimsical animation sequences to fast-paced dramas.
5. In particular, Canberra Secondary School’s video, “Cybawors”, stood out for its production “intensity”, which captivated the judges. Featuring a battle in virtual reality against computer viruses, the production’s excellent choreography and unexpected plot twist helped it clinch the Platinum award in the Video (Secondary) category.
6. While a large number of entries dealt with issues of cyber wellness and the problems created by technology, there was a distinctly nostalgic and reflective mood in other winning entries. Nanyang Junior College’s photo essay, “A Family Legacy” contemplated the history of a temple which, apart from being a place of worship, served as a family home for generations.
7. Overall, it was noteworthy that, going beyond technical competence, the participants focused on story-telling and thought-provoking content.
8. The list of award recipients and their winning entries can be viewed on the SDMA website.