Astro Ulagam recently announced the grand winners for the Ulagam Short Film Contest. Out of 106 submissions that were submitted to this amazing competition, the most talented and creative directors were selected from them to be awarded. The grand prize was RM10,000, and the winner also got the fantastic opportunity to produce a telemovie that will be premiered on Astro. The first and second runner-ups were awarded RM8,000 and RM6,000, respectively, and along with them, seven consolation prize winners were graced with a cash award of RM3,000.
Competitions such as these greatly help foster the growth and diversity of talent among Malaysian Tamil filmmakers. This is a platform by which ambitious and emerging talent can utilise them as a source of network and opportunity to publicise the depth of their talent. Films play a crucial role in developing and fostering cultural integrity and indigeneity. They serve as vehicles of storytelling that create and construct the narratives of reality in the form of films. The existence of platforms such as this only aids in encouraging the flourishing of talent and tenacity among the creative Tamil youth of today.
Harinthiran Manoharan was named the winner for his outstanding direction on the short film Tapau. He has been graced with the grand prize of RM10,000 and the momentous opportunity to produce a telemovie that will be premiered on Astro. The director is a multitalented artist who has worked as a visual editor and colorist in many media projects. The ambitious young creative has also founded his own production house, Pixel Works Production House. Some of his most notable works as a colorist are for films like Pooranachandhiran Kudumbathar and Detective Maniam.
Mahendran Mohan was awarded as the first runner-up for his short film Captain Malaya, which was presented by 360 Visual Films. The young director is a dedicated and passionate young talent who has worked both as a director and actor for many of his creations. Mahendran is also a creator who has ventured into many genres like experimental, horror, supernatural, and thriller, expanding the depth of his knowledge of the language of film itself. His unflinching interest in all forms of creative expression proves his dire passion for the wonderful art of cinema.
Mugen Narayanan was awarded 2nd Runner Up for his short film titled Kaagidha Kappal. Mugen is a promising up-and-coming writer and director who has already immersed himself in the world of the cinema industry. He began his step into the realm of films by doing various works like designing, art direction, and production design, and after exploring the various features of film production, he found his true devotion in the art of writing and direction. Mugen has directed thought-provoking short films like Kadavul in Qurantine and Save Your Breath.
A consolation prize of RM 3000 was granted to Shathisnair Gunalan, Kirushnan Subramaniam, Sidhaarthan Vadivelu, Risheekesan Nair Baskaran, Nanthakumaran Rajavijayan, Vijaygananth Vadiveloo, and Pavithran Morgan.
These outstanding and exemplary works, which bear with them the deep cultural and artistic significance of Malaysian Tamil lives, can be watched every Monday through Friday at 8 p.m. on Astro Vaanavil (Ch 201) via TV, Astro GO, and On Demand.