New prize launched to deepen interest and understanding of global Chinese media

Undergraduates majoring in Communications and New Media have good reason to cheer with the launch of the G.H.Y Culture and Media Prize which recognises students who excel in final year projects focusing on the topic of global Chinese media.

Starting this academic year, the Prize, valued at S$2,000 each, will be awarded to two deserving students. Made possible with a S$75,000 donation by G.H.Y Culture & Media Holding Co. (G.H.Y Culture and Media), this is a first-of-its-kind award to be given out in institutes of higher learning related to the study of global Chinese media.

The Prize will be awarded to students in final year projects that focus on, but are not limited to, Chinese diasporic representation in global media; Chinese audience studies and analytics; Chinese language studies in media and journalism; as well as Chinese internet and/or media policies.

The growing global popularity of Chinese entertainment and greater Asian representation in international media is shaping how Asian cultures, values and lifestyles are perceived. Hence, the Prize also seeks to generate greater interest and a nuanced understanding of the Chinese language and global Chinese-related media among Singapore youths, and raise their awareness on how media can potentially shape social narratives in society. The aim is to cultivate a cohort of young interdisciplinary scholars keen on conducting cutting-edge research in this field.

Professor Audrey Yue, Head of the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Department of Communications and New Media, said: “Singapore has always positioned itself as the creative cultural crossroads between East and West…Future media practitioners in Singapore have to be equipped with practical skills and a critical understanding of Asian media, and how we position ourselves in relation to the West.” The Prize, she noted, will inspire more students to pursue knowledge and practice in the field.

Pitching it to win!

The Prize was announced at the finals and prize giving ceremony of Pitch It!, an annual competition organised by the NUS Communications and New Media Society.

This year, nine teams of young aspiring scriptwriters, filmmakers and actors from various tertiary institutions had the opportunity to participate in masterclasses on scriptwriting and production, one-on-one mentorships with scriptwriters from G.H.Y, this year’s co-organisers and gain field exposure at Iskandar Malaysia Studios before screening their short films at the finals.

Team SPANG took home the first prize of S$2,000 with their well-scripted and touching film Mr Potato Man which explored the effects of COVID-19 on teacher-student relationships during the circuit breaker.

Prof Yue cited three factors that helped Team SPANG stand out from the competition. “While all the finalists had impressive concepts and scripts, it was SPANG who managed to nuance their film with appropriate timings, transitions and production quality that tipped the scales in their favour…I am impressed and foresee each of the team members having a bright future in filmmaking and I hope they will continue to hone their passion and bring great films to the world.”

NUS Medicine third-year student Naveen Krishnan, who was part of the winning team, said such recognition motivates the students to strive harder in their passion for filmmaking, beyond treating it as a mere hobby. “As much as the final product should be well done, the process is equally as important. In this experience I gained a lot of good memories and friends that I hope to work with more in the future to create good films.”