Category Archives: lecture

Fat Bidin will be at Art for Grabs this weekend (12th & 13th September)!

It’s Art for Grabs time again! And of course, Fat Bidin is going to be there with collaborator Superdoofus so that we can meet our friends and fans (yes… all three of them!).


Check out the stuff that I will be having with me there… all on special face to face discount prices and packages!


Aside from the limited photo prints from my Afghanistan collection, I will also have three books that I have written (Operation Nasi Kerabi: Finding Patani in an Islamic Insurgency even comes with a free DVD of the documentary film I shot!).


So make sure you come to The School @ Jaya One this Saturday and Sunday (12th & 13th September 2015) to come and meet us! We’ll be there for two whole days!


Oh… and not forgetting…

I am also conducting a film challenge with fellow film director Woo Ming Jin under the Very Bad Film School label!


Here’s a description of the challenge:

Pick either challenge or take both!

Woo Ming Jin‘s challenge:
From the excerpt of the book, <Norwegian Wood>, you will make a 2-min short film from it with some rules…

Zan Azlee‘s challenge:
You have to shoot a complete documentary film in one single shot only with some rules…

The duo will share more details and even show samples of work 12p.m. on 12-Sept-2015 at the event.

Submission will close 5p.m. on 13-Sept-2015, follow by screening at 6p.m. with commentary session. Thomas Barker, Cho We Jun, Isazaly IsaDiffan Norman and Ahmad Yazid will be there to share their views on your films!

This challenge is in conjunction with Art For Grabs + SIS, Sat 12 & Sun 13 Sep 2015, at The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.
More details here:


The Fat Bidin Vlog (Ep 4) – Simple stories, simple ways & Tun Mahathir gives me advice!

The Fat Bidin Vlog

Ep 4 – Simple stories, simple ways & Tun Mahathir gives me advice!

Subscribe to the Fat Bidin YouTube Channel.

Vlog Ep 4 thumbnail

Listen to all the podcasts produced by Fat Bidin Media.

Visit Aizyl Azlee’s YouTube page.

I’ll be speaking about ‘Generating Inspiring and Creative Content’ this Saturday!


Yo yo! I will be speaking at a Project Linkages talk on ‘Generating Inspiring and Creative Content’ this Saturday, 22 August 2015, at the Content Malaysia Pitching Centre at Platinum Sentral.

Great stuff! So you guys better come! And better still… it’s free!

I haven’t decided what to talk about at the Poskod Journalism Campus (part of the #FAST The Cooler Lumpur Festival)!

I haven’t decided what I’ll be talking about at the Poskod Journalism Campus this week. I’m going to be part of a panel discussing the topic ‘Journalism for Gen Y’. Fuhh… I’m still relevant enough to the Gen Y!!! Muahahaha!!

Anyway, it’s going to be on the 20th of June, 2pm at Black Box, Publika. It’s open to the public but you can pre-register to ensure a seat by clicking here. The other panelists are Lim Chee Wah (Editor, Time Out KL), Niki Cheong (Lecturer, KDU) and Loo Jia-Wei (Managing Director, Popfolio Network). The session will be moderated by Ian Yee (Editor, R.A.G.E.).

The Poskod Journalism has a lot more activities other than this panel discussion… but if you want to meet me in the flesh… this is the one to be at! Muahahaha!

But another activity worth checking out is the ‘Anatomy of a documentary from idea to screen – a workshop with Al Jazeera’. You need to be a documentary filmmaker with a project in the works to be a part of this one. And if you get selected, you’ll get… something! Go check it out here.

The Poskod Journalism Campus is actually part of The Cooler Lumpur Festival, a creative festival that is kinda cool (well, I’m a part of it… it has to be cool!). It’s organised by PopDigital, the team behind PopTeeVee, The Effing Show and Poskod.My. Really cool bunch of people! The entire festival has loads of cool stuff happening between 20th to 22nd June 2014 at Publika, Kuala Lumpur.

(This has to be the most number of times I’ve used the word ‘cool’ in a paragraph!)

Why being a freelance (entrepreneurial) journalist in my early years helped my career


I’m not that old, but I’m not that young either. I have a career that has spanned 14 years now, and sometimes, I feel the urge to share my experiences with people.

And that’s why I like giving advice to young people. That’s one of the reasons why I love teaching (I’ve been teaching undergrads for 10 years now and conducted numerous workshops).

One of the most common advice I dish out to young journalists (whether they like it or not!) is that they need to put themselves out in the world. Go out and be a freelance journalist.

Too many young journalists like to begin their career as full time staff at news organisations. I’m not saying that this is wrong. In fact, I started out as a full time rookie journalist too.


But I soon left the comfort of full time employment and became a freelance journalist. I actually prefer the term entrepreneurial journalist. I was self-employed for 10 years and the benefits I have gained is just invaluable.

1. I learned that you have to always stay on your toes and keep your journalistic and storytelling skills sharp. If you don’t have your nose on the ground or don’t tell your story effectively, you won’t have any clients wanting your stories. That also goes for staying in tune with the latest methods.

2. I learned to be effective and efficient in what I do. I discovered that being a solo-journalist meant that I could do my work faster and achieve the best results based on my own set standards. I also learned to be multi-skilled (I can write, present, shoot video, photos and edit). And that has helped to keep my costs low too!

3. I learned that you always have to respect people and never burn bridges. The industry isn’t big and you need to always treat people how you want to be treated. Anyway, the bigger your clientele, the better your business.

5. I discovered that I have my own unique voice and to believe in myself.

6. I learned that most often times, satisfaction and happiness always come up tops compared to money.

7. I learned to be entrepreneurial. I learned to market and promote myself and my work. I learned never to give up and be persistent. I learned that I should never rest on my laurels because there are many people much better than you out there.

8. I learned to be resourceful and managed to only do the stories and projects that I wanted to.

So, it irks me to see so many young journalists who immediately got a full time job and then start getting complacent. They shirk at any additional duties or tasks they are given. They resist anything new that they have to do. They don’t try to expand themselves and grow. They don’t push themselves.

I’m not saying that all of them are like that. Some have thrived, progressed and grown even if they have never gone entrepreneurial. But in my observations, these people are far and few between.

But hey, one can only base things on one’s experience. And I doubt that I would have grown as much as I have if I didn’t have that 10 years of entrepreneurial experience.

I’m just saying!

And if you’ve read right down to the bottom of this post… then be rewarded by clicking on this hyperlink to an article I wrote a couple of years ago about being an entrepreneurial journalist!