At the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO), Fat Bidin Media was commissioned to produce a short documentary about small businesses who would be facing the challenges of a country going into lockdown.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a very unfortunate period in the modern world’s history, and we definitely didn’t know what was going to happen at that time. We did what we could to play our role in curbing the virus, but we also knew we had to strive on.

That got us thinking about all kinds of stories that would arise during this pandemic and that it would be interesting to explore and find these stories. Then, a friend of ours, Nik Jassmin Hew, a well respected scriptwriter, produced a documentary called Dari Malang ke Kuarantin.

It was about her journey coming home to a Kuala Lumpur under lockdown from a trip to Malang in Indonesia. Shot on her smartphone, it was a very raw but honest and intimate look at how the MCO was starting to affect Malaysians even at such an early stage.

Obviously, we reviewed it for The Fat Bidin Film Club and gave it a glowing appraisal. It also became inspiration for us to find more intimate stories from ordinary Malaysians that would probably never be seen in the mainstream media.

So, our producer Sheril A. Bustaman, set on her quest of organising the FATBIDIN.COM’S COVID-19 MINI DOCS FILM COMPETITION!

It’s a totally DIY, punk rock competition where we had no financial support or any resource backing from any corporation, organisation or party. What we did have was a lot of support from good friends in the industry and out!

These friends helped to spread the word about the competition and also became our esteemed judges. And speaking of judges, we were so honoured to have Daphne Iking, Low Ngai Yuen, Suhaimi Sulaiman and Indrani Kopal contribute their time to judge the entries.

There was no benefit whatsoever for them to be involved but they dedicated themselves fully and took their roles very seriously. Daphne and Ngai Yuen made personal comments to every single participant (read it on the YouTube playlist!).

Suhaimi watched every entry with such surgical precisioned detail that he created an Excel sheet with justification for every evaluation he made. Indrani had to grapple with all kinds of feelings watching the entries that we think she might have invested a little too much of her emotions into the judging process!

Last but definitely not least, are all the participants who decided to take their precious time to conceptualise, produce and create their films in order to be in this competition. Honestly, the stories we received were all so heartfelt and inspiring. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Sheril and I really enjoyed organising the competition and we came out of the experience (and the pandemic!) very inspired, invigorated and full of semangat to continue with what we do!

And after being so long winded (we really wanted to thank everyone!), we hereby announce the top three of the FATBIDIN.COM’S COVID-19 MINI DOCS FILM COMPETITION! Congratulations!

1st PLACE – MCO: Marriage Crisis Ongoing (Sidney Chan)

2nd PLACE – The Heart To Feel (Shridevi Jeevan Simon)

3rd PLACE – Pakej Khatan Peribadi (Redzuan Mustapha)

And please watch the playlist to enjoy all the other entries!


Interested in making your own films? Then why not get Zan Azlee’s book ‘Guide to indie filmmaking‘ today?

fim book

Buy more Fat Bidin books, films and merchandise at The Fat Bidin Store!



  1. Pingback: Thoughts on Films – Episode 70: Selected Films of the Fat Bidin COVID-19 Mini Docs Film Competition·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s