Duo win video contest to spread healthy vibes online

Students Nurul Farahin Ramli (left) and Nur Alisya Rosli hope to show viewers through their winning video, Should I Have Said Something, that conflicts can be managed in a mature manner by talking things out.
Students Nurul Farahin Ramli (left) and Nur Alisya Rosli hope to show viewers through their winning video, Should I Have Said Something, that conflicts can be managed in a mature manner by talking things out.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Two strangers sit side by side at a cafe, engrossed in their own work. Then, one mistakenly picks up the other's pens and starts using them. This leads to unhappiness, but neither says anything.

This scene, from a video titled Should I Have Said Something, aims to get people thinking about how to resolve conflict and avoid unhappiness by talking things out.

The video won first prize last night at SuperTuber Search, a short-film competition mounted by Muslim organisation Jamiyah Singapore.

Held for the first time, it invited contestants to create videos containing positive messages that would steer young people away from negative content, misinformation and radicalism online.

In all, 20 videos were submitted, and five made it to the final round.

The winning video - by polytechnic students Nurul Farahin Ramli, 19, and Nur Alisya Rosli, 21 - was picked by a six-judge panel as well as through online votes by the public. Both students starred in the video, which they shot entirely on an iPhone perched atop a tripod.

Ms Farahin, a communications student at Republic Polytechnic, said of their idea: "We wanted people to see that they can talk things out, which will help them resolve conflicts in a mature manner."

Minister of State for Communications and Information Chee Hong Tat, who attended the event at the Jamiyah Islamic Centre in Geylang, praised the organisation's efforts to encourage responsible use of the Internet and social media.

The best way to counter misinformation, he said, is to educate people so they can distinguish fact from fiction, and help spread the right messages in their social circles.

He hoped that young people would be encouraged to "contribute to society by harnessing creativity and using social media to spread messages of peace, harmony, unity and love for family, friends and the community".

Ustaz Muhammad Nuzhan Abdul Halim, one of the judges, said: "Young people are vibrant, creative and energetic. They should channel their energy into good causes."

For the two young winners, the contest has kick-started their YouTube journey.

"We've always wanted to be YouTubers, but we were quite shy. After this, I think we will be okay," said Ms Farahin.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'Duo win video contest to spread healthy vibes online'. Print Edition | Subscribe