What started out as side film projects for the students in SK Tampulan, Telipok has now transformed them into a force to be reckoned with on the Internet
The students of SK Tampulan, a remote school in Sabah, have been involved in producing short films with their teacher Irwan Hamsah, who is more fondly know as Cikgu Iroet Marteni.
Over the years, the short films produced by the school have become so popular that they have been garnered millions of views on Iroet's YouTube channel. Their short films have also won multiple local awards and were shown in festivals in four different continents.
According to Malaysiakini, Iroet has been teaching Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the remote school for the past 10 years.
The students' most recent film 'Salunsug' has gone on to win four awards at the Sabah Screen Fest 2019 last month
The film is about villagers coming together to resolve water shortage during a drought.
Directed by a Standard Six student Edjucchio Effour Edmund, 'Solunsug' bagged the Best Short Film, Best Actor, Best Script, and Best Director awards.
"We're most proud of the fact that our film has also been screened in festivals in Slovenia, Brazil, and South Africa," Iroet was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
According to the teacher, the Standard Six student Edjucchio has had a tremendous growth through the project
It helped him to eventually score 4As and 1B in UPSR despite having trouble with communication in the past.
Iroet also shared that Edjucchio is not the only student who transformed
According to him, a mischievous student changed dramatically after he was cast as a zombie in another short film, 'Tuhau VS Zombie', which was recently shown in Urbanscapes, reported Rojak Daily.
"I believe the attention he received made him feel like a superstar at school and in his village, so he changed positively to maintain a good image among his peers," said the teacher.
The film won Best Short Film in the SSF 2017 and has been viewed over 21 million times on YouTube.
It is filled with many hilarious scenes, such as a villager who turned into a zombie after eating an infected durian, children being attacked by zombies after they wandered into the forest to catch Pikachu on Pokemon Go, and more.
Iroet used filmmaking to guide the children into the right path, contending that canning is no longer relevant in this day and age
The teacher related another reason to engage students in filmmaking is due to the fact that many people do not know about the existence of the school.
The films he produced with his students showcase the kampung life in Telipok, located some 15km north of Kota Kinabalu.
We cannot be more proud of these children!