MPI Student Film BLACKBEARS Wins Awards in Italy and US

With the “Daring, Innovative, Persistent” spirit in perusing dreams, the MPI student documentary BLACKBEARS receives the Best Student Film of New York Movie Awards in the U.S. and the Grand Jury Award of Best Sport Film of Oniros Film Awards in Italy. Initiated as a class project, MPI students HO Ka Wai, LONG Weng Si, SIO Seng Tak and LI Wei have gone the distance and brought this Macao local story to the world stage, conglomerating theory and practice, learning and experience, and academia and techniques fostered by MPI’s distinctive programme of Bachelor of Arts in Design.

New York Movie Awards establishes monthly International Film Festival to promote films and filming careers, screening the winning short films every month in the East Village at the Kraine Theater; whereas Oniros Film Awards conceives and celebrates dreams (ὄνειρος = oneiros, Dream in Greek language) in filming from all over the world via competitions and recognitions from industrial professionals. Both film festivals are qualified by the 30-year-old IMDb (Internet Movie Database), the world’s most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows, and celebrities.

Featuring Macao’s first professional basketball team BLACKBEARS (established in June 2018), the short documentary recorded the teams’ endeavor and hard-core training. Despite the shortage in resources, they have made it to the ASEAN Basketball League and many other professional regional leagues. The true story of BLACKBEARS advocates their “Daring, Innovative, Persistent” attitude in going after their dreams, and also conveys hope and positive energy to other dreamers.  

The winning students said it was their first experience in filming a documentary. Being completely green to the subject, the instruction given by the teacher has helped them to find their direction and to come up with an action plan in order to bring this project into being. The short film desires to introduce the team and the story of BLACKBEARS to the general public, and serves as a motivation for many more Macao’s basketball players to be who they want to be.   

Sharing the same vision with the players, the documentary crew have also gone through falls and stumbles during the production process. In the end, they found active communication and diligent cooperation most effective in solving problems, which are some practical skills gained throughout the journey. The MPI students feel privileged and grateful to have received recognition at international film festivals. Such a great encouragement motivates them to create more work. They also look forward to showing the world that Macao productions are steadily making progress in the industry. They thank MPI and their teacher for the support all along. They also encourage the peer students to put forth their work in different film festivals, “winning or not, it’s a good experience after all.”