Connect with us

Arts & Cultures

Short film ‘Rahasia’ wins BMW Shorties 2022 Grand Prize, sheds light on ancient Mah Meri community in Malaysia

Capturing the Grand Prize at BMW Shorties 2022, ‘Rahasia’ delicately portrays the ancient Mah Meri community on Carey Island, Selangor.

Funded by BMW Group Malaysia, director Syahmi Norsan’s passion for their traditions and history shines through, overcoming challenges to present this captivating story on a global stage.



MALAYSIA: The BMW Shorties 2022 Grand Prize was awarded to “Rahasia,” a captivating short film delicately documenting the ancient Mah Meri indigenous community.

For over a century, the Mah Meri indigenous community has made their home on Pulau Carey, or Carey Island, in Selangor.

Funded by BMW Group Malaysia and skillfully directed by Syahmi Norsan, the film sheds light on a subject that holds deep personal significance to him – the rich traditions and history of the Mah Meri people.

Syahmi, who won the grand prize of BMW Shorties 2022

“Bringing this short film to life was no easy feat as we found ourselves head-to-head with challenges at every step of the production process – from building a rapport with the tribal folk, and gaining their trust to not only navigate on their sacred lands but also comfortable enough to share their stories with us, to making sure that we represent them well – especially on a global stage.”

“I am grateful to have been given this opportunity by the BMW Shorties and I hope to see more Malaysian filmmakers like myself utilise this platform to lift each other up in today’s increasingly challenging landscape,” Syahmi said.

The picturesque landscape of Carey Island, Malaysia, provided the stunning backdrop for “Rahasia,” which beautifully explores the complex themes of identity, family, and legacy that resonate deeply within the ancient Mah Meri community.

Also referred to as the “Masked Men of Malaysia”, they are widely regarded as highly-skilled mask makers. Some of their handicraft have fetched thousands of dollars.

The film combines intricate storytelling methods with stunning visuals to portray a Mah Meri man, Samri, whose time spent in the city has distanced himself from his root.

When he discovers his brother’s declining health, Samri’s path takes an unexpected turn as he reluctantly heads back to Carey Island. There, he must confront his estranged father and face the very issues he once fled from.

BMW Group Malaysia head of corporate communications and sustainability Sashi Ambi said Rahasia showcased Malaysia in a whole new light.

“Much like our goal with the BMW Shorties to provide a platform for undiscovered voices to be heard, Syahmi’s work has given one of Malaysia’s oldest indigenous tribes the recognition they deserve,” he said.

The BMW Shorties, a short film competition by BMW Group Malaysia, will provide an exclusive screening of Rahasia at GSC MyTown Shopping Centre on 28th July 2023.

People who are interested to attend may register via Google Form. Upon registration, a confirmation email will be sent with more details for the screening closer to the date. Only limited seats are available.

Share this post via:
Continue Reading
Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments