About Us
Founded in 1997, the Institute of Arts and Media Studies Malaysia (SEMESTA) is an independent entity focusing on activities related to art and media studies and development. With a population of around 30 million, and a variety of influences, Malaysia has a strong potential for the creation and telling of stories rich with meaning and culture. SEMESTA is founded and guided by practitioners with decades of industry experience and strong links to the academia within and outwith Malaysia.

What We Do
To achieve this objective, SEMESTA provides the space and opportunity for like-minded individuals to come together and develop their skills by way of workshops, screenings, panel discussions and more. SEMESTA also founded the Young Filmmakers Forum and the Malaysian Digital Film Awards. Matching theory with practice, this has allowed for young filmmakers and practitioners to better network with key industry players through dialogue sessions and screenings.

All this is the means to an end of industry composed of accomplished content creators, producing works of art that can compete on the domestic and international stage.


  • To develop a more empowered society with related storytelling skills and knowledge by bridging divides between the industry, academia and society


  • To organise regular appreciation and networking sessions
  • To create a space for safe and informed skills sharing and discussion sessions
  • To facilitate interactions amongst stakeholders


About the Chairman
Mahadi J. Murat is an award-winning filmmaker. With over 40 years of experience in the media and arts industry, he has worked as a journalist, photographer, film director and lecturer in film, art and media studies.

He started extensive film courses at the Asia Institute of Broadcasting Development. Supported by the British government, this would continue at BBC Television Film Studios in Ealing Green, as well as at the Centre for Educational Development Overseas (CEDO) at Tavistock House, London.

Among his most notable films are the award-winning Roda-Roda (1985), Wanita Bertudung Hitam (1992) and Sayang Salmah (1995). The latter swept the board at the 12th Malaysia Film Festival with seven awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Internationally, it would be awarded at the 41st Asia Pacific Film Festival in New Zealand and the Kuala Lumpur World Film Festival in 2003, and was featured in film festivals in Singapore, Belgium, and France, amongst others.

He obtained his MA in Interdisciplinary Media Studies at the University of Westminster in 1999, before graduating from Washington University with a PhD in Arts in 2002. He has since taught at universities such as Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi MARA and Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan. Currently, he is the director of Centre for International Islamic Culture, International Islamic University Malaysia, and the chairman of the Institute of Arts and Media Studies Malaysia (SEMESTA).

Contact Us
Institut Kajian Kesenian dan Media Sdn. Bhd.
No. 37-2 & 37-3, Jalan Wangsa Setia 1, Wangsa Melawati,
53300 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA

Phone: +60341312572
Email: info@semesta.my
Website: semesta.my