What is the Malaysian Digital Film Awards?
The Malaysian Digital Film Awards (MDfA) is a biennial awards show that celebrates digital filmmaking in Malaysia and beyond. First held in 2013, it is a non-profit event organised by the Institute of Arts and Media Studies, Malaysia (SEMESTA). It runs concurrently with the Young Filmmakers Forum, the critical space for discussions on films and filmmaking.

Why should I submit my films for consideration?
The MDfA is the only Malaysian awards show that pits fresh new talent against experienced industry professionals. Whether you’re a first-time filmmaker submitting your short film, or directing your tenth feature presentation, all will be considered on merit. If you’re good enough, you’re good enough.

So let’s say I submit my short film. I have the same chance of being nominated in the same directing category as the feature filmmaker?
That is exactly right.

What kind of films can I submit?
For MDfA 2019, we accept films completed after 1st December 2017. The following are the types of films we’re looking for:

  • Digital Feature Length Film (60 minutes and above)
  • Digital Short Film (30 minutes and under)
  • Digital Documentary Film (no duration limit)
  • Digital Animation Film (no duration limit)
  • Digital Music Video
  • Experimental Short Film (5 minutes and under)
  • Video Produced for the Internet (10 minutes and under; inclusive of web series)
  • Public Service Announcement (PSA) Video (5 minutes and under)

Films not in Bahasa Malaysia or English must include subtitles in either of those languages.

What is Video Produced for the Internet?
Video Produced for the Internet is a category that includes the production of video clips specifically for video streaming websites such as YouTube and Vimeo. This can range from short videos that highlights the issues of the day to comedy web series, among (many) others.

What categories of awards would they be vying for?
There are 15 different categories:

  • Best Digital Feature Film (open – to be selected from all submissions)
  • Best Young Filmmaker (to be selected from participants of submitted works aged 35 years old and under)
    • Director / Scriptwriter / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor / Sound Designer
  • Best Digital Short Film
  • Best Digital Documentary Film
  • Best Digital Animation Film
  • Best Digital Music Video
  • Best Video Produced for the Internet
  • Best Public Service Announcement
  • Computer Generated Image and Visual Effects Innovation (open – to be selected from all submissions)
  • Best Direction (open – to be selected from all submissions)
  • Best Narrative Content (open – to be selected from all submissions)
  • Best Digital Cinematography (open – to be selected from all submissions)
  • Best Digital Editing (open – to be selected from all submissions)
  • Best Production Design (open – to be selected from all submissions)
  • Best Digital Sound Design (open – to be selected from all submissions)


How do I submit my film to MDfA?
Follow the three steps to submit your film:

  1. Complete the Film Submission Form at
  2. Pay submission fee via bank transfer.
  3. Confirm payment via email or WhatsApp (see below for details).

The link provided may be to video hosting websites such as YouTube or Vimeo. Alternatively, you may use online transfer services such as WeTransfer, Dropbox and Google Drive to submit your film.

What will happen to the digital film files submitted?
All film files received will be deleted after the completion of the awards show. Selected films or clips from specific works may be considered for screening at on the day of the event itself.

Do you accept trailers or works in progress?
Films submitted must be the complete and final cut.

If I wish to submit a web series for consideration, must I include all the episodes?
You need only submit one episode that best represents the series.

Can I submit more than one film?
You may submit more than one film. Each film will count as a separate submission. You will have to fill out separate entry forms and pay separate fees.

Do you accept international submissions?
MDfA is open to films produced anywhere in the world.

When is the submission deadline and are there any submission fees for MDfA 2019?
The submission deadline is Sunday 1st December @ 11:59 pm. The submission fee is as follows:

Malaysian: RM50
International: US$15

How can I pay the submission fee?
For Malaysian and international submissions, you may bank in or transfer the fee to SEMESTA’s Bank Islam account after filling out the online submission form.

Bank Name: Bank Islam
Account Number: 12113010043870
Recipient Name: Institut Kesenian dan Kajian Media Malaysia Sdn Bhd
Description: mdfa – [FILM NAME]

For Indonesian or British submissions, you may bank in or transfer the submission fee locally, based on the following details:

Indonesian Submission Fee: IDR 220,000
Bank Name: Bank Mandiri
Recipient Name: Fikri Hakim bin Jermadi
Account Number: 1220007134367
Description: mdfa – [FILM NAME]

British Submission Fee: GBP 12
Bank Name: HSBC
Recipient Name: Fikri Hakim bin Jermadi
Sort Code: 40-10-00
Account Number: 05184452
Description: mdfa – [FILM NAME]

You may need to confirm your payment via email ( or WhatsApp (+6017-3313282). If you have deposited the fee via an ATM, please send us an image of your deposit receipt with your film name written on it.


When and how will I know if my film has been selected?
We notify all submitters of their status via email by Monday 2nd December 2019 at the latest, with those selected for nomination by the jury panel to be informed in good time. Please ensure that you submit the correct contact information.

Can I choose which award categories my film is considered for?
The jury panel members will discuss and deliberate which categories each film may be considered for. Their decision is final.

If my film isn’t nominated, will I be informed of the reasons why?
Due to the high volume of films submitted as well as limited time, our jury panel members cannot communicate with every individual filmmaker.

If my film is not accepted, will I get my submissions fee back?
The submission fee is non-refundable.

When and where will MDfA 2019 take place?
The date and venue of MDfA 2019 will be announced at the soonest. Previous editions ran concurrently with the Young Filmmakers Forum.


WhatsApp: +6017-3313282