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21yo M’sian Wins Silver at Tokyo Film Awards For Documentary on Classical Indian Dance Teacher


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Source: Provided to WOB

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Malaysia’s arts and entertainment industry appears to be on the rise as a variety of local films and songs have received awards internationally.

Although it is much more apparent in the field of music as our local artists have received awards as well as been featured on the international stage, it must be noted that our local talents in the film making industry have also been making waves internationally.

It was recently reported that a feature documentary by a 21-year-old Malaysian film director has received silver in the iconic Tokyo Film Awards.



Sanadtkumar Ganesan’s work on the ‘Wanted: Shades of Life Episode 2 featuring Agnesmary Selvaraj’ feature documentary received the award in the category of ‘Best Feature Documentary’.

In an Instagram post, Sanadtkumar wrote, “Woke up late after classes last night and OMG what a surprise! I couldn’t believe what I saw! I won an award in Japan for my film!”

“Was so happy and overwhelmed to see that Wanted: Shades of Life ft. Agnesmary Selvaraj became the Silver Winner under the category of Best Feature Documentary at the Tokyo Film Awards for the month of November 2021.”

“Okay honestly, I jumped around like a little kid for a while and I started to tear up a bit. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that anything that I ever produced would be recognised, let alone in a global stage,” he added.

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He then took the time to thank his family and friends and collaborators of the project who had made the short film possible.


Sanadtkumar learnt how to speak by watching movies

On how he had discovered his passion Sanadtkumar told WORLD OF BUZZ that he had always loved movies ever since he was a child.

“I learnt how to speak by watching movies and used to go around telling people that I wanted a career in film, but I never really figured out what kind of films I wanted to make.”

It wasn’t until he decided to start an international youth movement called Ascendance with a few friends that he realised that movies are the way we see life, and if we are able to see people like us, achieving results, growing and changing, we’ll be inspired to do the same.

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The film student at Canada’s Toronto Film School also works as a documentary filmmaker and scriptwriter at ET Boost, where he had gotten the idea for the documentary which had bagged him the award.


It would be nice to see stories of  people who have taken the road less travelled

Sanadtkumar said that ‘Wanted’ was an idea that came to him as he was having a chat with his mentor, Elango Thiyagu.

His mentor had mentioned to him that  it would be nice to see the stories of  people who have taken the road less traveled, as these are the people who have the best stories, and that they should be on their ‘Wanted’ list.

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“After thinking about it more, we ventured into the worlds of these people and learned so much more as we produced the films.”

“For the film featuring Agnes, I met Agnes at an event and when I heard her life story, I almost cried. I spoke to Agnes about telling her story and she was very happy to allow me to do so. So, we ventured into this documentary about Bharatanatyam and also about what happens when you follow your heart.”

Although the documentary did not have abundance supply of money and resources, it tells Agnesmary’s life story and passion behind the art form of Bharatanatyam, which is a classical Indian dance.

From being a little girl who simply admired the dance through her idols on television to becoming a woman who inspired courage in other young girls to get up on stage and perform.

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Amazingly enough, this was not the short film’s first time in gaining international recognition. Back in September 2021, it was a semi-finalist in the Stockholm City Film Festival.


We are now working with another fascinating Malaysian who has a remarkable story to tell

Speaking on the award, Sanadtkumar said that he felt really happy and ecstatic over the award.

“I am truly blessed and delighted to have many good people who have faith, support and guide me to grow.”

The 21-year-old said that he hopes to gain plenty more experience and hone his skills as he has just started his first term as a film student.

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“I would like to pay for it on my own through the works that I do, we are currently opening up to clients who would be keen to make documentaries about themselves, family heads, organisation/company founders as a way to cherish the beautiful memories of life,” he added.

“We also have the next installment of the ‘Wanted’ Documentary Series in the works, with another fascinating Malaysian who has a remarkable story to tell.”

You can find out more about Sanadtkumar here and the ‘Wanted’ series here.

Watch the feature documentary below:


Congratulations to Sanadtkumar and his team for the remarkable achievement! We hope this will inspire many Malaysian youths out there.


Also read: Another M’sian Singer, Iman Troye Makes It To New York’s Times Square Billboard & She’s Only 18!

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