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Anwar Johari, MA Creative Enterprise: Film Pathway graduate

Anwar Johari came to the University of Reading from Malaysia five years ago, to undertake an LLB Law degree. He had always enjoyed being creative, so while he studied he got involved in theatre and filmmaking through some of the University’s societies.

"I wrote and directed two stage plays as part of the Reading University Malaysian Bruneian Singaporean Association (RUMBSA). I also started to take filmmaking more seriously, creating films for RUMBSA, and doing video jobs here and there for other societies at the University."

Changing career direction

Woman looking in mirror in Anwar Johari's Forget Me Not film

Anwar grew more confident in his artistic abilities and decided that he wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking. He applied to the MA Creative Enterprise: Film Pathway course as he felt it would help him to grow not only as a filmmaker, but also as an entrepreneur.

The staff and lecturers guide you through the course and help you fulfil your potential. When I joined the Department of Film, Theatre & Television, I felt like I had become part of a close-knit family.”

Gaining theoretical and practical expertise

Man standing against wall in Anwar Johari's Forget Me Not film
Anwar enjoyed having the opportunity to learn and make films during his master’s study. Studying film theory has broadened his horizons, enabling him to apply the knowledge he acquired to his own films. In particular, he found the Film Aesthetics and the Film Festivals & Programming modules valuable.

In the Film Aesthetics module, I learned to appreciate films even more than I already did, down to understanding the tiniest detail. Film Festivals & Programming provided enlightening lessons on the film industry.

Winning awards

Woman in phone booth in Anwar Johari's Forget Me Not film

Anwar produced a short film, Forget Me Not, for his final master’s project. The film is a love story set in ‘90s London that explores the themes of belonging and long-distance relationships. 

While producing Forget Me Not, I had a good team behind me and great support from my supervisor. It was a challenge, but a rewarding one. 

His hard work paid off when he won first prize at an international film festival. Forget Me Not won the Best International Short Film category at Jaffna International Cinema Festival 2019. 

I think the MA Creative Enterprise course has prepared me to face the realities of pursuing filmmaking as my sole career. It has taught me the fundamentals of starting a business, both from a legal and financial standpoint.

Watch the Forget Me Not trailer on Vimeo

Image credit: Forget Me Not, Anwar Johari’s film

Read Roger's story

Roger Hu outside Minghella Studios
It's not only my supervisor who has inspired me, but also my lecturers, classmates and friends. Thanks to all the people I've met – because of you I can move a step forward in a short period of time.

Roger Hu, MA Creative Enterprise: Film Pathway