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.
Having started his film training at the Asia Institute of Broadcasting Development in 1974, he would receive the AMEC (Anglo-Malaysian Educational Collaboration Programme) fellowship from the British government, allowing him to attend production training at BBC Television Film Studios in Ealing Green, as well as at Centre for Educational Development Overseas (CEDO) at Tavistock House in London in 1975 and 1976. His British training continued in 1985 at Crosswind Film Productions in Soho Square, courtesy of a National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) scholarship.
His debut feature film, Roda-Roda, won the award for Best Child Actor at the 6th Malaysian Film Festival in 1986. The follow-up effort was Wanita Bertudung Hitam in 1992. It received multiple awards at the 11th Malaysian Film Festival, including the award for Best Cinematography and the Jury Merit Award (for the use of traditional Malay music in a film).
Sayang Salmah, his third feature film, swept the board at the 12th Malaysian Film Festival in 1995, picking up awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Story, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress and Best Poster. Internationally, it would be awarded at the 41st Asia Pacific Film Festival in New Zealand, as well as the Kuala Lumpur World Film Festival in 2003. It was also selected for film festivals in Singapore, Belgium, Hong Kong, Nairobi, Venezuela, France, Indonesia and Morocco.
In 1995 he was appointed as the Chief Commissioning Editor and Head of Production of All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator (Astro). He would complete his graduate study programme at the University of Westminster, obtaining his Master of Art in Interdisciplinary Media Studies in 1999. This continued his study of acting and creative writing at Universiti Sains Malaysia. In 2002, he obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Arts from Washington University.
He would begin his academic career in the Department of Media Studies at Universiti Malaya in 1999. He has since gone on to teach at Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan and HELP University. He is currently 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).