The number of entries for Brunei Film Blitz, the country’s first film festival, has “exceeded expectation”, said the festival director, with 25 films being submitted.
“We received 13 submissions for the open category comprising different genres from action, comedy to horror. It shows the current climate of the kinds of films that influence them [the filmmakers], the kind of films that they’re watching and the kind of films that Bruneians like,” Siti Kamaluddin said.
Brunei Film Blitz is a three-day festival which features a short film competition shot within Brunei. Participants can submit short films under two categories: the open category where filmmakers can submit their films (up to 12 minutes) of any genre and the 48-Hour Film Blitz, a challenge in which participants must produce a film (not exceeding 6 minutes) within 48 hours. Under the challenge, participants must include the secret ingredients in their films that must be submitted by 10am on December 31st.
Earlier today, Siti announced the secret ingredients to the 48-hour Film Blitz challenge. The films must feature the festival’s biggest sponsors– Borneo Bulletin or Media Permata newspapers and the Progresif Radio App. Twelve teams are participating in this challenge.
Film specialist Maxine Williamson said it is important for young filmmakers who have not been trained or experienced in cinema to learn about what makes a story and what moves the viewers.
“If [there’s] a film that teaches me about Brunei and makes me learn about this beautiful place that’s a film that I would want to watch,” Williamson said. She is also one of the international jury tasked with judging the films.
Williamson added that it is also important for filmmakers to keep it simple.
In addition to being original, Williamson said most often a story that you desperately want to tell your friend about is a story that could be translated into a film.
“It has to be a story that you are bursting to tell, and keep it simple. Cinema can just be gentle and pure, it doesn’t have to be complex,” she added.
Throughout the three-day festival, there will also be masterclasses conducted by Maxine and other film specialists such as Dr Alex Fisher and Raymond Miranda. The masterclasses will cover the studies of cinematic language, the DNA of a powerful story and the anatomy of short films.
Organised by the Origin Artistics Management, with the support of Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei Film Blitz aims to support aspiring filmmakers in Brunei and is part of the month-long Brunei December Festival initiative.