BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Fifteen high school students have been given the opportunity to join the upcoming Brunei Film Blitz (BFB), in hopes of honing their skills and talents.

The Progresif Cellular sponsorship will also allow the aspiring filmmakers to participate in a film contest — dubbed the 96-Hour Film Blitz — as part of the Brunei December Festival line-up of activities.

The students will have full access to the workshops and  local and international film screenings.

“Our investment into the local creative industry stems from our belief that Brunei’s creative talents can grow much further when they have a platform that supports them,” said Devin Edwards, Progresif’s chief marketing officer.

Progresif’s Corporate Communications Manager Hafiza Mohamad (R) presenting the sponsorship to one of the students. Photo: Rafidah Hamit/The Scoop

“This is our second year of supporting the Film Blitz and we’re proud to be able to play a role in nurturing the abilities of young filmmakers, so they are inspired to pursue their passion and turn their talents into viable careers or businesses.”

One of the students who will be participating, Dk Syahirah Afiqah Pg Hj Shamsir from Raja Isteri Girls High School (STPRI), said she was excited to be among the chosen few, especially since she has only just begun to take interest in film making.

“[I recently] volunteered to make a Teachers’ Day film for my school… I hope to learn more about film techniques and methods as it’s something i’m aiming to pursue after completing my studies,” the 17-year-old said.

“Hearing that the winner will stand a chance to win a scholarship makes me even more motivated to work hard,” added Dk Syahirah.

Dk Syahirah Afiqah will be joining the Brunei Film Blitz and is hoping that it will sharpen her skills. Photo: The Scoop

Similarly, 18-year-old Abdul Hazim Mastadi, who developed an interest in film making a year ago, was happy to be chosen for the sponsorship.

“It’s not everyday that you get this opportunity. So, i’m hoping to make the most out of this especially since the winner will get a scholarship to the country’s first ever arts establishment.”

He shared that his interest developed after assisting experienced filmmakers in several film and photography sessions.

“Seeing the whole process from [conceptualising] to  filming and editing isn’t easy but when the outcome is exactly according to your vision, it’s the best feeling… It makes me proud to see the growing local film industry and I hope to one day contribute to that as well.”

Festival director of BFB, Siti Kamaluddin, encouraged the aspiring filmmakers to utilise their time by attending all the workshops and screenings during the event.

“It will give you an edge for the competition and power up your level of understanding particularly as we will also be showing films from other countries.”

The winner of the competition will be announced at the gala awards night on December 29 and will receive a full scholarship for a two-year Diploma in Screen and Media sponsored by Progresif Cellular, at the Mahakarya Institute of Arts Asia.

Interested applicants can register for the event before the closing date on December 20.