Brunei Darussalam from the Eyes of Foreign Diplomats and their Families
On Wednesday, 16th December 2020, “Brunei Darussalam from the Eyes of Foreign Diplomats and their Families” exhibition was officially launched by Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna binti Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the Royal Regalia Museum in the Capital.
Upon arrival, Her Royal Highness and Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Lela Cheteria Sahibun Najabah Pengiran Anak Haji Abdul Aziz bin Pengiran Jaya Negara Pengiran Haji Abu Bakar, were greeted by The Honourable Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports and the following heads of diplomatic missions who are also members of the exhibition organizing committee:
- His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sultanate of Oman.
- His Excellency Suat Akgun, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey.
- His Excellency Christian Ramage, Ambassador of the French Republic.
- Her Excellency Yoon Hyun Bong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea.
- His Excellency Christopher Montero, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines.
- Her Excellency Tiffany Anne McDonald, Australian High Commissioner.
The ceremony began with the recital of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa selamat led by Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Haji Awang Suhaili bin Haji Mohiddin.
In his welcoming remarks, His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al-Maskari, among other things expressed gratefulness to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam for consenting for the exhibition to be held at Royal Regalia Museum.
His Excellency the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, informed how the Diplomatic Corps was trying to organize the exhibition since the year 2018, by saying:
“The idea of setting up this exhibition was initiated on the year 2018 and ever since many attempts were made to bring it to fruition, until we realized that having an exhibition of such caliber requires combined efforts from many partners.
“Thus, the diplomatic corps thought to take on board two partners namely; the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), who both played a vital role in ensuring this long-awaited event finally takes place”.
His Excellency the Dean then expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports for generously consenting to transfer and organize the exhibition in other districts, while emphasizing that this notable gesture form the Ministry greatly contributed to the exhibition success and continuity.
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps also thanked Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) for sponsoring the event and reserved further praise for the participating diplomatic missions and the exhibition organizing committee.
Further enlivening the event was the screening of a short video showing selected photos on display at the exhibition.
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna then consented to cut the ribbon to signify the launching of the photo exhibition that features rare glimpses of the surreal beauty and lifestyle of the Abode of Peace.
Prior to touring the exhibition Her Royal Highness was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Her Excellency Yoon Hyun Bong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea on behalf of the organizing committee.
Among those present were:
- The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy.
- The Honourable Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism.
The Honorable minister of Culture, Youth and Sports said at the sideline of the event:
“We are very pleased to have been closely involved with the Diplomatic Corps in Brunei Darussalam in organizing this extraordinary exhibition that displays for the first time, how foreign diplomats and their families see Brunei Darussalam through the camera lens. I was very impressed with the photos on display, demonstrating wonderful expressions inspired by the way foreign diplomats and members of their families view Brunei Darussalam– our people, our scenery and our culture.”
The Honorable minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also congratulated the exhibition organizing committee on its success by saying:
“Congratulations and thank you to all those who were involved in the project, especially His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Hashil Al Maskari, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and all members of the organizing committee”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mubashar H. Khokhar, the Managing Director and CEO of Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) said:
“As a bank that is Bruneian at Heart, we take great pride in supporting this exhibition. It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words; the photos on display today give us all a unique view into how foreign diplomats and their families have been welcomed and made to feel like a part of the community, and I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to view and enjoy this exhibition”.
A short film that highlights casual racism in our country. A Malay boy (Wazif Zamri) befriends a Chinese girl (Yea Wen) which causes a rift between him and his brother (Syafi Halim), who isn’t fond of Chinese people. Produced and scripted by Syafi Halim.
Consumer Fair kicks off
The VIPs during the launch of the 23rd Consumer Fair at the International Convention Centre
Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr.) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs graced the 23rd Consumer Fair
The Guest of Honour paid a visit to Cuckoo Pavilion
Meet the sleek PRIME X2. An outdoor water filter built for outdoor filtration, that is built with superior elasticity and high filtration effectiveness. From your laundry to your garden, enjoy purified water in all that you do at home with an outdoor filter unlike any other in Brunei. Do check it out at Consumer Fair.
One of the entrances for Consumer Fair
Guest of Honour visiting Dare booth in promoting Bruneian Made products
Toy Warehouse Sale
A popular spot even on the first day
Guest of Honour at BIBD Pavilion
Hello Katherine. Her company has been a strong supporter of CF
Kurapak launching his new product while Hitesh gave it a thumbs up. Check out Kurapak’s Latte at the food zone area of Consumer Fair
Taiwan booth at Consumer Fair
One of the reasons why this area is not being used for Consumer Fair because of the Yayasan event taking place today.
Both coffee vendors complementing each other
Malaysian vendors making their presence at Consumer Fair
CF King, distributor for Asus, participating in this year’s Consumer Fair
The Philippines Influence on movies
Founder of Mahakarya Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Hajah Nurul Amal Munjiatul Athirah binti Pengiran Sura Negara Pengiran Anak Haji Muhammad Bey Muntassir in a group photo with Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the MPRT Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, Charge D’Affaires from the Philippines Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Consul Pete Raymond V Delfin, Brunei’s first international female director Siti Kamaluddin, Kita-Kita film director Sigrid Bernardo, member of Filipino Film Critic Dr Roland Tolentino
A memento from the Embassy of the Philippines to Sit Kamaluddin
I’m such a movie fan!! Yesterday, I caught three movies and two of them are Filipino movies – Sonata and Kita-Kita, made possible by Mahakarya Institute of Arts and the Philippines Embassy in Brunei Darussalam. Ok, the other movie was Bumblebee but I shall focus on the Filipino movies since it’s the Brunei Film Blitz season. This is coming to the second week of @bruneifilmblitz and it has simply been amazing from the beginning.
Yesterday was the showcase of Filipino movies at Film Blitz. The audience had the privilege to watch three movies produced from the Philippines – Kakabakaba Ka Ba?, Sonata and Kita-Kita. My favourite was Kita-Kita though I have not caught Kakabakaba Ka Ba?
Yesterday the Embassy of the Philippines in Brunei Darussalam marked the 100 years of Philippine cinema in conjunction with the second edition of the Brunei Film Blitz 2018.
Attending the event were Founder of Mahakayra Institute of Arts, Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Hajah Nurul Amal Munjiatul Athirah binti Pengiran Sura Negara Pengiran Anak Haji Muhammad Bey Muntassir, , Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, Charge D’Affaires from the Philippines Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Consul Pete Raymond V Delfin, Brunei’s first international female director Siti Kamaluddin, Kita-Kita film director Sigrid Bernardo, member of Filipino Film Critic Dr Roland Tolentino and Entertainment Editor of the Philippine Daily Enquirer Rito Asilo.
According to Consul Pete Raymond, the Philippine movie industry is one of the most influential phenomena in the Philippines as it provides not just commercial value but also employment and milestones.
It was nice to see the director of Kita-Kita Sigrid Bernado in Brunei who will also helped with the masterclasses as part of the Film Blitz workshop. She will share bits and pieces of her independent movie that became a multimillion box office success and talk on her special director’s cut of Kita-Kita and why she had two versions of Kita-Kita, where the other was a commercial release.
For more information for the scheduling of the workshops and power up classes, you can click here for bookings. Each of the workshop costs BND 20 and you will learn things such as Director DNA, Talking Pictures, Sonic Cinemascapes, Filming on a Budget, Directing Actors for the Screen and lastly, the 96 Hour Film Blitz Survival Class.
Sigrid Bernardo the director and Maria the film editor of Kita-Kita
The Corny Collins Show
Introducing the cast of The Corny Collins Show
Audience members were dazzled as they were transported into the 60s during the matinee show of “The Corny Collins Show” (based on “Hairspray”). The show took place on Sunday, 9th of December at Dewan Auditorium, Bangunan Tambahan, Jabatan Penerangan, Airport Lama. The production was part of Brunei December Festival, with the support of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.
“The Corny Collins Show” was also supported by Jabatan Penerangan, Jabatan Perdana Menteri; D’Music Motion Fitness Studios, CfBT Education Services, Lailatul Shazana’s Production House and Selera Alam.
The production was the ninth production by Seeds Brunei following, Seuss!’ is based on the world of Dr. Seuss, “SEEDS Wicked Witch”, “SEEDS’ Willy Wonka”, “Into The Woods” and “Oliver! The Musical”. Seeds Brunei is recognised as an educational society led by volunteers with the support of the department of schools, Ministry of Education and uses theatre and other creative activities as an educational tool for students in secondary schools and higher institutions.
“The Corny Collins Show” tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart in the 60’s who is on a mission to follow her dreams. You can’t stop the beat as she sets out to dance her way onto national TV with the nicest kids in town. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she will be using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heart-throb Link Larkin along the way!
Over 70 students and graduate youths were involved in the production from stage managing, costume and prop designing as well as in lighting, music and sound. Teachers from various schools, local talents and volunteers were also involved with the production.
The performance was a year-long process by Seeds Brunei in a series of workshops which emphasises the holistic acquisition of all dramatic skills, from cast to stage direction and costuming. In March 2018, Seeds held #Seeds9Refresh hosted by Sekolah Menengah Katok registration. Various workshops at Sekolah Menengah Menglait Gadong in April and cast auditions at iCentre in May.
Seeds9 Mini-Showcase at Dewan Setia Pahlawan MPRT (Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism was held in July 2018. This event was a preview and work-in-progress for what’s to come later this year. The final workshop in September 2018, Theatre Bootcamp, was held over the course of two days at Pusat Tingkatan Enam Sengkurong.
The final two shows will be held on the Monday, 10th December at 7pm and Tuesday, 11th December at 7pm. Tickets are $15 each. You can also check out their Facebook Page for updates
Some of the cast of The Corny Collins Show
At the Auditorium Hall at Info Department
Guests strolling in for the show yesterday
For those who’s not sure where the Info Department is
BRUNEI FILM BLITZ KICKS OFF WITH THE KUROSAWA RETROSPECTIVE
The Brunei Film Blitz is back with bigger and better opportunities for film enthusiasts in Brunei Darussalam. This year, the Brunei Film Blitz is hosting various events including Mark Shepherd Masterclasses, Power Up Workshops and Level Up International Screenings. All these are designed to support the local film culture and explore national identity through film.
This Sunday, 9th December 2018, the Brunei Film Blitz kicks off with a retrospective screening from the legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
The three films being screened are: Hidden Fortress 1958 (12:00pm), Yojimbo 1961 (3:00pm) and High and Low 1963 (7:30pm). A KINO Close Up: Akira Kurosawa Influences and Influencer will be held at 5:30pm consisting of a presentation discussing the cinematic relevance of Akira Kurosawa.
Akira Kurosawa was a Japanese film director and screenwriter, who directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. He is regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema.
As the first Asian filmmaker to achieve international prominence, Kurosawa has naturally served as an inspiration for many notable Hollywood directors today. Oscar winning film director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pacific Rim) referred to Kurosawa “one of the essential masters”, citing Throne of Blood, High and Low and Ran as among his favorite films. Similarly, A-list film producer J.J. Abrams says he drew from Kurosawa while producing Star Wars: the Force Awakens.
In 1990, he accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Posthumously, he was named “Asian of the Century” in the “Arts, Literature, and Culture” category by AsianWeek magazine and CNN, cited there as being among the five people who most prominently contributed to the improvement of Asia in the 20th century. His career has been honored by many retrospectives, critical studies and biographies in both print and video, and by releases in many consumer media formats.
On Sunday, a retrospective will be held as part of the Brunei Film Blitz from 12 Noon. Reserve your seats today by logging into www.bruneifilmblitz.org or contact us on +673 8188777.
Synopsis for Brunei Film Blitz Kurosawa Screening
Title : Hidden Fortress (1958, Japan, Akira Kurosawa). George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining films ever made, a global phenomenon that shaped and defined modern Hollywood. But not many people realise that it was profoundly influenced by this classic samurai film. Not only are the two stories remarkably similar – with the assistance of two bickering peasants (robots), a samurai (Jedi knight) escorts a princess with hidden treasure (secret plans) through a landscape dominated by enemy forces and a powerful secret fortress (space station) – but Lucas also borrowed certain stylistic devices from Kurosawa’s classic! Once again, the great Toshiro Mifune delivers a masterful central performance and Akira Kurosawa directs with his usual consummate skill in this action classic. To be played at 12pm at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
Hidden Fortress (1958, Japan, Akira Kurosawa)
Title : Yojimbo (1961, Japan, Akira Kurosawa). A dishevelled ronin (masterless samurai) arrives in a run-down rural village dominated by two rival gangs and pits one against the other, setting them on a course of mutual self-destruction. This classic samurai film was later remade as an Italian Western (For a Fistful of Dollars, 1964, with Clint Eastwood) and an American gangster film (Last Man Standing, 1996, with Bruce Willis), demonstrating that in the end, it is both a universal story and a brilliant action film. With a superb and unconventional central performance by the great Toshiro Mifune, audacious widescreen compositions and an unexpected mix of violence and dark humour, this is one of the most memorable and influential Japanese films ever made. To be played at 3pm at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
Yojimbo (1961, Japan, Akira Kurosawa)
Title : KINO Close Up: Akira Kurosawa influences and influencer This presentation discusses the cinematic relevance of Akira Kurosawa. Open to all ages and film experience/interest levels. 5pm at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
Title : High and Low (1963, Japan, Akira Kurosawa). Although Kurosawa is best known for his period piece samurai films, he also directed just as many films set in contemporary Japan. This is one of the best: an incredibly tense crime thriller about a rich businessman held to ransom when his chauffeur’s son is kidnapped by mistake, which, in its second half, unexpectedly morphs into a powerful drama about social injustice. This, then, is both a brilliant, stylistically audacious genre film and a brave and complex piece of social filmmaking with a strong moral message. It is all held together by Kurosawa’s usual deep respect for humanity and sense of justice – perfectly embodied by Toshiro Mifune’s riveting central performance. Another undoubted classic of world cinema. To be played at 7pm at Mahakarya, Level 3 Plaza Athirah.
High and Low (1963, Japan, Akira Kurosawa)
The Story of Lights at Jerudong Park
The Light Tunnel leading to “The Story of Lights” at Jerudong Park
Step into your favorite Aesop fables with ‘The Story of Lights’ at Jerudong Park held in conjunction with Brunei December Festival 2018. It’s the first time Brunei’s premier tourist destination has organized an outdoor light exhibition since re-launching in 2014.
‘The Story of Lights’ is held alongside other December activities organised inside Jerudong Park, which include Movie Nights, ‘Animals in the Park’ and Interactive Games.
For ‘The Story of Lights’ – visitors are greeted by a light tunnel which leads into an illuminated open book, setting the scene for the five Aesop fables depicted. The Lion and The Mouse, The Peacock and The Crane, The Tortoise and The Hare, The Ants and The Grasshopper and The Fox and The Goat.
The Aesop fables are scattered around the lagoon area, Double Carousel and Children’s ride area. As ‘The Story of Lights’ opening book reads, “It is important to keep alive the enriching habit of reading in order to gain the unfathomable treasure hiding and stored in the books which a person’s best friends do not deemed anything but always give knowledge and wisdom.”
‘The Story of Lights’ believes that ‘today’s readers will be tomorrow’s leaders’. Children are encouraged to read more, learn more, which will ultimately lead to better lives. Children at a very young age need to stimulate their imagination, explore and discover the magical world of books.
To enliven the holiday period visitors can also enjoy 30% off (terms and conditions apply) once they complete 10 questions from one of the interactive games – an activity booklet. Clues for the questions can be found all around JP. Vouchers are available from the ticketing counter once all 10 questions are answered correctly.
‘Animals in the Park’ is also back! This time with an expanded area for new animals such as black palm civets, geckos and a falcon. Not forgetting the reptiles, iguanas, tortoise, birds of prey and floppy-eared rabbits which are also on display.
JP Movie Night is held on the 8th, 22nd and 29th December. The movies are screened outdoors at the JP Colonnade. To enjoy your experience visitors are recommended to bring picnic mats or blankets to sit on. Find out what films are showing by following Jerudong Park on social media.
Visitors can get more out of Jerudong Park this December with Combo Deals. ‘Yellow’ Combo or the Entrance Combo deal is only $16 and includes, Interactive Games, ‘Animals in the Park’ and ‘The Story of Lights’. To enjoy all the rides, waterpark, ‘The Story of Lights’, ‘Animals in the Park’ and Interactive Games visitors can get the ‘Grey’ Combo Deal: $27 for local adults and $21 for local children.
Jerudong Park would also like to inform visitors who have purchased tickets before the December period to purchase top-up tickets to enjoy ‘The Story of Lights’ and ‘Animals in the Park’ in order to enter. For more updates follow Jerudong Park on social media on Instagram at Jerudong Park and on Facebook at Jerudong Park Playground.
Check out the illuminated open book concept feature Aesop fables
Every spot has a story behind it and children can learn messages from the short story series
The Animal in the Park area at Jerudong Park
Parrots at the “Animal in the Park” section
There’s an eagle at the “Animal in the Park” section
If you are interested to go for the Combo Grey package and ideal for families
Students get boost from Progresif for Film Blitz
Devin Edwards, Progresif’s Chief Marketing Officer, 3rd from left, with students from Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College, Meragang Sixth Form, Rimba Secondary School, Raja Isteri Girls High School, Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College and Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School. Also in the photo were representatives from Brunei Film Blitz.
Progresif is paving the way for the development of future filmmakers and producers in its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative for Brunei’s creative industry.
The company announced that they are sponsoring 15 students from six schools for their entry into the Brunei Film Blitz 2018 (BFB), giving them the opportunity to expand on their talents and passion for film.
Abd Mateen Yakof, Wan Wafiy Hasif Hj Wan Joffry, Md Adam Aiman Hj Mohd Firman, Md Ilyas Abdullah @ Ilyas De Lara Bautista, Md Rosmuliamin Mustapa, Md Haziq Hafizzudin Shahron, Mohd Danial Basyri Zamain, Md Azizul Halif Hj Bagul, Lim Hui Ying, Muhammad Adam, Dk Syarifah Afiqah binti Pg Hj Shamsir, Dk Aida Nabilah binti Pg Haji Dahlan, Nabilah Munazah binti Raup, Abdul Hazim bin Mastadi and Rauufah will all have full access to film workshops and screenings during the BFB 2018.
The nominated students are currently studying at Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien College, Meragang Sixth Form, Rimba Secondary School, Raja Isteri Girls High School, Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College and Pengiran Anak Puteri Hajah Masna Secondary School.
This is also the second consecutive year that Progresif has supported the Brunei Film Blitz as part of ongoing efforts support and nurture the growth of Brunei’s creative industry.
Devin Edwards, Progresif’s Chief Marketing Officer, said: “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.”
“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,” he said.
The BFB aims to push the abilities of local filmmakers to international standards through a series of workshops, screenings and a competition to produce a short film in 96 hours.
The winner of this competition will receive a full scholarship for a two-year Diploma in Screen and Media, also sponsored by Progresif. Winners will be announced on December 24 during the Gala Awards Night.
Registration for the BFB is open from November 9 until December 20, 2018. To register for the event, visit www.bruneifilmblitz.org
Canon Photomarathon 2018
Hj Muhammad Safwan bin Hj Awang Sulaiman the grand winner receiving the prize from Vincent Goh, Deputy Managing Director of Interhouse Company
He may not be placed in any of the top 3 categories of the Canon Photomarathon 2018 hosted by Interhouse Company but Hj Muhammad Safwan bin Hj Awang Sulaiman bagged the grand prize of a ticket to Japan for the Canon Photomarathon Asia Champion 2018.
Around 400 participants signed up for Sunday event that lasted 8 hours before the winners were announced. This was probably the biggest turnout of all the Canon Photomarathon organized by Interhouse Company.
At the same time, Interhouse Company also unveiled their latest product which I’m also eyeing at – the Canon EOS R. Yum, Yum… It’s a pretty solid camera and the first mirrorless full frame EOS from Canon line-up. It is also supported with new RF lenses and you can still use the current/older EF lenses with a mount adapters.
Congratulations once again to the winners of this year’s Canon Photomarathon 2018.
Team Interhouse Company did it again, year after year. Kudos on the great show once again!!!
The audience waiting for the results
Safwan Sidek and Ruby Chong also competed this year
The emcee Zayn entertaining the audience with his charm as usual
The top three winners of the Bandarku Ceria category
Hamdilah Kamaludin – 1st for Bandarku Ceria Theme
Saifulizam Zambor – 2nd for Bandarku Ceria Theme
Muhammad Abdul Malek Ridwan – 3rd for Bandarku Ceria Theme
Winners of the Local Delicacy Theme
Azman Yakob – 1st for Local Delicacy Theme
Azman Yakob Masadezam Masle – 2nd for Local Delicacy Theme
Nicolas Tju – 3rd for Local Delicacy Theme
Winners of the Creativity Theme
Qawi Zulkipli – 1st for Creativity Theme
Michael Ruiz – 2nd for Creativity Theme. My favourite photo of the lot.
Julian Lysee – 3rd for Creativity Theme. The only lady among the winners.
Hj Muhammad Safwan’s photos that made him the grand winner
Joyful Kids Montessori School’s graduation
Symphony Music’s Joyful Kids Montessori School Graduation programme which was held last Sunday at Manggis Ballroom.