Australian expert impressed by Mahakarya Institute facilities

|     Ishan Ibrahim     |

A TOP representative from TAFE Queensland, Australia was impressed with the Mahakarya Institute of the Arts Asia when he visited the institute recently, praising it for its state-of-the-art film-making facilities and trained staff.

Richard Barrett was taken for a tour of the centre’s studios, training rooms, Princess Theatrette, and other facilities by Brunei Film Blitz Director Siti Kamaluddin and the institute’s staff recently.

“The Mahakarya facilities are fabulous and as good as you’ll get in any film school that I have ever seen, and has everything a filmmaker needs,” he said.

“The whole setup of the film institute is designed in an efficient manner that allows pre-production, production and post-production stages to create short films or entire feature films.

“The cinematography, lighting and editing equipment required for filmmaking are all here at the Mahakarya Institute, and I was simply amazed when I toured it.”

Richard Barrett from TAFE Queensland, Australia
A film-making room at the Mahakarya Institute of the Arts Asia. – PHOTOS: ISHAN IBRAHIM

Barrett added that the Mahakarya Institute has an “excellent future ahead of it”, and advised the institute to “stick to your plans and vision, and try to bring in more people from the community into the film industry”.

“Importantly, they need to look where to get resources in terms of talent as well, using the culture and history of the country to blend well into making films,” he continued.

Barrett said that everything from coming up with stories to getting ideas on filmmaking is available in the country within relatively short distances, and advised aspiring local filmmakers to not let Brunei’s comparatively smaller market deter them from pursuing their dreams.

“A small market is not unlike an ecosystem, and it is feasible to create films across multiple platforms due to the existence of various net-streaming services in the Internet, and online content can be generated with the skills and talent available in Brunei Darussalam,” he said.

He explained that the final product can be exported to foreign audiences, and with the talent that can be tapped in the country complemented with the existing facilities at Mahakarya Institute, “everything is possible”.

This in turn will draw students, both local and foreign, to study filmmaking and other fields in the film industry, and will hold the future of the Bruneian film scene in good stead, Barrett added.

The Mahakarya Institute of the Arts Asia is located on the third floor of Plaza Athirah, Jalan Tutong.