Award-winning Australian film producer Samantha Laidlaw visited Brunei last week and had a front row seat to experience Brunei’s talented local film industry.
Samantha was in Brunei to participate in a series of events hosted by the Australian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam in collaboration with the Mahakarya Institute of the Arts Asia (MIAA), Brunei’s first dedicated arts institution focussed on establishing the next generation of content creators.
Samantha is the Acting Executive Vice President of Content at Screen Queensland, an organisation that invests in and supports the Queensland screen industry. She is also the founder of Femflix, a soon to be launched platform dedicated to bringing audiences the very best content created by women, and has produced multiple short films including The Boggabilla Bus which was a finalist in the 2017 FLiCKERFEST Short Film Festival.
The FLiCKERFEST Short Film Festival is held in Sydney each year and showcases the works of amateur and professional filmmakers from around the world.
This year, the festival will feature a special category for filmmakers from ASEAN member countries. Sixty participants from Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien College, Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College, Meragang Sixth Form Centre and film enthusiasts gathered at MIAA to hear Samantha’s insights on working in the film industry and to view previous entries in the FLiCKERFEST Short Film competition.
Samantha was also delighted to be a part of Wayang Kitani, a showcase of local short films as a viewer and critic – giving local film makers professional advice on their work. Dean of MIAA Dr Alex Fischer said the local showcase was an important opportunity for Bruneian filmmakers to receive feedback, and in many cases praise, by an objective industry expert.
Australian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Nicola Rosenblum praised the local showcase. She said, “It was a privilege to be able to see Brunei through the eyes of creative and passionate local filmmakers. The stories told through their short films were important and I look forward to seeing more in the future.”