The United States (US) Embassy-funded Mengupas Cerita Documentary Film Initiative participants recently attended a lecture by local scholar Dr Nur Qistin Mohammad Harunthmarin who presented her research on Bruneian folklore and its significance as a legacy for the culture of the Sultanate.
Dr Nur Qistin shared the tale of Beristerikan Barbalan and the ways in which this story could be interpreted in contemporary Bruneian life. Through her vivid narration, the filmmakers learnt the power of oral storytelling and its cultural importance in the Sultanate, according to a press statement.
Documentary filmmaker Farrah Majid said, “The stories discussed by Dr Nur Qistin have so many levels of interpretation. They are enjoyable to children and appealing to adults.”
Dr Nur Qistin spoke on the importance of published children’s literature in the preservation of these stories and her thesis is a thorough consolidation of illustrated art that serves as a companion to the tales.
Filmmaker and animator Hamizah Hamzah, struck by the detailed nature of the illustrations and recalled her fascination with the drawings as a child, said, “The artists who drew these stories to life were instrumental in my life. Their use of colours and the depictions of the fictional characters left an impression.”
Mengupas Cerita coordinator Dr Alex Fischer said, “Dr Nur Qistin’s research is valuable to Bruneian filmmakers. She is the first person to translate The Series of Brunei folklores into English increasing its accessibility and her thesis unites Bruneian folklore into a single resource for research.”