Promising outlook for Brunei entertainment industry

National 2 minutes, 17 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEIANS are getting more receptive towards local talent, giving the entertainment industry a glimmer of hope for growth.

This has been the observation of the co-founders of a new production company, Filterworks Productions.

“When locals started putting movies on the big screen regardless of professional studios or indie studios or even zero budget, they’ve paved a way to people (looking into the industry),” said Md A’aqiil Ahmad, a videographer and a co-founder of Filterworks Productions.

He added that the country is heading on the right track regarding the entertainment industry as secondary schools are introducing drama, companies are hiring more local performers and the public are also interested and paying to see these performers.

“Bruneians spend on entertainment already, going to movies, watching TV series, catching plays and live shows. It just depends on those within the industry to be smart about it,” said Zainal Bostaman Hj Salleh Bostaman, another co-founder of Filterworks Productions.

“How can we make it sustainable and ethical for everyone involved in the industry? They need to start asking those questions and commit to making their shows or movies into a success, both commercially and creatively,” he added.

Zainal also said that Brunei has the talent and is ready to build that industry but requires a change of mindset to push them into that direction.

“I think that the industry and its market are still new so people are reluctant to pay for a standard pricing for local talents or products. However, they are willing to pay more to well known overseas companies,” said Aaqiil.

Despite the challenge, the co-founders said that they have achieved some success since they started the company.

“For the short amount of time we have been active, we’ve had interest from companies and individuals to put projects together. I think it’s safe to say that there’s always a market for quality in Brunei,” said Zainal.

He also added that other neighbouring countries as well as Brunei have shown interest in their work.

Filterworks Production was established in April 2015 and creates videos based on the needs of client. The company also creates its own content by filming short entertainment videos which are posted on YouTube and Instagram.

“We make videos of all sorts of genre, partially because we are interested in different types: comedy, horror, drama, romantic comedy. It’s all to do with making videos to improve our skills as directors, writers, actors and producers. The more we do it, the better we get regardless if it’s well received or not,” said Zainal.

“We’re not limited to just making skits and short videos though. When time comes, the videos will be longer in length,” he added.

The Brunei Times