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PRISM UBD Short Film Festival 3rd Edition

19th November 2020

The 3rd Edition of PRISM UBD Short Film Festival, operated by the Design & Creative Industries (DCI) programme, took place in Lecture Hall 2 at the ICTC Building on 17th November 2020. The one-day event kicked off its morning screening with a short film entitled Balau, made by Bruneian filmmaker Abdul Zainidi.

For the third consecutive year, PRISM has been co-organised by Dr Yong Liu, the Programme Coordinator of DCI, and Ms Mayyer Ling of the English Studies programme. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 3rd Edition of PRISM had to be postponed from April to November this year, which allowed a larger number of excellent student films to be included and screened within more competing categories such as Commercials and PSAs.

There were a total of seven competing categories this year: Animation, Commercial, Comedy & Family, Thriller & Horror, Public Service Announcement (PSA), 3-Minute Cinema (Made by Digital Camera), and 3-Minute Cinema (Made by Smartphone). There were 27 shortlisted works showcased across all categories, which is an all-time high for PRISM since its inception.

The collage on the right showcases the winners of each of the categories. In the left column, from top to bottom, we have Cyberchondria (PSA), Lethal League (Thriller & Horror), and Haunted (3-Min Cinema by Smartphone). In the right column, we have Hot Honey Chicken Burger (Commercial), Voyager: 2100 (3-Min Cinema by Digital Camera), Suara (Comedy & Family), and Alluring (Animation).

While the judges deliberated to select the winner for each category, audience members were given 30 minutes to vote for their favourite short film. A total of 141 votes were received and the People's Choice Award went to Haunted with 37% of the votes.

Here are some insights from a few of the student filmmakers whose works were screened at PRISM:

“On Tuesday, 17th November 2020, the PRISM UBD Film Festival 3rd Edition was held in UBD and Alhamdulillah, two of my short films The Phone and Bilik No.14 were screened in the Thriller & Horror category. Even though I did not win the competition, I did receive a great response from the audience. With the positive response, it did motivate me to make another horror film for the next UBD PRISM, where insya-Allah I will start filming during the next semester break over 3 months, May, June and July. Moreover, after joining this competition, I am planning to submit both The Phone and Bilik No.14 to Brunei Film Blitz 2020 which will be held in December 2020. Brunei Film Blitz is Brunei’s first film festival where they invite aspiring filmmakers to create a film by utilizing proper techniques in filmmaking in 96 hours. By joining the competition, it will help me to improve myself in the filming world.”
— Muhammad Haziq Al-jum Bin Hj Jefri Alsalas.
Director, The Phone and Bilik No.14, Thriller & Horror.

"We very much appreciate the support we've received from UBD as well as the creative community in achieving this milestone. It was honestly unexpected for all of us that we would win the Thriller & Horror category for PRISM UBD Short Film Festival but we are nonetheless sincerely grateful as we had poured all our hard-work and effort into making this project. We look forward to a future where PRISM develops into a grander scale in hopes that it will give a platform for aspiring creators and filmmakers to gain exposure and showcase their talents to the wider public. With that said, to all the aspiring creators and filmmakers out there, know that nothing is impossible when it comes to film-making if its a burning passion of yours. Make as many films as you want and pour all your heart into it!"
— Muhammad Fikri Fathullah Bin Haji Affendi.
Director, Lethal League, Thriller & Horror (Winner).

“What motivates me the most about participating in filmmaking is the reactions that I expect to get from the audience. Prior to going out to shoot scenes, I would already have a list of reactions that I aim to bring out from the people on the opposite side of the screen. Although success is not always the case, it remains a source of motivation to me. UBD's 3rd Edition PRISM Short Film Festival provided me with the opportunity to see the audience's reactions first-hand towards a short film I made. I have to admit, I had a good laugh and I was definitely pleased to know they enjoyed it. Aside from that, the festival also introduced me to a whole list of new ideas and I was also able to pick up on new techniques used by other filmmakers. With that being said, I hope UBD will continue to arrange short film festivals in the future as they are very beneficial especially among aspiring filmmakers like myself.”
— Muhammad Farhan Nizam Bin Zaini.
Director, Haunted, 3-Minute Cinema by Smartphone (Winner), People’s Choice Award (Winner).

Special guests for this year’s PRISM included Dr Alexander J. Fischer, the Dean of Mahakarya Institute of the Arts Asia; as well as industry representatives Aminah Metali, the Acting Head of TV Programs Division of Radio Television Brunei (RTB); Abdul Zainidi from Brurealism Picture; Aaqiil Ahmad from Filterworks Productions; Dhimas Ananda from Origin Artistic Management; and Olivia Ong and Charlotte Lim from Progresif Media; Harlif Haji Mohamad and Nurain Abdullah from Regalblue Production; and Mimi Rahzia, a TV and film actress.

The diverse profiles and institutional backgrounds of the judges in this year’s festival are a testament to the support and demand for creative content in the media industry.

Also present at the screening were Dr Kathrina Mohd Daud, Deputy Dean of FASS; Dr Rui Oliveira Lopes, Programme Leader of DCI; academic and administrative staff from UBD; as well as student filmmakers, their friends, and family.

In addition to the morning's film screenings, a roundtable discussion was conducted in the afternoon that same day to mark PRISM's 3rd anniversary. The discussion focused on bridging the gap between local creative industries and higher education institutions and was attended by FASS academics and representatives from the media industry.