Siti Kamaluddin (C), the director of Akademi with the cast members of the feature film during the press screening session. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Get ready to be entertained with comedy-action flick ‘Akademi’ set to hit theatres on January 16.

Siti Kamaluddin’s third feature film under Origin Artistic Management stars a cast of Bruneian actors including familiar talents such as Liyana Yus, Nadiah Wahid, Shafiee Mostar, Ian Zulkifli and newcomers Nasrul Nassar, Zainal Bostaman and Syafi Halim.

The film depicts the tales of Hani, played by Liyana Yus, who trains to become an elite security guard tasked with protecting one of Brunei’s rarest national treasures.

Speaking to the media during a press screening at Times Cineplex at The Empire Brunei, Siti said the 100-minute movie is scripted in Bahasa Brunei and shot around the country to promote the Bruneian national identity.

Among those present during the press screening of the press screening at The Empire Brunei Cinema. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“We wanted to use a lot of Bahasa Brunei because it makes us who we are – uniquely Bruneian and it’s something we should be proud of,” she said, praising the actors for portraying the national identity throughout the film.

“Our cast did a great job – the experienced actors are hardworking and talented and this also applies to the newcomers who are motivated and inspired by them. They rehearsed a lot and it paid off especially new actor, Syafi Halim,” added Siti feeling delighted.

The director said newcomers were cast in the film to give a platform for more locals to showcase their talent.

“There are a lot of talented individuals here who haven’t gotten exposure and every time Origin makes a film, we make sure to hold auditions to include them.”

Siti Kamaluddin, the director of the feature film Akademi during the press screening held at The Empire Brunei Cinema. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

“Take for example Zainal Bostaman – we know him as a comedian and I felt that he did an amazing job playing his role which was actually typecasted for him.”

Filming for ‘Akademi’ ran for six months since August 2019 with a total of 50 local film crews.

The concept, development to post-production provided employment opportunities to over 400 locally based individuals and businesses.

“We really hope everyone will enjoy this movie. It’s funny and relatable,” she added.

The movie will premiere tonight at Times Cineplex of the Empire Brunei and be shown in theatres across the country starting next week.

“It’s definitely a great way to start the year. My second feature film, ‘Hari Minggu Yang Ke-Empat’ won the Special Jury Award at the 59th Asia Pacific Film Festival, just two days ago,” said Siti.

“That is a great achievement and it’s important because it shows there’s a bright future for Brunei Cinema not just locally but also internationally which is our hope and dream.”

Siti is currently working on her fourth feature film carrying a horror genre.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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