The much-anticipated local documentary film “Prince Azim – Son of the Arts” debuted at the Empire Times Cineplex on Thursday evening, receiving an overwhelming response with over 400 seats sold.

The 90-minute feature was executively produced by His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Mateen, Her Royal Highness Princess ‘Azemah Ni’matul Bolkiah and Her Royal Highness Princess Fadzilah Lubabul Bolkiah, the children of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

The film portrays an inside look at the life of the late His Royal Highness Prince Haji ‘Abdul Azim as told by his family and friends as well as those lives he had touched and shared passions with.

Image: Yusri Adnan

In an interview, the co-founder of Relentless Entertainment Amy Cheong said that the project kicked off following her team’s appointment by Al-Marhum’s family to write and direct the feature film.

“Al-Marhum’s family wanted to share about the real Prince Azim whose story was told from the POV of his three siblings, first cousins and adopted siblings talking about his character and what he was really like,” said Cheong, adding that the film was completed in nine months.

Image: Yusri Adnan

Cheong further said that the team also had the chance to talk to people outside of the late Prince’s family particularly individuals from the creative arts scene that he previously worked with.

“We spoke to the people he supported and those that Al-Marhum opened companies with such as the Daryl Prince Productions. It was through them he produced several films,” said Cheong.

She added: “From there, we just followed the trail and we got in touch with other people whom even the families did not know he was working with, the charities that he was very involved with; it was all anonymous.”

Image: Yusri Adnan

Moreover, Al-Marhum’s previous active involvement with government agencies also led the documentary production team to also feature some government officials regarding the late Prince’s contribution.

“We also talked about the challenges that he faced and the agendas that he wanted to address but was never able to, as well as the frustrations he felt about certain things,” she continued.

Image: Yusri Adnan

“I think what’s interesting is that you will find that the Prince is just a normal person… You see videos of them just playing carah (tag) or hide and seek, you will see that it is pretty similar (with us).”

Image: Yusri Adnan

“Prince Azim – Son of the Arts” is the first feature film under the direction of Relentless Entertainment as it is also for the founders, Sumardi Hedus and Amy Cheong, personally.

The film premiere was attended by cabinet ministers, senior government officials, representatives from charity bodies, invited guests and members of the public.

After the debut, other screenings will be held at Times Cineplex cinemas across the country at The Empire Brunei, Tutong and Kuala Belait on 31 July and 1 August.

Image: Yusri Adnan

Further screenings will be held at the Jerudong International School’s Arts Centre on 7 and 8 August which e-tickets can be purchased through www.progresifevents.com

The majority of the ticket proceeds will be given to charities which the late Prince had worked closely namely; Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam, Centre for Children with Special Needs (KACA), SMARTER Brunei and Children’s Cancer Foundation (YASKA).

Image: Courtesy of Progresif Media

The documentary film was supported by Progresif as the appointed marketing and event partner and edited by Oddbox Pictures.

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This article was first published on 31 July 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 152

THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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