Professor Mark Shepherd (L) in a dialogue with members of the local creative community. Image: Courtesy of US Embassy

The Embassy of the United States of America in Brunei recently hosted dialogue sessions with American screenwriter Mark Shepherd through its Arts Envoy Program, sharing insights with the local creative community.

The event, which was conducted in conjunction with the Brunei Film Blitz 2018 organised by Origin Artistic Management, was participated by several local directors, screenwriters and academics.

The Associate Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC) talked about Cinematic and Performing Arts with the participants based on questions ranging from how to tackle writers’ block to encouraging writer comfort in expressing individual experiences.

In a statement from the embassy, it said that a participant commented that it was a unique opportunity to learn from an industry veteran about the mechanics of how stories are produced for American television series.

U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Daniel Lee said the embassy is proud to help Brunei diversify its economy by encouraging productive activities in the creative arts.

“We are fortunate to welcome a professional as experienced as Prof. Shepherd. He shared insights into screenwriting and storytelling with people from across Bruneian society – from secondary students to practicing artists,” he said.

“We hope that his expert advice on topics ranging from pitching ideas to industry executives to protecting intellectual property rights will contribute to the development of Brunei’s creative industries.”

The Arts Envoy program shares the best of the U.S. arts community with the world to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration and to demonstrate shared values and aspirations, the embassy said.

It added that American arts professionals including performing artists, visual artists, poets and playwrights, among others, travel overseas to conduct workshops, give performances, and mentor young people.



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