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Full diary for first local film’s golden anniversary

Organising committee members of the Gema Dari Menara 50th anniversary ceremony in a group photo. – IZAH AZAHARI

BY Izah Azahari

SEVERAL activities to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Gema Dari Menara (GDM) film have been lined up for October, said Senior Special Duties Officer of the Secretariat Office at the MIB Supreme Council and organising committee member and historian Dr Haji Mohd Hadi bin Md Melayong.

He made the announcement during a press conference to announce the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the film at Regal Blues Studio, Kampong Sungai Hanching on Thursday.

The film will have an exclusive re-screening at the Arena Cineplex of Seri Q-Lap Mall in Kampong Kiulap on October 23.

Organising committee members of the film’s 50th anniversary comprise GDM scriptwriter Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Saman bin Kahar, representative of the GDM actors Pengiran Haji Abbas bin Pengiran Haji Besar, artist and lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Universiti Brunei Darussalam Mohammed Zefri Ariff bin Mohammed Zain Ariff and GDM film critic Dato Haji Mahmud bin Bakyr.

Dr Haji Mohd Hadi said a Doa Selamat and Tahlil ceremony will be held in conjunction with the film’s 50th anniversary on October 18 at the Kampong Kilanas Mosque. Actors of the film and those involved as well as the public are invited. A 60’s themed aerobics session and several quizzes and activities will be held at the Art Expression Bazaar area of the Dermaga Diraja in the capital on October 21.

A film appreciation session and art dialogue sessions will also be held after the exclusive re-screening. The sessions will be announced through the GDM affiliated social media.

GDM, the first film produced in Brunei and was made by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, formerly known as the Department of Religious Affairs. It was screened at the commercial cinema (Boon Pang Baharu) on October 23, 1968.

The film served to act as a platform to preach and create awareness among Bruneians in the 60’s through the effective medium of film, as television station services were yet to be introduced in the country.

According to organising committee members, this is also in line with the world today where more youth are venturing into the field of filming.

According to organising committee members, it was Brunei Darussalam’s first attempt in producing a movie as well as an international collaboration which brought on the trust of the government in film as an effective medium in delivering a message where the main objective is to preach. The film is also significant as it takes a look back at the socio-culture of Brunei in the 60’s.

Aside from paying tribute to actors and veteran artistes, the anniversary celebration will inject a high spirit and passion for local film art enthusiasts in enhancing the Brunei film industry as an effective medium for information as well as to advance film as a creative industry capable of contributing to the country’s economic progress.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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