American Screenwriter Visits Brunei As Part of U.S. Arts Envoy Program

American screenwriter Mark Shepherd visited Brunei Darussalam as a U.S. Arts Envoy sponsored by the Department of State. During his visit, Mark Shepherd led cinema production workshops and other activities as part of the Brunei Film Blitz 2018 organized by Origin Artistic Management.

Mark Shepherd is a successful screenwriter for television and film with extensive industry experience. He serves as Associate Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC).

As part of the U.S. Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan event on December 14, Prof. Shepherd moderated a session on ‘Conversations: Cinematic and Performing Arts,’ which was attended by local directors, screenwriters, and academics. Guided by participant questions, the conversation ranged from how to tackle writers’ block to encouraging writer comfort in expressing their individual experiences.

Conversations Session with Mark Shepherd on Dec 14
Mark Shepherd engages with local creative community at U.S. Embassy-lead event.

U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Daniel Lee stated, “We are fortunate to have welcomed such an experienced screenwriter as Prof. Shepherd. Through the Arts Envoy program, he shared insights into screenwriting and storytelling with Bruneians from secondary students to practicing artists. We hope that his advice on professional entertainment issues such as pitching ideas and protecting intellectual property rights will help to further develop Brunei’s creative industry.”

During the Brunei Film Blitz, Mark Shepherd conducted a range of presentations and masterclass sessions as well as discussed the importance of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the film industry.

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. American arts professionals– including performing artists, visual artists, poets, playwrights, theatrical and film directors, curators, and others– travel overseas to conduct workshops, give performances, and mentor young people. Programs seek to connect with international publics who might not otherwise have the opportunity to engage with American arts professionals.