I was privileged enough to attend the Fifth Cinema Arts Festival organised recently by the College of Arts at Bahrain University as a representative of my company having provided financial support for the event.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of Information Minister Ali Al Rumaihi in the presence of university president Dr Riyad Hamza. Several members of the academic and administrative faculty at Bahrain University were also present.
Frankly, I did not expect to see such creativity and excellence. Excellent cinematic work notwithstanding, university students showed amazing artistic skills and abilities. I am not exaggerating when I say that what I saw could be compared to the best in the world in the field of media production.
Bahrainis, despite their modest capabilities, are proving all the time that, given the time and the opportunities, as well as proper guidance and training, will find only the creativity and brilliance to show to the world. This festival was proof of that.
I have a suggestion which, I hope, will be acceptable to those concerned. Several of the short films that were on show at the event should be distributed far and wide so that they get the appreciation they deserve. They should be publicised through television and other audio-visual media, including Bahrain TV, which must show these at frequent intervals.
I also think it is necessary to co-ordinate with the film companies in Bahrain to arrange their screening before presenting their usual films. This would promote these short films by accomplished Bahraini youth who have a lot of talent and taste.
With this, we will have done what is required of us to support these youngsters. This is the least we can do for them and their creativity. We need to work hand in hand to support and encourage their talent and must do everything we can to keep in mind the interest of our dear Bahrain.
I hope that an official body such as the Culture and Antiquities Authority, for example, will honour those students who have shown great distinction and were able to produce these wonderful films. They wrote the dialogues and did the photography, editing and directing with all the craftsmanship, talent and taste. This hidden Bahraini talent is now able to come out into the open and show off their skills.
We have to make efforts to research and explore Bahraini talent wherever they may be and whatever skills they have. We must strive with all the tools we have to embrace these talents, give them the right environment for creativity and help them overcome barriers.
Believe me, I am not exaggerating. We have a lot of talent that has left Bahrain because they do not have the opportunities for creativity. We should reverse that trend.