By Lyna Mohamad
His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah last night consented to officially open the German Film Festival at the Empire Cinema.
Also gracing the event was HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik.
Also present were Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Major General (Rtd) Dato Awg Hj Mohammad, senior government ministers and diplomatic corps.
On hand to greet the royalty were the German Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Mr Conrad Cappell and his wife Mrs Lilo Cappell.
Prior to the official opening, the Crown Prince, HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah and HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik consented to view a mini exhibition on the FIFA World Cup 2006.
The German ambassador in his welcoming speech noted that Brunei as well as Germany are football loving nations and this is specially highlighted by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince's strong support and interest in Brunei's football.
This common enthusiasm for football, he added, will be particularly rewarded when we all have the chance to watch the FIFA World Cup games from June 9 to July 9, which Germany is proud to play host for the second time.
He further noted that Germany is passionate about football and millions of people are eagerly awaiting this unique festival of sports and friendship as the official motto of the games is "A Time to Make Friends".
This also symbolises the fact that everyone will be able to enjoy a secure and friendly football festival as he quoted German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel as saying, "I am convinced that the spark of enthusiasm and understanding amongst the nations at the FIFA World Cup will spring from Germany to the entire world".
The German ambassador noted that it is against this background that the football feature film, "The Miracle of Berne" that was going to be shown, will hopefully provide the anticipated joy for the World Cup.
The fiction film is based on the World Cup Final on July 4, 1954 in Berne, Switzerland which Germany unexpectedly won 3 to 2 against Hungary and for many Germans it was more than winning a trophy as it was also a national recovery and gaining its self-confidence it had lost after the second World War.
The German Film Festival organised by the German Embassy here with cooperation from M-Vision Cinemas is being screened in conjunction with the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2006.
Three films will be featured beginning today until Sunday including "The Miracle of Berne", "The Champions" and "Depth of Field". Five viewers will have a chance to win 2006 World Cup footballs in a lucky draw at the end of the film festival, and will be presented by the German ambassador.
- Borneo Bulletin
(9th Feb 2006)