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‘Legend of Ancient Borneo’ premiere tomorrow
Published on: Sunday, May 17, 2020
By: Ricardo Unto
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A screenshot from the animation.
Kota Kinabalu: The much-anticipated “Legend of Ancient Borneo” (LoAB), the first animated short film in Kadazan, will be premiered tomorrow (Monday).

Director Geoffrey Sinn from All-For-One Production said the animation will be premiered online via the official Legend of Ancient Borneo Facebook page at 4pm.

“We started the project in 2018, and we completed it in a year in June, last year, thanks to the RM100,000 grant that we won through the Intellectual Property Creators Challenge (IPCC) 2018,” he told the Daily Express, Saturday.

The IPCC was organised by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

However, Sinn said, they still had to top up around RM15,000 for the production of the film that runs for 8 minutes and 43 seconds.

“The film has already been screened in more than 20 film festivals worldwide after its completion, and now it is time to share it with our loved ones at home.

“The reason why we waited for a year before ‘bringing it home’ was that some international film festivals would not accept publicly-screened films.

“As such, we have to wait for the festival round was over, then only we can do the premiere.”

Some of the awards won by LoAB were Best Digital Animated Short Film in the Malaysian Digital Film Awards, Malaysian Silver Winner in the 21st Digicon6 Asia, and also Best Animated Short Film in the Great Message International Film Festival in India.

LoAB tells a story of four warriors of a village in ancient Borneo who went after a gang of reptile savages who ravaged their village and took the village’s sacred dragon skull.

The warriors then found out the truth behind the village’s prosperity and the untold history of the dragon skull.

The film was based on a fictional self-published comic by local duo Kwan Thung Seng and Robertson Sondoh Jr, which was discovered by Sinn who believed the story can be further developed into animation.

Aiming to push boundaries and groom local animation talents, Sinn insisted on hiring local talents to work on the animation production. 

He invited Sabahan artists to collaborate like Rizo Leong, who has exhibited his wood carving in France and Japan, as well as Boni Mosios, the lead actor of the movie “Huminodun”, to be the narrator. 

“The biggest challenge is the industrial gap between Sabah and the rest of the world. 

“There are good talent pool in Sabah, but these talents lack industrial exposure. So, we spent quite a lot of resources on getting the team ready,” he said.

Sinn said, he hoped they have made Sabah proud through LoAB as it is an important milestone for the local creative industry,  and “we will continue to give our best to bring our culture to the world stage.”

“This is our first project, and all of us are very excited and nervous.

“I feel that we can do a lot better and there is a huge room for improvement. But I am grateful that we are still able to complete the film despite the challenges we faced. 

“No matter how good or bad the quality of this film, it represents the current benchmark of the local Sabah animation industry. 

“I hope the animation works from Sabah will be far better than this.”

He also disclosed that, currently, they are developing into an animated series, targeted to be released by the end of 2023.

“We are also looking for collaborators and investors to develop more local animation content.

“And I also believe it is important for the government to look into supporting the growth of local animation and creative industries.

“This is not only for the financial return, but also see it as a way to convert our culture and stories into exportable products to complement other major industries such as tourism and agriculture,” he said.


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