Sarawak native-themed film opens

On location: Lee (standing, fourth from right) with ‘Dendam Gadang’ cast and crew in the jungle near Miri.

MIRI: A local action movie, directed by The Star’s former photographer Ray Lee, showing exciting jungle adventure scenes in Miri and Perak and the intriguing native communities will make its debut today.

The made-in-Malaysia Dendam Gadang (Revenge) film is special because it will showcase our beautiful flora and fauna, native songs, customs and local communities.

It is extra special as the starring roles are handled by ordinary folk like mechanics, farmers, drivers, housewives, longhouse and kampung folk and the script is entirely based on day-to-day planning.

The film premiere will be at the Pustaka Miri main hall.

Lee said the film would feature spectacular jungle and river scenery and Sarawak’s natives.

The film is set in the 1970s and is about an Iban warrior who is out to avenge the killing of his sister by a warrior from a rival tribe, he said, adding that the film was also shot in the jungles of Tanjong Malim in Perak and in the Bakam jungle in Miri.

“The main actor Cassidy Panggau is a Sarawakian living in the peninsula, while our executive producer Misha Minut is from Limbang. I was born in Selangor but have family roots in Sarawak.

“Cassidy is a mechanic with no acting experience and the rest of our 25-member crew and cast of 15 are all Malaysian and débutantes in acting.

“The film will feature exciting battles between native warriors amid beautiful jungle and river settings,” he said, adding that the premiere in Miri would be launched by Sarawak assistant tourism minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin.

He said tickets for the premiere were sold-out and interest in the film had already come from film industry parties in Indonesia and China.

Asked how he got the idea to film such a movie, Lee said he was in Perak for an outing when he saw a group of Sarawakians dressed in their native costumes having a picnic at a river in the jungle.

“When I saw that I was intrigued. What exciting costumes.

“I took some video shots and photos and then I realised these were ingredients for an exciting adventure movie,” he said.

Lee said he gathered a group of Iban friends and they started planning to shoot the film using simple video cameras and day-to-day scripts based on ideas that popped up daily.

“The result is an epic adventure film. Just wait and watch,” he quipped.

He thanked the Sarawak authorities and Senadin state assemblyman Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Miri Mayor Adam Yii, Finas, Junior Chamber International Sibu Jaya, Staven Event Manage­ment Sarawak and Tujuh Warisan Sdn Bhd for their key roles in making the film possible.

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Family & Community , iban , film , filming , sarawak


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