21 May – The first ever Kadazan-language animated short film is now available for viewing online!
While Sabah has produced a few local movies before, "Legend of Ancient Borneo" is the first to fully use Kadazan, the language spoken among the state's Kadazan tribe.
The short film made its online premiere earlier this week on its official Facebook page as well as on YouTube. It has garnered more than 16,000 views since it was posted on the Facebook page on 18 May.
Produced by All-For-One Productions, with mostly local animators, the roughly 8-minute film is based on the fantasy comic by Aks Kwan and Robertson Sondoh Jr. Boni Mosios, who starred in "Huminodun", lent his voice as the film's narrator.
Set in a village in ancient Borneo, the film follows four warriors who go after a gang of reptile savages that have ravaged their village and taken the village's sacred dragon skull. However, they soon learn of the truth behind their village's prosperity and the dragon skull's untold history.
As per the description on International Peace and Film Festival 's (IPFF) page, director Geoffrey Sinn Chun Hou stated that the film "may look like a fantasy tale of superpower warriors battling mystical creatures. But what's hidden beneath, is about us humans being selfish and ignorant to the catastrophic damage we have done to the world for our own sake."
Geoffrey is now working on expanding the short film into an animated TV series.
While the animation may not be as advanced as international films, the short film has been highly praised for its effort in promoting Borneo's culture and heritage.
Commenters also applauded its use of Kadazan, saying that it is a good way to preserve it and can be used to encourage the younger generations to learn and use the language that is fast losing its usage among youngsters due to modernisation.
The short film was previously picked as this year's Official Selection for IPFF and competed with 91 other films at the film festival that was held from 30 January to 2 February in Orlando, Florida.
It was also one of the winners of the Intellectual Property Creators' Challenge (IPCC) in 2018, now known as Digital Content Creators Challenge (DC3), that was organised by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation.
If you haven't seen it, click play below to watch "Legend of Ancient Borneo"! (Don't worry, there are English subtitles).