In celebration of Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai, annual celebrations where Sabahans and Sarawakians give thanks for a bountiful harvest, CelcomDigi and Naga DDB Tribal Malaysia have collaborated with East Malaysian filmmakers to create an authentic portrayal of Sabah and Sarawak stories.
“Dua Hati, Satu Jiwa” is a docufilm that captures the journey of East Malaysian filmmakers Nova Goh and Putri Purnama Sugua as they tell a harvest festival story through the lens of locals.
In Ba’kekalan, Sarawak, Nova captures musician-craftsman Rining Peter Paris’ arduous 15-hour journey that spanned three modes of transportation in his pursuit to celebrate Gawai by reviving the forgotten sound of the Tapi in his home village. One that has not been heard in over 30 years.
Over in Kg. Penulangon, Sabah, Putri shines a light on the uphill battle of villager Gabriel Elebin Jaidi and Lightup Borneo as they strove to bring electricity to the off-the-grid village to celebrate Kaamatan with lights for the first time.
Alvin Teoh, Naga DDB Tribal’s Chief Creative Officer, said: “This little film started with a simple realisation – that we ‘orang semenanjung’ know very little about Sarawakians and Sabahans. And it would be challenging to say the least, for us to write anything that is authentic. So through Barney of Mojo Films, we reached out to film-makers from East Malaysia to pass them the brief and let them propose to us the story they wanted to tell and create. Our task was to take what’s given and weave it into a cohesive story that reflects the belief of CelcomDigi, that we are stronger when we are together. We hope we’ve done some justice here.”
Naga DDB Tribal worked with Mojo Films to bring this vision to life. “With the exceptional talents of Nova Goh and Putri Purnama Sugua, both native to the states we explored, we were able to capture the essence of Sabahans and Sarawakians as they celebrate Hari Gawai and Pesta Kaamatan. Their unique perspectives and intimate connection to the communities added authenticity and depth to our storytelling. This film is a testament to the strength that comes from unity and the indomitable spirit of these remarkable tribes. It is a film made by the people, for the people, and I am humbled by the experience of bringing their vibrant cultures and inspiring journeys to the screen,” said Mojo Films’ Director Barney Chua.
Through this film, CelcomDigi hopes to inspire Malaysians that nothing is out of reach when we journey together.