The Pillar of Strength: First-ever Sarawak animation on Iban warrior Rentap hits cinemas nationwide

KUCHING, Oct 20: The animated short film, The Pillar of Strength, which portrays the cinematic universe of Rentap, the Iban-Dayak warrior from Borneo, made history as the first Sarawak-inspired animation to be screened in cinemas nationwide.

The screening was made possible with the collaboration between Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) through the first Malaysia Animation Film Festival (MAFF) 2023, featuring a compilation of seven animated shorts.

The Pillar of Strength was created by AieI brahim, a well-respected animator who has worked on Malaysia animated classics such as the Usop Sontorian, Silat Legenda & Putih, and several others.

Aiel takes a group photo with (from left) Bong, Hazwan Razak (Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation Berhad), Geoffrey Sinn (All-For-One Productions), Nadia Masrol (NAIM Holdings Berhad) and David Chua (MAKO Entertainment) at the Malaysia Animation Film Festival 2023.

This animation explores the fictional origin of Rentap, the Iban-Dayak warrior from Borneo, where it introduces an alternate take of his childhood upbringing.

“The Pillar Of Strength is a beautiful story that touches on topics about family, environmental conservation, human identity, as well as the patterns and culture of life in the ancient Borneo archipelago,” AieI said in a media release today.

The most recent edition of this film was a co-production between AieI brahim from Creatvtoon Studio and Andrew Bong from Ventura Interactive Sdn Bhd, Amirul Annuar as the executive producer, with the support from Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC), Sarawak Digital and Innovation, and MDEC.

The creators believe this milestone can pave the way for Sarawak’s digital creative economy and open new conversations with potential stakeholders for production, tourism, licensing, and merchandising.

Additionally, The Pillar of Strength’s soundtrack was recorded in Budapest, where Bong Joon-Ho’s Oscar-winning film Parasite’s music was recorded.

It also features a collaboration with several international musicians, such as Burak Besir (Woodwinds – Netflix’s One Piece, The Witcher, Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal), and Noriko Terada (Percussions – Final Fantasy 15, Little Witch Academia).

Regarding Sarawakian talents, Bong penned music for The Pillar of Strength, Framed Memories, and Kuihpocalypse, three of the seven animated films featured in the Malaysia Animation Film Festival 2023.

Sarawakian violinist Nisa Addina’s violin solo is also featured in the two films. Brenda Bulan, a Sarawakian sape player, also contributed her music to The Pillar of Strength.

Brenda Bulan

An upcoming music video release will highlight the musical talents behind The Pillar Of Strength.

Watch the MAFF trailer here. — DayakDaily