PENAMPANG: ‘Huminodun’ – the movie will be released in May, the month when the KadazanDusun Murut communities celebrate the Harvest Festival.
It is also a time for the communities to reflect on Huminodun and her parents’ Kinoingan and Suminundu’s ultimate sacrifice for the people.
Kinoingan sacrificed his only daughter so that the people could have food. Her body parts were planted as seeds and became the food resource of the world, rice.
Huminodun will be in Kadazan language with English subtitles and is produced by Siung Film Productions.
According to the movie’s producer, Jo Luping, the one-hour movie was filmed entirely in the Kadazan language and the cast are all locals.
“This movie is 99 per cent Sabah ‘made’. The actors are all local talent. People were sceptical about us getting the talent in Sabah but we did it. Shooting took about a week and pre-production took about two years.
“Because it is a historical drama we need to be accurate in terms of our research. It took a long time to research the costumes, the story, to talk to the different elders in the Kadazan community,” she said.
Jo, who was met after the screening of the Huminodun trailer on Tuesday night, said that as part of their research, they consulted Auntie Rosnani who was trained as a ‘bobohizan’.
“We just wanted to make sure that we had our facts right. We tried our best to be as accurate historically as possible,” she said.
When asked about the message she hopes to get across to the community, especially the younger generation, Jo who is of Kadazan descent, said it was to remind them the importance of learning their mother tongue.
“We want them to learn their mother tongue because through your mother tongue you can really identify with your culture and who you are and that gives you your point of difference in a world where things are similar.
“It brings something that is close to your heart and that is how you differentiate yourself in the world,” she said.
She disclosed that ‘Huminodun’ which casts Alexandra Alexander, Boni Mosios, Jenifer Lasimbang, Marc Abas ad Hazli Bojili in the lead roles, is slated to be released in May.
They want it to be a cinematic release so the plan is to premier it in Sabah first and then distribute into international film festivals.
It will come back to Sabah into a film format, she said adding, “that is the usual circuit and we want to sell it into the Hong Kong film mart.
“The goal is to distribute it through Sabah and have a local film market but also definitely we also want to take Sabah culture and tradition and sell it to the world because I think everybody is interested in Borneo. In terms of a brand Borneo and Sabah are equally great,” she said.
They are undecided as to where the movie will be premiered and are currently looking at different venues.
On the Siung Film Production’s future plans, Jo said that they were planning to shoot ‘Pangazou’ – another Kadazan language movie.
“We have other plans to do Dusun, Murut and Runggus movies. The reason is because we are from Penampang, we have access to Rita Lasimbang and then it is a natural progression to do it in Kadazan.
“But we would love to ultimately do all Sabah legends because we are a hotbed and treasure trove of fantastic stories and the world is interested in legends. They want to know about these legends, they want something different and we got it all here,” she stressed.
Jo’s husband Aaron Cowan directed Huminodun. Cowan, an experienced filmmaker, has been involved in many movies such as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, The Adventures of Tin Tin, Man of Steel and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Jo is also best known for her documentary Reframe about the Palestinian Israeli conflict.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who launched the screening of the Huminodun trailer said: “I think tonight is the beginning of something serious done through the film industry.
Asked how the movie could help in promoting the culture, language and history of the Kadazan community, he said: “I think it will serve the purpose because any pictorial or any movie that is created based on legends, culture, tradition language and all that will indeed promote the community itself.”
Pairin, who is also KadazanDusun Cultural Association president and Huguan Siou, said producing a movie needed a lot of skills and participation and he would like to see the continuation of such commitment, such positive attitude towards the creation and production of what is valuable in the life of the community.
The commitment will serve as a reference for the community itself and the future generations, he stressed.
“Evidently, any movie based on historical background is something which will serve as a reminder, as a reference of what happened in the past. I hope it will encourage the younger generation to adapt themselves towards what is good, what is valuable towards the culture, the language so that all this will help to maintain and sustain what is the best in the life of the community itself,” he said.
At the event, Kinsabina Group chief executive officer Datuk Francis Goh, who is an executive producer and financier of the film, presented RM50,000 to Siung Film Production on behalf of the Kinsabina Group.
SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST