Iban language movie in the works, set to be screened next year

Sulok Tawie

'Bungai Ngerembai' director Datuk Robin Lai (left) with Works Minister Baru Bian (second left) with the some of the actors and actresses at the launch of the movie in Kuching December 28, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Dec 28 — An Iban language movie, directed by Taiwan-based Sarawakian film producer Datuk Robin Lai, is set to hit the screen in Malaysia in May next year, just in time for the Gawai Dayak celebration.

The movie, Bungai Ngerembai (Blooming Flower), is about 40 per cent complete, Lai told reporters today.

“Our main target is the China market for the screening of the movie,” he said during a press conference which was also attended by Works Minister Baru Bian.

Overseas Chinese Media and Communication Co Ltd has been appointed as the distributor for the China market.

“Bungai Ngerembai with be shown in China either with subtitles or to be dubbed in Mandarin. It is up to them (distributor) later,” Lai, who has directed a number of films in Taiwan and China, said.

Bungai Ngerembai, produced by Telbina Technology Sdn Bhd, is filmed most in areas outside Kuching.

The company’s managing director Jerry Mason said Bungai Ngerembai is based on a fictional story of three siblings — two girls Sulan and Jawai and a boy, Tagok — from a broken family.

“They were looked after their mother after their father was jailed for committing a serious crime.

“Unable to take care of the three, their mother sent them to an orphanage home,” Mason said.

He said they, however, escaped from the home because they were not accustomed to the life there.

“As they ran away, Sulan was knocked down by a car driver by a police officer who, later on, adopted her as his daughter.

“Sulan grew up to become a police inspector,” Mason said.

He said Tagok and Jawai, after their escape, led a life of crimes.

Years later, the three met under a special circumstance.

Robin Gomes, a familiar face in a Petronas Gawai promo, plays the role of Tagok, Jessy Nana as Jawai and Sylvia William as Inspector Sulan.

The launch of Bungai Ngerembai was also attended by Oversea Chinese Media and Communication Co Ltd chairman Jitang Zhang, managing director of VAP Capital Sdn Bhd Vincent Chan and producer of local film Mighty Love.

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