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1937 film, 'Borneo', debuts at fest


ENVIRONMENTAL THEME: Three-day event kicks off tomorrow

  KOTA KINABALU: A FILM by famous American documentary filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson, Borneo, will be among the international feature films to be shown during the  Borneo Eco Film Festival (BEFF) this week.

The film has been deemed as the Johnsons' "last adventure" together before Martin was killed in a plane crash in California in 1937.

It will have its Southeast Asian premiere at the Sabah National Culture and Arts Department complex auditorium here on Sunday.

The 75-minute film will share expedition footages in Borneo by the Johnsons as they searched for an orang utan.

The three-day festival begins tomorrow with five feature films and seven short films.

There will also be the premiere of a special live film performance featuring two silent movies from the British Film Institute -- Trip to British North Borneo and Possesions Anglaises Dans Le Nord De Borneo (English Possessions of North Borneo).

"These two silent films (dating back to 1907 and 1911) will be accompanied by music from local musician Hezekiah Asim, who has spent months working on a composition specifically for each of the films," said festival board chairman Chris Chong Chan Fui.

He said the films selected were award-winning and critically acclaimed pieces from the United States, Brazil, Canada, China and Europe.

Besides the free screenings, there will also be environmental and filmmaking talks to be held on Saturday from 9am.

Chong said the public was encouraged to attend these talks.

Only in its second installment, the festival is an annual event to celebrate Borneo's biocultural diversity through showcasing environmental films and nurturing the art of filmmaking of the local community. For information, visit

The poster for ‘Borneo’, which is the last adventure film together by American documentary makers Martin and Osa Johnson in 1937.

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