Petronas officially launches Gawai webfilm, TV commercial

Cast and crew members of ‘Baju Burung Apai’ webfilm seen together with Petronas officials in a photo call. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Petronas’ Gawai webfilm and television commercial were officially shown at a local hotel here yesterday to celebrate the coming festivity in the state.

A check on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube revealed that the webfilm titled ‘Baru Burung Apai’ has garnered more than 14,000 views on YouTube and 662,000 views on Facebook as of 8pm yesterday.

Cast members and directors of the film present took time to share their experience during the early stages of production and shooting of the film.

‘Baju Burung Apai’ a four-minute-and 49-second webfilm which can be seen on YouTube was also done almost entirely in Iban language.

It tells the story of a Sarawakian father embarking on a quest to unite his siblings to celebrate Gawai together.

Culture expert Dr Noria Tugang who was the film’s advisor commented that the webfilm is the best platform to unite the Iban family using messages of family and tradition as blessings.

Maclean Patrick Sibat, one of the cast members on the other hand commented that the challenges faced by the cast members was the usage of the right Iban dialect for the film.

“We understand that there are a lot of Iban dialects in Sarawak.

“One of the challenges we faced while making this film was using the Iban dialect that is totally urban and perhaps generic in its dialogues as the Iban family portrayed in this story is the one from Kuching, an urban area,” he added.

Director Ismail Kamarul or better known as Smiley on the other hand said that there has not been that many content for film, television and advertising done in the Iban language.

“To us, ultimately it is about all Malaysians getting to know each other better through films such as this be it a better understanding of culture or language. We have poured in a lot of research into the making of this film due to the realisation that many feature films, advertisements and television dramas often get the nuances of East Malaysia wrong,” said Smiley.

Petronas Group strategic communications senior general manager Zahariah Rahman meanwhile commented that Petronas is happy to pay homage to a great celebration in Sarawak where the company has grown alongside their people and communities.

Petronas has released its much-awaited Kaamatan and Gawai webfilms and television commercials to celebrate the coming festivities in Sabah and Sarawak recently.

The two stories emphasise the gift of life, reflecting ‘Anugerah Kita’ or blessings theme for 2019, a reminder that no matter what the circumstances, we must always cherish precious moments in life.