by Kevin Chong
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‘Baram Bunch: Story Hunters’

Students of the Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne Sarawak) have produced a pilot animation titled ‘Baram Bunch: Story Hunters’ to encourage children to share their cultural experiences and stories in order to preserve the rich culture in Sarawak. This was a project under the CHIC Digital Creatives Bootcamp, an animation production program funded by Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and supported by Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC). 

A group of undergraduate students from the School of Design and Arts at Swinburne Sarawak who participated in the animation workshop was selected to bring the ‘The Broken Tajau’ book written by Victoria Siaw to life. The production of the pilot animation was conducted through a series of intensive online and remote boot camps held by the university itself. 

‘Baram Bunch: Story Hunters’ still shot

“The story is about 4 kids trying to save the megaliths by telling their stories so that they would live on forever. We hope to encourage the audience (kids) to keep on sharing the stories of our culture to preserve it. Tools such as mobile phones and internet are common to these new generations and allows community participation in the digital economy,” said Greg Wee, project supervisor of Baram Bunch and lecturer of Swinburne Sarawak

Being the first book written by Victoria Siaw, ‘The Broken Tajau’ is a children’s book following the story of four children that are the bestest of friends despite their differences in race (Iban, Kayan, Bidayuh, and Chinese). Loads of local elements were portrayed in the book that is aimed at reflecting Sarawak’s multiracial harmony.

Proud of the accomplishments of his team and himself, Rahaf Elmahdi, production manager of Baram Bunch commented, “I’ve experienced true beauty and magic the moment I did the final edit and saw the whole story come to an end in front of me. Seeing all the effort from each person in the team as I watched the final edit, all I could only think of was the journey we had together.”

The ‘Baram Bunch: Story Hunters’ was officially premiered on 26 July 2021, on TVS Channel 122 Astro and MYTV.

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