The ancestral forests of the nomadic Orang Rimba have vanished. In the short span of three decades oil palm plantations have replaced much of the tropical peatland rain forests in Jambi, Indonesia. The People of the Forest, Orang Rimba in their dialect, dream of a happy future but have nowhere to go.
People of the Forest: Orang Rimba presents how a marginalized group manages to survive in a world that seems to have turned 180 degrees on them. Only a generation ago the nomadic Orang Rimba hunted wild boars and gathered fruit in idyllic circumstances.
Sukur, one of the leaders of the Anak Dalam Tribe explains
the challenges of finding a permanent settlement.
But the perfect conditions of blissful communion with nature have disappeared and this nomadic group now struggles to survive on the fringes. They are pinned between the thinning forest and the relentless oil palm industrial farming that has taken over the land.
Memories of wild fruits and plentiful game hunting are in sharp contrast
with the near-starving conditions of some Orang Rimba.
In spite of their dire circumstances this ethnic and religious minority group remains optimistic and pro-active on the face of great adversity.
The Orang Rimba living in the oil palm plantations face shortages
of drinking water due to fertilizer and waste pollution.
The leaders of the Anak Dalam Tribe do their best to find compromises and practical solutions in the coexistence with nearby villagers and employees of the corporate oil palm plantations.
Sending the young generation of Orang Rimba to school may increase
their chances of succeeding in a changing world.
People of the Forest: Orang Rimba
A documentary short directed by Isaac Kerlow
Produced by EOS, the Earth Observatory of Singapore
Total running time: 14m 12s, color
Film Completed: August 2017
People of the Forest: Orang Rimba premiered at the Singapore Eco Film Festival, in the Art+Science Museum. It won Best Documentary at the Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest in Hungary, Best Documentary Short Film at WILLiFEST in New York City, and Best International Documentary EcoFilm at the Rural FilmFest in Spain. It also received Special Jury Awards in Cinematography, Documentary Short Film, Editing and Musical Score at the Formosa Festival of International Filmmaker Awards, a Documentary Short Award of Excellence and a Humanitarian Award of Distinction at the Accolade Global Film Competition, and a Special Jury REMI Award at the WorldFest Houston International Film Festival.
KLEFFlix JUNE Program, Forest Conservation and Deforestation
2019 Jackson Wild Summit (People and Nature Short Form), Jackson Hole, WY
xLabocine/Imagine Science JULY Issue #36, Nusantra – EXPLORING THE ARCHIPELAGO
Georgia Documentary Film Festival , Atlanta, Georgia
Courage Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, Semi-Finalist
SXSW Films for the Forest, Austin, Texas
Meraki Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, and Madrid, Spain
Dumbo Film Festival NYC, Brooklyn, New York
International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bali International Film Festival, Kuta, Indonesia
Williamsburg International Film Festival, WILLiFEST, New York City (Best Documentary Short Film)
San Antonio Film Festival, San Antonio, Texas
Rural FilmFest, Ciudad Real, Spain (Best International Documentary EcoFilm)
Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival, Kolkata, India
New Hope Film Festival, New Hope, Pennsylvania
SunChild International Environmental Festival, Vardahovit, Armenia
Oregon Documentary Film Festival, Wilsonville, Oregon
Beverly Hills Film Festival, Los Angeles, California
Ethnografilm, Paris, France
WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, Houston, Texas (REMI Award)
Albany FilmFest, Albany, California
Nepal Human Rights International Film Festival, Kathmandu, Nepal
PhotoDiversity Film Festival, New York City (Best Environment Short)
Yountville International Short Film Festival, Yountville, California
Formosa Festival of International Filmmaker Awards 福爾摩沙國際電影獎, Taichung, Taiwan (Special Jury Awards in Documentary Short Film, Cinematography, Editing and Musical Score)
San Jose International Short Film Festival, California
Oslo Independent Film Festival, Oslo, Norway
Hollywood Film Festival, Hollywood, California
Awareness Film Festival, Los Angeles, California
Laughlin International Film Festival, Laughlin, Nevada
Scandinavian International Film Festival, Helsinki, Finland
Great Lakes International Shorts Festival, Erie, Pennsylvania
Roma Cinema DOC, Roma, Italy
Singapore Eco Film Festival (World Premiere)
Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest, Bucharest, Romania (Best Documentary, also Finalist for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Editor)
Accolade Global Film Competition, La Jolla, California (Award of Excellence in Documentary Short, Humanitarian Award of Distinction)
Directed by ISAAC KERLOW
Featuring: SUKUR, NAWAR a.k.a. GUNAWAN, LETAI a.k.a. KUDUNG
Camera: NELSON YEO
Field Sound: LINH DUONG
Scientific Advisors: RUDI SYAF (WARSI), RINI ASTUTI, JANICE SER HUAY LEE
Rimba Dialect Interpreter: KRISTIAWAN JOHN
Assistant Interpreter: ZAHIDA HAMID
Editing: ISAAC KERLOW
Assistant Editor: IZZAH ANATI
Additional Camera: ISAAC KERLOW, LINH DUONG
Stock Footage: ALEXANDER HOTZ
Digital Effects: MARK CHEUNG
Coloring: CHARLIE TUCKER
Music: SERGIO MOURE
Audio Final Remix: GABRIEL SERRANO
Produced and Written by ISAAC KERLOW
Production Coordinator: ANTOINETTE JADE
Driver Coordinator: JEF
Drivers: ALIM and FEBY
Japanese Subtitles: MARI HAMAHASHI, YANYI
Special Thanks: Anak Dalam Tribe, Kerry Sieh, Fidel Costa, and Rudi Syaf.
With the collaboration and/or funding from: The Earth Observatory of Singapore, Conservation Community Indonesia KKI WARSI, National Research Foundation, Ministry of Education, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Asian School of the Environment, and Ke Yi Xiao Productions.