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KUCHING, Sept 26: With the goals of bringing mental awareness in Sarawak, which is still considered a taboo in modern society, a few budding Sarawak-born filmmakers made a name for themselves when they won big at the Permata Film Festival with their short film entitled ‘Trapped’.
According to the creator of the story, who is also the writer, scriptwriter and heroine of the movie, Dee Dee A’iene Peter, 27, ‘Trapped’ is an anticipated, independent low-budget psycho thriller produced by IAINWITHEYES Studios (IWE) that highlights the issue of mental illness and centers on a girl who is trapped in her own state of mind.
‘Trapped’ won first place for best film, best director and best actress, after competing with 25 participants across the nation, and it was produced by a small team of nine young Sarawakians below the age of 30.
Iain Raphael Bong, the cinematographer and co-creator of ‘Trapped’, was formerly a videographer that specializes in weddings and special events before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
According to Iain, despite doing the job for a few years as a way to make ends meet, capturing memories for brides and grooms was not the only thing he wanted to do in life.
“Creating films, making stories that would touch people’s lives is always something I wanted to do ever since I was 15. Sure, to change my profession at my age at that time, which was 27, can be scary but as a believer, I trust that the pandemic is a sign from God for me to do what I truly desire. Some say COVID-19 was a catastrophe, I see it as a blessing in disguise,” says Iain.
When COVID-19 pandemic hit town and work was put on hold, Iain was able to do some self-reflection to truly understand what is his true goal and desire in life, and that is to create films and telling stories that could touch people’s hearts and make Sarawak proud.
This was when he met Dee Dee with whom he shares great interest and perspective as they both connected on filmmaking ideas and vision, and soon agreeing on creating ‘Trapped’ after having further discussion with his team and spending months of drafting.
Just like Iain, Dee Dee, a law practitioner by day and writer by night, found COVID-19 to be an opportunity to bring her visions to life.
It was through her side jobs that she met Iain, an up and coming filmmaker who wishes to make his family and state proud.
“I would definitely like to thank Iain for giving me a platform to bring ‘Trapped’ to life.
“Just to win this competition and the fact that it is endorsed by FINAS themselves, which is the governing body of the film industry of our country, definitely gives an affirmation to me that we are heading towards the right direction.”
According to both Iain and Dee Dee, with the success of their first film together, they are hoping to participate in more regional and international film festivals and competitions in the future, including the upcoming Malaysian Film Festival which will be held this month. – TVS