“Inherent Tribe Tatana” to compete in international film festivals

KOTA KINABALU: Sabahan producer Chester Pang puts the limelight on Dusun Tatana people in his 60-minute documentary film titled “Inherent Tribe Tatana”.

Just like other 30 ethnics in Sabah, he said the ethnic from Kuala Penyu deserves a storytelling opportunity to tell the world of its uniqueness.

“As people know the Baba Nyonya in Melaka, Dusun Tatana in Sabah also has the similar backgrounds,” he said after a technical preview of the film at a cinema here on May 11.

According to the documentary, due to the proximity of Kudat and Kuala Penyu to China, it is possible that the Chinese migrated to both places during the 19th and 20th century which led to the intermarriage with Dusun Tatana people.

To date, there are about 3,000 descendants of the Dusun Tatana, although embracing either Christianity, Islam or Buddhism, but they are still practicing Chinese traditions such as celebrating Chinese New Year.

Despite having fewer “shaman” and “messenger” now, the Tatana people is still conducting rituals meant for blessings, peace and harmony among others.

The annual organisation of Odou Bakanjar festival, which falls a day after Chap Goh Mei, is said to make the people including younger generation to feel proud of their heritage.

Pang said the RM280,000 film, which is partially funded by FINAS, will take part in the international film festivals this year.

It will be screened for public viewing next year either via local television programmes, online platforms and also Netflix.

Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre (SCENIC) general manager Viviantie Sarjuni said the centre under the initiative of Sabah government would support creative talents.

“We do not only provide training and workshops but also help to commercialise talents into the international level, outside Sabah.

“For Chester, we will also support in terms of their participation fees to join festivals, their flights and accommodation to ensure their journey is smooth-sailing.”


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