New Film “Indai, Apai, Darah” (Mother, Father, Blood) to Make World Premiere at 2024 Mountainfilm Festival

A young girl growing up in the Indigenous-held forests of central Borneo follows ancient connections to earn the gift of a story – her People’s 1973 fight to preserve their lands amid rampant deforestation. 

SEATTLE, May 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — We are thrilled to announce that “Indai, Apai, Darah” (Mother, Father, Blood) is an official selection for the Mountainfilm Festival, which will be held between May 23 and 27 in Telluride, Colorado.

Directed by Kynan Tegar (Dayak Iban), the film takes place in the Indonesian village of Sungai Utik, where elders of the Dayak Iban people have been able to repel extractive companies and protect the surrounding forests. 

The production is part of a series of films created by the Wayfinders Circle– a global network of Indigenous guardians who protect their lands, waters, and territories and are dedicated to sharing the transformative potential of Indigenous lifeways.

“‘Indai, Apai, Darah’ serves as my love letter to the village that raised not only me but also my father, his father, and countless generations before. The title itself derives from a cherished quote by my grandfather: ‘The land is our mother, the forest our father, and the river our blood.’ This quote perfectly encapsulates the philosophy that guides our way of life in Sungai Utik,” says the director, Kynan Tegar, who is a 19-year-old photographer and filmmaker from the Dayak Iban tribe of the island of Borneo, Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Tegar grew up in and around the traditional longhouse of his village of Sungai Utik, where he learned directly from the elders, their wisdom and values, their stories of resistance in the face of encroaching deforestation, and the threats to their way of life. Picking up his first camera as an inquisitive twelve-year-old, he discovered the power of visual storytelling to communicate and change lives.

“Mass deforestation persists despite all efforts, and the future of the Indigenous Peoples who call these places home remains uncertain. With this film, I hope to have captured the beauty of their resilience and to provide the rest of the world with a glimpse into my perspective – that of a child from this community,” he concludes.

The film is a co-production between the Wayfinders Circle conveners (Nia Tero, Pawanka Fund, the World Union of Indigenous Spiritual Practitioners) and the Dayak Iban Sungai Utik.

The film is part of the Indigenous Storytellers Shorts program at Mountainfilm. You can attend the world premiere in person on May 25th at 9:15 AM. A second screening will take place on Sunday, May 26th, at 2:45 PM. Tickets can be purchased online.

Learn more about the film.

Nia Tero

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