Heads up, Malaysians! One of your musicians is making it big internationally.

Alena Murang and her cousin sister Sarah Lois Dorai recently bagged two awards at the prestigious International Music Video Awards in UK. Both sisters have their roots in Sarawak.

Titled Warrior Spirit, the music video won the Best Asia & Pacific Music Video and got an Honourable Mention for Best Costume.

That’s not all, the music video, co-produced by Kanid Studio and Project Room, is also a semi-finalist for the “Best Film” award in Los Angeles, U.S.

“Warrior Spirit, shows the strength within. We come from a line of warriors and heroes,” Alena said of the video which was released on YouTube on May 27, 2021 as part of her album Sky Songs.

Born of Dayak and Kelabit descent, the musician along with her cousin are now using music and filmmaking as a means to bring awareness of their dying Borneo heritage.

“My great great great grandfather Balang Nganud was a great warrior, the community called him ‘the Tiger that floats enemies’ heads downriver’. Though we no longer practice that anymore, we inherited their spirit, their courage, their strength; and more over, the courage to fight together for something greater than ourselves. I think many Malaysians, and people across the world also, can relate to the spirit of the warrior,” Alena added.

The entire video, from the music to dance and costume takes inspiration from the diverse cultures of Borneo, specifically Sarawak. The video wouldn’t have been made possible without the keen eye of Styllar, Saerah Ridzuan, renowned make-up artist Gebriel Padanm, and Malaysian designers and craftswomen.

“The wins and selections at festivals only goes to show that there is an interest in the stories that we have to tell from our part of the world, and from indigenous communities. We hope that many more films from native voices will be financially supported in the future,” Sarah, who directed the video, said.

Source: Mashable SE Asia

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