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May 9, 2021

Rise Borneo has arrived

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rise-borneo-Byron Bay residents Sharon Bele-Verdy and Mark White, and Indonesia-based filmmakers Erick Est and David Metcalf are organising a series of Byron Shire events to highlight the fight to protect the forests and indigenous Dayak cultures of Borneo.

This is a very special event, never seen before in the Byron Shire, or anywhere!

Internationally acclaimed World Fusion ensemble Visions of a Nomad under the direction of Composer Michael Cuming and Silvana van Dijk will join one of Indonesia’s most acclaimed rock musicians and passionate environmentalist, Robi Navicula, Dayak dancers and musicians Siti and Yadi, and Uyau Moris, a composer and musician from the Dayak Kenyah tribe of North Borneo, for a one-night experience of the culture, music and dance of the amazing beautiful Dayak people of Borneo ╨ the Guardians of the Forests.

Time is running out and while there are still thousands of hectares of original forest remaining in Indonesian Borneo, these ancient forests are very vulnerable to exploitation and are often not well-protected.

Directed by Cathy Henkel, and filmed in West Kalimantan, ‘Rise of the Eco-Warriors’ will have its first screening at the Byron Bay Community Centre. Mullumbimby-based producer Mark White and Eco-Warrior Kodi Twiner will be on hand for Q&A and update the situation since the award-winning documentary closed the 2014 Byron Bay Film Festival, and offer a sneak peak at ‘The Eco-Warriors’, a new 13-part TV series about a group of young international volunteers working with acclaimed conservationist Dr Willie Smits in Borneo. The film was screened on March 9, 2015 to a national Indonesian TV audience on Kompas TV.

Long Sa’an ╨ The Journey Back

‘Long Sa’an ╨ The Journey Back’ tells a story of Philus, a 60-year-old Dayak man who reconnects with his mother’s grave and his home where he grew up in the forest deep in the heart of Borneo. The film evolved and the journey began in August last year when 15 people (including six Dayaks) made the journey back deep into the heart of Borneo into some of the most significant, pristine forests left on the planet.

New Zealand producer David Metcalf and Indonesian filmmaker Erick Est will discuss the journey and screen a short clip from the documentary. David, a professional photographer, will also be presenting a visual celebration of the forests during the show. David says, ‘We hope ‘Long Sa’an ╨ The Journey Back’ will draw international attention and exposure to the wise indigenous tribes of the area and the connection both spiritually and physically with the land and the ancient burial grounds of their ancestors’. The film is a heartfelt personal journey and a connection that everyone can make with their own mother and Mother Earth herself.


Walk For Borneo

Byron resident Sharon Bele-Verdy will be completing an 800km pilgrimage walk in Spain and France, closing the event in Paris on the eve of the UN Summit for Climate Change on November 30, 2015 to support these tribes.

Many celebrities will join in on the walk including musicians, artists, government leaders, peace walkers, environmentalists, indigenous tribal leaders and some of the Dayak dancers themselves.

Sharon will talk about her walk for the forests and collaboration with David Metcalf and Erick Est, working with the Dayak tribes in Kalimantan. There will be books on Borneo for sale, a raffle and Dayak merchandise for sale.

Aside from raising awareness and bringing international attention via the films and walk, the organisers will raise awareness of the numerous educational, environmental and eco-tourism projects in the villages of Kalimantan and opportunities for the local community to get involved.


BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE 6.30pm Thursday March 19, 2015




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