Siung Films was founded in 2013 to tell the stories of the peoples of Borneo on the screen. Borneo is the third largest island in the world and to many people it is a place of mystery and magic - beautiful beaches, dense jungles, tall mountains and fierce inhabitants. It is an island of stories and legends and we aim to bring these stories to the world.
Jo Luping and Aaron Cowan are Directors and Producers at Siung Film Productions Sdn Bhd. They set the company up together with Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Herman Luping.
Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Herman Luping has been telling stories to his children that incorporate Sabah’s legends for as long as they can remember. Throughout a long and distinguished life in Sabah he has always pushed and encouraged Sabah’s indigenous peoples.
Siung Films is passionate about the environment and promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. As such, part of its corporate social responsibility is to provide quality education for children through their edutainment programmes which focus on the environment, children's welfare and community development.
Director, Producer and Designer
Jo Luping is a Malaysian New Zealander who studied Film and Design at Victoria University and Fine Arts in Otago and has been working in the creative industry since 1997 in film, television and design. She has worked on a diverse range of projects ranging from magazine life style series for television broadcast, environmental educational content for UNICEF, animated episodes for Korean, French, UK, Australian and New Zealand companies, live action shorts and feature films.
Proudly a mix of Kadazan and New Zealand Pakeha ancestry, her dream is combine the indigenous stories she grew up with together with contemporary New Zealand. She created two companies with her husband Aaron Cowan, Siung Films, an animation studio in Malaysia which creates the work for her New Zealand company Lionfish.
Jo Luping is creative director of Jo Luping Design, a design company in New Zealand, that produces lifestyle products for over 500 retail outlets. www.jolupingdesign.com
VFX Executive Producer, Director and Writer
I have worked in the film industry for the last 20 years, with the past 14 years working in visual effects both in New Zealand and in Hollywood. I am currently working as a Producer at Weta Digital, the world’s leading Visual Effects Facility, based in New Zealand and prior to that I was Executive Producer at BaseFX, Malaysia's largest VFX company. I have been a senior member of various teams that have won four Oscars for Visual Effects and nominated for even more. I have worked with such major directors as Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, learning from them as I went. My wife Jo Luping and I moved to Malaysia for multiple reasons, not least of which is to bring our children closer to their Sabahan heritage. The best way we feel to do this is to help tell stories about their heritage and culture. To that end, we established Siung Films and we are committed to producing local feature dramatic movies based around indigenous stories as well as helping grow the local creative talent
TAN SRI DATUK SERI PANGLIMA DR. HERMAN LUPING
Executive Producer and Writer
Tan Sri Herman Luping is a former Attorney General, lawyer and politician in Sabah. He has published several books including “Sabah’s Dilemma”, a historical account of the development of politics in Sabah since the Colonial days to the present. “Indigeneous Ethnic Communities Of Sabah: The Kadazandusun” a study on the major ethnic indigenous groups in Sabah. He has also written books retelling local Sabahan stories and legends, “Kadazan Tales & Legends of Penampang District” as well as “Pangazou”, a story about Kadazan warriors.
Director - Editor
Eric Juman was a student of Creative Reality Center, Sabah taking Video Production, Motion Graphics, and Visual Effects course. Besides that, he also holds a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology. His passion, however, led him to start out as an intern with us and later on proved to be a valuable team member. Eric has helped develop Siung Films into the dynamic company that it is today and has taken the roles of Director, Senior Editor and Post-Production Supervisor.
Editor - Camera/Drone Operator - Camera Assistant
Siung Films is all about bringing together the next generation of young creative professionals working in the creative industry. Anisah joined us as a video editor and camera assistant in 2018 and brings with her a can-do and cheerful disposition. She is full of ideas, a team player and another product of Sabah Animation Creative Content Centre - SAC3 and Creative Reality Center Sdn Bhd - CRCSB. Niessa is our Ninja Editor, she goes in fast and comes out with a completed edit. Behind a camera she is always looking for the best way to tell a story story and on larger feature film sets she brings her Ninja style and calm head to every production.
Meet Max from Telipok, Sabah. Back in 2002, he embarked on a remarkable journey, enrolling as the first male student in the Secretary major since established 1985 while pursuing a Diploma in Secretarial studies. Armed with this foundation, he's accumulated an impressive 18 years of experience in administration. Max thrives in the background support, managing and planning behind the scenes. Being 1/13 million people, he’s navigated the bustling chaos of Silicon Valley of India (Bangalore), he's honed his adaptability, especially in understanding human behaviors'. Max takes pride in contributing to his company's resilience during the challenging times of the 2020 global pandemic. A true ace in the realm of administration, Max's hunger for knowledge knows no bounds. Despite his quiet demeanor and love for solitude, he's a firm believer in the law of attraction and the limitless power of education. On his days off, you'll find him hibernating, recharging his creative energies for the next challenge that comes his way.
Introducing Francky Bin Kassim, or simply Frank, our esteemed lead animator. Frank brings over a decade of animation experience to our team, with a particular focus on 2D animation using Adobe Flash and Toonboom. He hails from Tambunan and is a graduate of Kolej Yayasan Sabah. He's not only a professional but also a loving father of two wonderful children who share his Tambunan roots. Frank's passion for learning goes beyond animation. He has a keen interest in watching movies and acquiring new knowledge. He began his journey into the world of animation in 2008 and spent a decade at Sabah Animation Creative Content Centre (SAC3) from 2010 to 2020, joining Siung Films as an animator in 2021. Frank's calm demeanor and generous mentorship make him an invaluable asset. He constantly guides our team to explore new visual styles and expand our animation horizons, fostering a collaborative and creative atmosphere.
Animator - Co-ordinator
Bryan Gimeon is our happy-go-lucky animator joined us after graduating from University College Sabah Foundation. He brings his talent in illustration, motion graphics, storyboarding and editing into the team. Bryan has a great eye for design and we are impressed with this recent graduates animated characters which will be featured throughout our TV episodes. Bryan is a Toon Boom accredited animator and is one of the Co-ordinators at Siung Films and helps to mange the growing team of animators. Bryan is also a Yoyo Master and has won numerous awards including Most Creative Performance and Finalist in various Yoyo Championship throughout Malaysia.
CAROLYN POULUS JIANUL
Animator - Co-ordinator
Meet Carolyn Poulus Jianul, also known as the "imaginative Kirut" when she was a small child, Her creative journey started in childhood, where she often dreamt of living fantasy worlds, a passion she channeled into her comics. During her animation studies, her insatiable curiosity led her to unlock the secrets of making 2D drawings spring to life, turning her dreams into dynamic, animated realities.
Hailing from the charming Tambunan, her journey in animation began at Kolej Yayasan Sabah and continued at the University College Sabah Foundation. Carolyn's artistic prowess shines in character design, animation and the fine art of drawing. Beyond her professional life, her hobbies range from crafting comics to exploring comic book worlds and collecting intriguing unique curiosities. With a remarkable decade of animation experience, she has mastered 2D Animation in particular Flash and ToonBoom.
JEREMY NG YEE SHAN
Animator - Co-ordinator
Jeremy Ng Yee Shan is our anime expert and his passion to become an animator and the love for art all started as young as 15 years old, where he successfully created and animated his first character. The A – Z process of animating a character is what fuels and drives him to be an animator. He is an MSC Level 3 graduate from Sabah Animation Creative Content Academy (SAC3) as well as a Toon Boom accredited animator through our Siung Films animator training programme. Jeremy enjoys sharpening his craft by doing art drawing and digital artwork during his free time. As a Co-ordinator Jeremy helps the team to create stunning Effects and beautiful Backgrounds as Environments are his forte.
Meet Ramlee T or in short RAM, hailing from Bongawan. With over a decade of animation expertise, Ram's journey began at the Sabah Animation Creative Content Centre (SAC3), where he crafted his skills as an Animator and Background Artist. His creative prowess has graced prestigious government projects like MDEC, RTM & Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), alongside a groundbreaking collaboration with a Korean institution for an enchanting children's storybook. A true contender, Ram's accolades include three illustrious IPCC competition grand awards in Animation and Interactive Digital Comics. His forte? Animation, illustration, & innovative concept design, all anchored by unwavering ethics and strategic creativity. His impressive certification lineup features the esteemed ToonBoom Bridge Program, a slew of multimedia and artistic qualifications, plus an Electrical Engineering Diploma from Polytechnic Kota Kinabalu. Beyond animation, Ram finds joy in cinematic adventures and outdoor activities. His mission: to soak up animation wisdom with relentless dedication. His vision: to weave his narratives into the future of animation. Ram's journey is a testament to creativity, commitment, and the boundless potential of animation.
MOHD HAIROL AZLEE BIN SIDIK
Let us introduce you to the amazing Mohd Hairol Azlee Bin Sidik, but we call him Hairol or simply Rol. Originating from the renowned Orangutan haven of Sandakan, he's been on an incredible animation journey for over 13 years, sprinkling his creative magic at various companies. He excels in Character Design, Background Design, Animation, and Toon Boom Rigging. Gaining knowledge from Kolej Yayasan Sabah and acquiring advanced skills through the Toon Boom Industrial Bridging Program at Scenic Creative Academy has honed his abilities to perfection. When he's not shaping animated worlds, you'll find Hairol indulging in his two passions: the art of drawing and the thrill of gaming. What makes him even cooler? Despite over a decade in the animation industry, his thirst for knowledge remains unquenchable. Hairol is the embodiment of a lifelong learner, constantly seeking to add new hues to his already vibrant animation palette.
Meet Hafizulhafiz Asmat, or simply Fizul to us. Fizul previously worked for 7 years as an Animator at SAC 3 Sabah Animation Creative Content Centre and Freelancer. Hailing from the tranquil town of Kuala Penyu, Fizul has a diverse educational background, including Multimedia Animation from Kolej Yayasan Sabah, Latihan Dual Nasional (SLDN) in SKM Phase 2, and Toon Boom Industrial Bridging Program from Scenic Creative Academy. When he's not busy bringing animations to life, Fizul indulges in one of his favorites' pastimes – fishing. His quiet demeanor hides a world of creativity and skill, making him valuable to our team.
Meet Valerina George, but you may kindly call her Vale. With a background of 6 years of freelance work & 1 year in the animation field, she has cultivated a strong foundation in Illustration & Background Artistry. Her roots trace back to Kota Marudu, and she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Art Technology, specializing in 2D Animation. Her journey with Siung Films is driven by a multitude of aspirations: to continue learning, offer assistance, collaborate toward shared objectives, and share our narratives with the broader world. She found joy in photography, gaming, and immersing herself in the world of literature. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute her skills and passion to the creative realm and eager to embark on this collaborative journey.
Meet the remarkable Almyron Michael, but you can simply call him Myron. With 13 years of dedicated service in the animation domain, he boasts a total of 15 years of invaluable work experience. Hailing from the vibrant city of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Myron embodies adaptability and holds the prestigious Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia certification. Beyond his professional pursuits, Myron is a tech enthusiast with an avid thirst for knowledge. He's not just motivated; he's driven to continuously explore new techniques and deepen his understanding of related methodologies, making him a dynamic force in the field.
DATU MOHAMAD JUR ANIZAM BIN DATU RAIMAN
Meet Datu. Originally hailing from Selangor. Datu spent the majority of his formative years in the Land below the Winds of Sabah. Drawing, rigging, and animating characters, as well as crafting compelling storyboards, are his forte. Armed with a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Art in Design Technology (Animation) from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and a robust 6-year background in the animation industry, he enriches any project he is presently involved in with his knowledge and skills. When he is not immersed in the world of animation, you'll find him indulging in his hobbies, such as drawing, or losing himself in the immersive realm of video games. As a proud Sabahan, he has an insatiable appetite for cartoons and games, which fuels his creativity.
NATRAYA NUR ALIYA MUSTAPHA
Meet Natraya Nur Aliya Mustapha, or simply Nat, a vibrant newcomer in the animation world with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Only five months into her journey, she's already making waves. Nat's academic foundation is as diverse as her interests. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Plant Science & Resource Management from UNIMAS. Nat's passion for animation doesn't end with her academic pursuits; she's a proud alumna of the Toon Boom Industrial Bridging Programme at the Scenic Creative Academy, where she's honed her skills to perfection. Born and raised in Kota Kinabalu, she's a testament to adaptability, thriving in dynamic work environments and staying cool under pressure. Beyond animation, Nat is a multifaceted soul. She finds solace in music, podcasts, and PC games, while her creative side thrives through drawing & karaoke. You'll often find her immersed in books, proving her love for reading. Her fun-loving personality shines through her passion for the creative and performing arts, blending seamlessly with her scientific curiosity. Nat is a true Renaissance soul, & her journey in animation promises to be an exciting one.
BETSY WONG YING ZHAN
Also known as Bets or Bishi from Kota Kinabalu, she is the youngest member of the Siung Films team. She acquired valuable knowledge through the Toon Boom IBP Bridging Program, significantly enhancing her animation skills. Her passions include drawing, gaming, photography, and exploring random internet tidbits. Her strength lies in her unyielding desire to embrace new experiences. Moreover, she is a fervent enthusiast of both the arts and science, finding endless fascination in their intricate realms. In essence, her creativity and her determination to make her mark in the world of filmmaking and beyond make Betsy someone worth watching.
Amy Dangin is a Sabahan and award winning radio announcer, emcee, journalist, actor and social media influencer. She is best known for her role as Aunty Patrin, a character in KK12FM humor-laced community message videos on social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. She is currently hosting Local Heroes, a magazine style show that is in production for RTM.
Alex Alexandra has been working with Siung Films since 2017 when she was awarded with the lead role of Huminodun, Sabah’s first Kadazan language movie. Since then she has presented in the series “Borneo Jungle Diaries” and the first four episodes of Local Heroes. She will also feature alongside Adam Shamil in a childrens educational TV show entitled “Trish & Trash” – the series aims to teach children important life skills such as empathy and responsibility. She is also set to play one of the lead roles in the upcoming feature film “Pangazou”. When she is not acting, Alex is studying her Bachelor of Education.
Kadazan Language Dialogue Coach
Ms. Rita Lasimbang is the Chief Executive Officer of the Kadazandusun Language Foundation (KLF) after serving as a curator at the Department of Sabah Museum. Ms. Lasimbang has a B.Sc (Hons.) in Botany from the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, and an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington, USA. She has been instrumental in providing consultation on Kadazan language as well script translation and dialogue advice. She was involved in Huminodun , the first Kadazan language film, in casting as well as on set. She continues her passion to promote the Kadazan language through the development of the Kadazan Language App. The App was funded by the proceeds of the Huminodun movie premiere.
Chris, celebrated 2020 with his 15th year an audio engineer/producer and his 8th year as a photographer. Bringing his years of experience, working with multiple and various type of clients at one time, from running his own Eye & Ears Production for the past 10 years, to Siung as a Production Manager. Being known for having an honest voice on feedback and review, a stern protectiveness of talents he’s managed and a “we got this” attitude to deadline crunch, Chris is as seasoned as it comes to production work and life.
Renowned Sabah-born guitarist Roger Wang, celebrated for his exceptional talent and musical passion, recently received a commission from Siung Studio to compose a soundtrack for an animated feature film. He is utilizing the “Sundatang" as inspiration for composing his forthcoming soundtrack. Wang's worldwide acclaim and ability to inspire fellow musicians and guitar enthusiasts remain undeniable.
Actor & Singer
Boni Mosios plays a multifaceted role within our production team, seamlessly transitioning between on-camera responsibilities as an actor and interviewer, as well as off-camera duties as a Freelance Producer. Holding a degree in Marine Science and an MBA specializing in corporate structure and Human Resource, he brings a unique blend of expertise to our projects. In 2008, he directed the documentary "Last Bobohizan of Borneo" under Avicraft Production Sdn Bhd, and since then, he has been actively engaged in producing a diverse range of promotional and campaign advertising videos. Beyond his contributions to the field of media production, Boni is a dedicated lecturer, accomplished singer, composer, and entrepreneurial business professional. His exceptional acting skills were highlighted in his portrayal of Kinoingan in the acclaimed Huminodun Movie (2017), further solidifying his status as an outstanding performer in the industry.
Executive Director of PACOS Trust
Anne Lasimbang currently serves as the Executive Director of PACOS Trust, a community-based organization committed to empowering Indigenous communities in Sabah. With over 25 years of dedication, she has facilitated the growth of community organizations in 17 districts, established 25 schools and learning centres, and initiated numerous programs promoting Indigenous rights, culture, and resource management. Anne has held leadership roles in various organizations, including the Sabah Women's Action Resource Group, Persatuan Tadika Sabah, and Persatuan TASKA Sabah. Her commitment to community service earned her the Rotary Club of KK's Community Service Award in 2008. Anne is a passionate advocate of our indigenous heritage and promotes cultural understanding through storytelling in Kadazan. This is seen in her work "I-Tambang," a Kadazan folk tale that emphasizes empathy, courage and appreciation of the natural world that surrounds us.
Local and International Officer of JOAS, Director & Advisor, former Deputy Minister of Education and Innovation Sabah, Executive Producer at Siung Films.
Jenifer Lasimbang; a distinguished individual hailing from Penampang. Jennifer holds esteemed roles as a Local and International Officer at Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS), an founding member of Moyog Innovation House, Board Member of RIPPLE - Sabah Recycling Association, Executive Producer at Siung Films and former Minister of Education and Innovation Sabah. Her dedication to environmental concerns extends to her volunteer work at TONIBUNG - Tobpinai Ningkokoton Koburuon Kampung.
Jenifer's academic background includes the pursuit of a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction at Indiana University (Bloomington) and a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology (IT) from Universiti Utara Malaysia. Furthermore, Jennifer's exceptional Jenifer is a passionate advocate for our cultural indigenous heritage and has worked on a number of projects including portraying Sumundu, the first Bobohizan and Mother to Huminodun in the acclaimed Huminodun Movie (2017), Gompon, Chief Bobohizan in Pangazou and being a voice actor whenever a fluent mother tongue role is required. With these Jenifer firmly establishes her as an outstanding performer within the industry.
Devon Ekhart Rao
Trash | Agent4Change
Meet the remarkable Devon Ekhart Rao, affectionately known as Trash from Agents4Change Club, the online haven where young eco-warriors converge to discuss green solutions, foster safe connections, and kindle inspiration in their shared quest to safeguard our precious planet. Displaying an extraordinary blend of talent and charisma at such a tender age, Devon's path may well lead to a flourishing professional acting career in the future, where his natural charm and undeniable allure will undoubtedly shine.
Serene Leilena Ambrose Chia
Trish | Agent4Change
Meet Serene Leilena Ambrose Chia, the radiant eco-enthusiast known as Trish from Agents4Change Club, where young eco-warriors unite to ignite a brighter, greener future! With boundless energy, an effervescent personality, and an innate charm that captivates the lens, Trish shines as a beacon of inspiration, guiding our planet-saving mission one pixel at a time.
Ripple Recycling Association Sabah, was founded by Anne Lasimbang from PACOS Trust Sabah and Jo Luping from Siung Films to combat the glass waste crisis in Sabah while simultaneously creating income and educational opportunities for rural communities, starting with Penampang. Their shared objectives contain transforming glass waste into industrial sand as a sustainable alternative to river dredging, achieved through the use of cutting-edge glass crushers designed and made in Sabah by TONIBUNG, a social enterprise in Penampang. Profits generated from these ventures will be reinvested in the creation of impactful multimedia content, including Public Service Announcements (PSA's), documentaries highlighting rural communities, programs dedicated to preserving indigenous languages, and captivating oral histories of indigenous communities. These multimedia endeavors will be brought to life through the expertise of Siung Film Productions Sdn.Bhd., with collaboration from the Kadazan Language Foundation, ensuring the preservation of mother tongues and cultural heritage in Sabah.