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Footprints In The Forest

A recently orphaned rhino tries to find a new home in the wilds of the Borneo rainforest.

  • Juhaidah Joemin
  • Sandra Khoo
  • James Phelan
  • Juhaidah Joemin
  • Shi Sheng Lo
    Original Music
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 14, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    75,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
    No Dialogue
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Juhaidah Joemin, Sandra Khoo

As a child growing up in a small farming village in Borneo - Sabah, East Malaysia; Juhaidah Joemin had no idea that her fascination for storytelling and her peculiar imagination will pave her steps into the animation industry, a male-dominated field with known glass ceiling for women, particularly in South East Asia.

Fast-forward several years later, she is the proud founder of Giggle Garage, an animation studio established in 2010 and has since won several prestigious awards in the animation production for television. Her passion continues to drive her further as even at the height of the pandemic, she founded Tickle Pod in 2020, a company that is dedicated to idea creation and content development.

The first generation of filmmaker in her native Borneo family, she draws inspirations from her rich cultural heritage and the vast natural surroundings where she grew up. Beaming with ideas, she has now put forth her short film debut 'Footprints in the Forest' as Director and Producer. The movie that will captivate the audience with its endearing characters and a paramount message weave into the story, bringing the viewers on an emotional journey.

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Director Statement

Set in the breathtaking terrain of the Borneo rainforest, ‘Footprints In The Forest’ follows the journey of a rare young Sumatran rhino named Iman as she embarks on a daring journey through the intimidating jungle after the harrowing loss of her mother to the poachers.

Finding herself all alone in the vast hostile rainforest teeming with natural enemies (and the occasional ally), Iman must bravely fend for herself in search for a new life and a new place to call home. Faced with obstacles and adversities at every turn, she must fight for her survival driven by the memory of her doting mother and the unwavering will to live.

The film is inspired by Iman, the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia and her death officially elevated the status of this endangered species to extinction. It was a bleak moment for us because as a nation, we failed to protect the vulnerable. Born and raised in Borneo where Sumatran rhinos used to roam free in the wild, it was devastating for me. We saw this coming and yet we failed to stop it. The question that keeps haunting me is, “Isn’t there something more that we can do to prevent this?”

Over the last 20 years, the number of Sumatran rhinos has dropped significantly, and we are only left with an estimated 30 percent of the population and the decimation is mostly due to poaching. Today, fewer than a hundred remain in the wild in Indonesia. As Claire Deaton has so succinctly stated, “When they are all gone, when every life has been stolen, how will you remember them? Extinction is forever.”

It is my hope that this film is able to raise awareness of the dire situation we are facing right now, not only with Sumatran rhinos but with so many beautiful wildlife around the world that is at the brink of extinction.

This is a story of adventure, defying the odds, courage and hope. This is the story of Iman.