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The Borneo Case

  • ACMI Federation Square, Flinders St Melbourne Australia (map)

Dirs. Eric Pauser, Dylan Williams | Sweden | 2017 | 78 mins

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Seventeen years ago, Swiss activist Bruno Manser disappeared into the thick jungle of Sarawak, Malaysia. Together with his friend Mutang, the pair undertook the fight against deforestation, "the biggest environmental crime of the century".

Today, Mutang is in exile in Canada, where he continues to fight alongside activists to denounce the billions of dollars that are laundered with the help of some of the world’s most major banks. Over ninety percent of eastern Borneo’s forest has now been sold off and destroyed but where has all the money gone?

In this riveting modern-day thriller, we follow this polyglot group of investigators who bravely fight to expose Abdul Taib Mahmud, the chief minister of Sarawak, who, over the last 33 years, has himself stolen millions of dollars from illegal logging.

From Malaysia to Montreal, The Borneo Casespins a tale of intimidation, death threats and murder, before finally ending up at the heart of the financial centre of the world. This flawlessly directed film, recorded over the course of 25 years, pays a vibrant tribute to these tireless activists and their ongoing fight for justice and conservation.

This screening will be followed by a panel discussion: Shutting the doors to illegal forests products*

The Borneo Case is a hair-raising thriller that brings to light crimes of an enormous scale and moral decadence, told through personal stories of friendship, love, revolution and engagement. Its main characters couldn’t have been better written in a fiction film.
— Camilla Larsson Sydsvenskan

PANEL

Michael Pescott, The Forest Trust (TFT)  I’ve been working in forest policy, trade and development in the Asia-Pacific region for the past 9 years, initially with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations for two years and for the past 7 years with The Forest Trust, a Swiss based non-profit. My work has included working in Borneo with forestry concessions towards sustainable forest management as well as with agri-business towards forest identification and protection.

Michael Pescott, The Forest Trust (TFT) 

I’ve been working in forest policy, trade and development in the Asia-Pacific region for the past 9 years, initially with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations for two years and for the past 7 years with The Forest Trust, a Swiss based non-profit. My work has included working in Borneo with forestry concessions towards sustainable forest management as well as with agri-business towards forest identification and protection.

Julia Mylne, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)  Julia works as the Policy and Advocacy Manager for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), responsible for a number of projects including but not limited to the development and implementation of the National Standard; Facilitating the Indigenous Working Group; and overseeing the Centralised National Risk Assessment for Controlled Wood. Julia has a wealth of experience in policy and advocacy both within government and industry, previously working as a senior advisor of policy and engagement specialising in energy policy for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland. Julia is a passionate advocate for sustainability practices and is keen on working to make a difference in enhancing FSC’s voice to provide more impact and resonance. 

Julia Mylne, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) 

Julia works as the Policy and Advocacy Manager for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), responsible for a number of projects including but not limited to the development and implementation of the National Standard; Facilitating the Indigenous Working Group; and overseeing the Centralised National Risk Assessment for Controlled Wood. Julia has a wealth of experience in policy and advocacy both within government and industry, previously working as a senior advisor of policy and engagement specialising in energy policy for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland. Julia is a passionate advocate for sustainability practices and is keen on working to make a difference in enhancing FSC’s voice to provide more impact and resonance. 

Every feature length film at EFFA 2017 is screening with an Australian short. Emily O'Connell's Person of the Forest will screen before this session. You will be transported to the depths of the Bornean jungle and see the beauty of the people of the forest... the Orangutans. We will all learn what we can do to better protect this incredible species and their home.

* Panel title updated from the printed program

Earlier Event: October 15
Sensory Environments
Later Event: October 15
VIRTUAL REALITY: Under a Cracked Sky