Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jungle Child movie seeks Papua New Guinea actors and actresses

Captions: 1. Sabine Kuegler with Fayu warrior. 2. Sabine Kuegler as a child (above) and later a young woman with Fayu friends. 3. Sabine Kuegler with Fayu children. 4. Sabine Kuegler…torn between two races. 5. Cover of Dschunglkind (Jungle Child) by Sabine Kuegler

German film production company UFA Cinema Germany will shortly be conductiong an audition to scout Papua New Guinea actors and actresses for a film called Dschunglkind (Jungle Child) which will be shot in Malaysia in 2010.
The auditioning, which has the full support of the National Cultural Commission, will be held on March 31 at the Raun Raun Theatre in Goroka, April 1 and 2 at the Ulli Beier Theatre at the University of PNG in Port Moresby, April 4 at the Vanimo Sports Oval, April 6 at the Prince Charles Oval in Wewak and April 8 at the Madang Visitors and Cultural Bureau.
The film, based on a bestselling German book of the same name, tells the story of Sabine Kuegler and her missionary parents and how they go to live in a remote jungle area of West Papua, Indonesia, among the recently-discovered Fayu, a tribe untouched by modern civilisation.
It is her remarkable true story of a childhood lived out in the jungle, and the struggle to conform to European society that followed.
David Taim, senior festival officer with the NCC, said the German company visited PNG last year, and after having a look in our jungles, opted for Malaysia for logistical reasons, however, the bulk of actors would come from PNG.
“They are seeking to recruit more than 50 actors and actress,” he said.
“The audition is open to any interested public Theatre groups and individuals.
“All wishing to come for audition must be in traditional costume.”
Mr Taim added: “One casting will be done by me and the Australia casting director called Angela Heesom, and the second one will be done by the Germans.
“Then the cast will be finalised and we will work the logistics of how to move the actors over to Malaysia.
“By February next year, they should be flying over.
“The German director travelled to PNG with his technical people last year, scouting locations for this film.
“They went to Lae and Goroka, however, the forests were not to their liking, and they chose Malaysia.
“It was also a matter of logistics.”
Mr Taim stressed that such opportunities for PNG only came once in a blue moon; hence, he would be working closely with the German company to ensure that it gets nothing less than the best from us.
Dschunglkin, first published in 2005, is the story of how an exotic, touching, and unique childhood leads into the drama of a woman who longs to revisit her homeland.
It is highly-emotional, exciting, full of humor, in parts even poetic
“It must have been October. I’m 17 years old, standing at the train station in Hamburg,” Sabine Kuegler writes.
“An icy wind sweeps across the platform.
“I’m terribly cold; nobody explained to me how to dress in winter.
“I’m nervous, all of my senses are on edge.
“I observe the people around me with mistrust and I’m ready to hit anyone who should attack me.
“How can I defend myself?
“I have neither a bow and arrow nor a knife on me.
“I start to shiver, tears roll down my cold cheeks, I long for the humid heat of my homeland.
“I’m a child of the jungle.”
Sabine Kuegler’s story begins as she arrives in West Papua at age five, daughter of German linguists who are missionaries.
She arrives to find a tribe which even today lives as if it were the Stone Age.
She had already spent her earliest years far from civilisation, but now her parents build a house for themselves and their three children in the middle of the jungle, only reachable by air or by sea.
The little blonde girl falls in love with the jungle at first sight – it’s a fantasy world, a playground.
She learns to hunt, to climb, to swim in the raging river which is teeming with crocodiles.
She knows how to shoot arrows at poisonous spiders and how to start a fire without matches.
Instead of French fries she eats roasted insects, instead of gum she chews bat wings.
She learns how brutal nature can be – but also what war and hatred among people can mean.
The once-cannibal Fayu people penalises every infraction with death.
And yet the children of this tribe are like brothers and sisters to Sabine.
At age 17 Sabine is sent to a Swiss boarding school to get her diploma – a disastrous turn of events for her, since she feels and acts like a Fayu.
“Fear is something I didn’t learn until I got here,” she says, but also, “Deep inside me is a fighter.
“I survived in the jungle, why not here?”
And so Sabine learns everything for the first time – how to shop, how to greet people, how to cross the street.
Today, after 14 years in civilisation, she blends in with everyone else, and she has a family and a job.
But homesickness and longing constantly burn inside her.
She is going to return to the jungle to find out for herself: Where do I belong? Who am I really, a Fayu or a European?
Sabine Kuegler writes: “I want to tell a story, a story about a girl who grew up in another age.
“A story of love, hate, forgiveness, brutality, and the beauty of life.
“It’s a true story. It is my story...”
“I had an indescribably beautiful, but also danger-filled childhood.
“I walked barefoot through the jungle and I was one with nature.
“And here, in the only recently-discovered Fayu tribe, which stood for cannibalism and unimaginable brutality, a tribe that still lived in the Stone Age, that was just learning to love instead of hate, to forgive instead of kill, a tribe that became a part of me as I became a part of it, this is where my life changed.
“I wasn’t a German girl anymore, not a white girl from Europe anymore – I became a native, a Fayu girl from the Iyareke tribe.
“In the jungle, when you’ve found food for yourself and your family, then you have done your duty.
“There’s nothing else to do or to worry about.”
“It was only later that I came to understand that my childhood was unique.
“That I don’t have to be ashamed of being from the jungle.
“Beauty, danger, adventure, simplicity and miracle are words that can only describe part of the life I left behind. I want my book to show that there is more to life than money, technology, and progress.”
David Taim can be contacted on telephone (675) 3235114, mobile (675) 71107651 or email ncc@culturetok.org.pg

7 comments:

  1. THIS IS A VERY TOUCHING STORY, EVERYBODY WILL LOVE THE MOVE!

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  2. Do you know my dad?

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  3. Kelly Kuloi2:49 PM

    Does anyone know where I can get the book?

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  4. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Hello, does anybody know if Paul Akara of Wewak, PNG is involved in the production of this movie?

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  5. Anonymous8:40 AM

    I have a little brother by the name of Patrick Gondo who played a role as a warrior in the final movie production.

    Am happy for him and can't wait to see the movie.

    Garima Tongia
    Port Motresby

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  6. Anonymous10:39 PM

    I've seen the Trailer. you can also see the trailer by clicking on the link.
    http://www.bild.de/BILD/video/clip/entertainment/kino/studios/2010/12/25/dschungelkind.html

    My big bro and his son also part of the PNG group that went for the shoot.

    BESSA..

    ReplyDelete