People of the Forest

The ancestral forests of the nomadic Orang Rimba have vanished. In the short span of three decades oil palm plantations have replaced much of the tropical peatland rain forests in Jambi, Indonesia. The People of the Forest, Orang Rimba in their dialect, have nowhere to go.

Watch the official trailer here:

People of the Forest: Orang Rimba - Trailer from Tropical Fantasy on Vimeo.

People of the Forest: Orang Rimba presents how a marginalized group manages to survive in a world that seems to have turned 180 degrees on them. Only a generation ago the nomadic Orang Rimba hunted wild boars and gathered fruit in idyllic circumstances. But the perfect conditions of blissful communion with nature have disappeared and this nomadic group now struggles to survive on the fringes. They are pinned between the thinning forest and the relentless oil palm industrial farming that has taken over the land. In spite of their dire circumstances this ethnic and religious minority group remains optimistic and pro-active on the face of great adversity.The leaders of the Anak Dalam Tribe do their best to find compromises and practical solutions in the coexistence with nearby villagers and employees of the corporate oil palm plantations.

People of the Forest: Orang Rimba premiered at the Singapore Eco Film Festival, in the Art+Science Museum. It won Best Documentary at the Bucharest ShortCut Cinefest in Hungary, and received a Documentary Short Award of Excellence at the Accolade Global Film Competition.

Funding Sources: 

  • Earth Observatory of Singapore

Project Years: 




Best Documentary Short Film, WILLiFEST


Best International Documentary EcoFilm, Rural FilmFest


Special Jury Award in Documentary Short Film, Formosa