For Immediate Release
Contact: Ana Lucia
Visit To Indigenous Forest People Reveals Rare Drug Which May Cure HIV and Cancer
Eco-Traveler Safari® of Sarawak is a one hour documentary. The expedition adventure produced by Eco-Traveler Safari® Films will take viewers on an odyssey that not only reveals the intense beauty of a people and the nature that surrounds them, but a little known and compelling reason to save the rainforest.
What begins as an adventure in Borneo to visit some outstanding eco-destinations and to trek through a 100 million year old rainforest to film the wildlife and visit indigenous forest people, takes a turn. We soon learn that the safari guide is determined to make a dual mission out of the adventure. The safari begins to take on a life of it's own when the guide and host, Don Hayes becomes obsessed with finding a rare rainforest tree rumored contain a substance that will cure Cancer and Aids. We learn that less than 1% of forest plants have been tested for healing properites, yet more than 20 are presently are in clinical trials. Bio-prospectors who search for such plants feel that time may be running out as world rainforests shrink.
The crew and expedition cameras go deep traversing jungle rivers by dugout, trekking the Headhunters Trail and meeting Penan and Iban medicine men, the forest shamans. Ill prepared and with little information the crew learns that the bark of this tree is under testing and under wraps. Leeches and equipment lost in the rapids leaves only pure determination to drive the crew on. As the expedition gets close, they are faced with local taboos which impede their progress. Left on their own they learn more and more about healing forest plants with each shaman, but still with no success of finding the illusive tree.
What we see along the way is raw and awesome beauty. What we feel is an unexpected connection with these rainforest people as our hearts opened by experiencing their warmth and seeing their challenges to remain true to their traditions. In an Iban longhouse we will witness sacrificial rights and the "Dance of The Warriors". We'll slip through the shadowy forest with a Penan medicine man while he hunts with a blowpipe and poison darts and learn how he survives from rainforest plants and medicines. The safari's revelations will be your revelations. And finally,in the film's post-script we visit with the bio-prospector who brought rainforest samples and the promise of the rare Bintangor tree to reality and testing by the National Cancer Institute. The substance known as Calanolide A and B from the rare Bintangor tree is now entering Phase 2 of testing.
Produced and directed by TV news and documentary filmmaker, Ken Reed. The film is destined for worldwide television markets and will become available on DVD in several languages.