Backyard Rainforests

Backyard Rainforests premiered online on 19th March 2022 for a 4-day screening. It was followed by a 104-minute Q&A session moderated by Lau Joon-Nie, Vice President of the Singapore Press Club and assisted by Norsham Yaakob and Grace Chin together with a few of the interviewees from the film and feature article “Nurturing Rainforests” and the documentary journalist.


What does a lepidopterist, an art supporter and goat farmers have in common? While Henry S. Barlow and Angela Hijjas have been growing their own forests, Abdul Razak and Intan Jailani are beginner tree seed collectors.

With the common goal of racing to save Malaysia’s native tree species from the brink of extinction, the group is suddenly faced with an unexpected mass flowering of the forests. Seeds by the hundreds of thousands are ripe for the picking, but during a Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, will they be able to save the seeds on time and safeguard a future for these rare trees? Will they be able to reforest Peninsular Malaysia’s Central Forest Spine (CFS) to help combat disappearing forests and mitigate climate change? Not just that, the loss of  the CFS will ultimately mean the local extinction of the Malayan tiger, Asian elephant and most hornbill species.

Q&A Panelists:
Henry S. Barlow, lepidopterist and author;
Simon Hok, manager of Genting Tea Estate;
Angela Hijjas, art supporter and environmentalist at Rimbun Dahan;
Abdul Razak Aziz and wife Intan Jailani, creative designers and goat farmers of SEEDS Malaysia;
Mohamed Shah Redza Hussein, Director of Perak State Parks Corporation for Royal Belum State Park;
Afzaa Aziz, Project Manager of Tropical Rainforest Conservation & Research Centre (TRCRC);
Elango Velautham, Deputy Director, Singapore Botanic Gardens; and
HY Leong, documentary journalist, Factual TV

Watch the trailer here.
Watch the full documentary here. [from 1PM 9th August 2022, in conjunction with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples]

Year of Production: 2022
Duration: 23 minutes
Languages of Film: English and Malay
Subtitle Languages: English and Malay
Reported by HY Leong/Factual TV

Produced as part of the “Trees for the Future: Safeguarding the Central Forest Spine” project, with support of the Rainforest Journalism Fund in partnership with the Pulitzer Center. The screening on Cloud Theatre was supported by Factual TV Sdn Bhd in aid of the Indigenous Photographers of Belum-Temenggor Forests and the Indigenous Peoples’ nursery of Kampung Klewang, Royal Belum State Park. 

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