Guardians of the Forest
(52 minutes) Malaysia
Director: Alan D’Cruz
Producer: Mary Maguire

UNAFF screening schedule
Guardians of the Forest


"Guardians of the Forest" is a unique document of Malaysia's indigenous peoples - the Orang Asli - in their struggle to retain their ancient ways of life in a rapidly developing nation. Pressures to renounce their ancient beliefs, assimilate with Malay culture, and make way for a modern world, are destroying the very fabric of Orang Asli life and culture. "Guardians of the Forest" focuses on an Orang Asli community about to be displaced by a giant dam project. It chronicles the heartbreaking realities they face and unveils chilling truths that echo the plight of indigenous peoples all over the world. Filmed in the lush Malaysian rainforest, this documentary provides a rare insight into a little-known community and introduces us to their haunting stories through interviews with members of the tribe. The film juxtaposes scenic jungle, waterfalls and rivers with fast-paced, consumer-driven Kuala Lumpur and the wasteland existence that has befallen other Orang Asli communities that have been relocated in the name of progress and modernization.


Alan D'Cruz writes and directs short features and corporate films and frequently works with all the major TV news providers as researcher/producer for their news stories about Malaysia. He was assistant producer for the BBC award winning documentary "Kings of the Jungle". Guardians of the Forest is his first full-length documentary.

Mary Maguire had been working as a news and current affairs producer for eight years when she moved to Malaysia in 1988 and became aware of the indigenous people and the problems they faced. Over the years, the director Alan D'Cruz and Ms. Maguire forged a friendship with members of the Temuan tribe and it was this unique access that made the documentary Guardians of the Forest possible.

Contact Information:

Mary Maguire, Producer
Verado Films, Ltd.
11, Jalan Cengal
Kuala Kubu Baru, Malaysia
Phone: (60-3) 6064 1977
Web site:

All material copyright 2000 UNAFF