M&C Saatchi & Naga DDB Tribal bring the celebrations closer to home this year-end holiday season for CelcomDigi.

Appreciating our country’s cultural diversity, CelcomDigi sets its inaugural year-end film within the backdrop of Sabah.

Introducing “The Unexpected Gift”, a film collaboration between CelcomDigi’s agencies M&C Saatchi and Naga DDB Tribal with Wayang Works. It tells an endearing tale of how a child’s love delivered the greatest gift of all: family.

Our young hero, Gideon, looks forward to the year-end holidays with family, but he receives news that his sister Amanda is not able to make it home for the Christmas celebrations. And it’s through this change of events that he also discovers the presence of a long-lost grand-uncle James.

Fuelled by curiosity, Gideon uncovers a lingering dispute that has driven apart his ‘Inik’ (grandmother in Sabahan) and her younger brother, James, a gifted ‘sompoton’ (a traditional musical instrument) musician. Knowing this, he hatches a plan with the help of his sister Amanda in KL. And it is also through this journey that Gideon discovers a natural affinity to the ‘sompoton’, just like this grand-uncle, whilst learning to play the instrument.

“This is a story about strengthening bonds and a rediscovery of traditions.” said Marzuki Maani, Executive Creative Director of M&C Saatchi and the One Team. “And the role of CelcomDigi here is simple. With the widest network coverage that reaches every part of Malaysia, thus allowing Malaysians from every corner, access to the world and the world to them.”

“And the charming part of the story is the role of the ‘sompoton’ as the catalyst in bringing loved ones together through a richness of culture and heritage, especially to the younger generation.” he added.

All this results in a festive gathering that brings the whole community together, as well as those unable to make it home, like Amanda, via a virtual call.

As the festivities continue, the unexpected surprise is revealed which triggers an emotional moment, and the evening culminates in a bigger celebration to the enjoyment of everyone.

This heartwarming film captures our rich cultural diversity and heritage, specifically within East Malaysia. While the storyline also reflects CelcomDigi’s vision of connecting individuals through technology and innovation, to reimagine the way Malaysians live their lives.

Nadiah Hamzah, Film Director at Wayang Works reiterates, “This is a simple story of a young boy’s desire to give his beloved grandmother an unexpected Christmas ‘gift’. Sabahans exude a strong sense of community and generosity, reflecting the very essence of Christmas, which we have infused into the film… the sharing of traditions and cultural nuances add to the universal themes of family and unconditional love.”

“All in all, it was an incredible journey filming in idyllic Kundasang against the majestic Mount Kinabalu.” she fondly concluded.

CelcomDigi together with the One Team comprising of M&C Saatchi and Naga DDB Tribal wish all Malaysians a joyful Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year.

Check out CelcomDigi’s festive film “The Unexpected Gift” on the official CelcomDigi YouTube page or Facebook

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

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