Hendra Wardi: A creator, a storyteller, a visionary

He is a storyteller behind the lens. He is a visionary with a thirst for breaking barriers. He is Hendra.

The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Creative Multimedia graduate has represented his country on the international stage, premiering the locally produced ‘Tales Down Below’ – an animated comedy series featuring creatures of folklore from Southeast Asia. The series has gained attention and interest from broadcasters all around the world.

‘Tales Down Below’ is not an animated horror series; it is rather, an animated comedy featuring characters from the horror genre of Southeast Asia and around the world. A hybrid of East meets West.

“Our work showcases to the world that Malaysia is a force to be reckoned with for content, animation and talent,” he says. Hendra is hopeful that film, game and animation studios from around the world will recognise Malaysia as a major hub for creative talent.

“We are an IP generating company; conceptualising ideas be it for animation, video games, film or any form of media and bringing them to life with global appeal, while implementing elements of the Southeast Asian culture in all that we do,” he says. When an IP gets commissioned to go into production, it creates jobs for local artists, animators, sound designers, voice actors, music composers, scriptwriters to get an episode done.

From its early stages, Hendra and his team presented their preliminary concept for ‘Tales Down Below’ to MDEC, who have been very supportive and paved the way for them to present the IP to global broadcasters such as BBC Kids, Netflix, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Apple TV+, Disney among others.

“I would never have imagined that producers from studios from all these networks I’ve watched growing up as a kid, would take their time to watch and review content we produced,” Hendra shares. “Some have become friends; some have become mentors.”

While Hendra enjoys conceptualising ideas and creating meaningful content, he says that magic can also be found behind-the-scenes.

Hendra and his teammates are gearing up for the Annecy Animation Festival in France this month to take ‘Tales Down Below’ to the screens and also unveil ‘Wah Wah Buah’ for the first time ever. “Annecy will be our first market since the pandemic started and we can’t wait to show the world what he has been up to while the world was shut down.” 

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