This week saw the start of Indonesia Distanced Stories (formerly Jakarta Stories), a documentary filmmaking programme that aims to support communities and individuals in creating documentaries to spark dialogue, build deeper understanding on complex societal issues and hopefully make a lasting impact in our society.
A joint initiative between Scottish Documentary Institute, The British Council and In-Docs, Indonesia Distanced Stories is a three-month documentary filmmaking programme bringing together 13 aspiring filmmakers, who were selected out of more than 120 applicants. The group will connect, learn, discuss and produce six new short films.
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme – launched digitally during the British Council’s Culture Connects Us online festival – is designed to bridge the distance among participants and mentors by creating new ways of working creatively and collaboratively in these challenging times.
The three-month programme is structured around the production of short films about life in Covid-19 confinement at the end of the workshop. Close mentorship, classes and set of exercises will be held throughout the week.
The participants will also spend time outside of classes to watch films from around the world, writing and working on collaborative tasks with their groups.
The curriculum covers:
- Story development
- Visual language and sound design
- Camera and sound techniques
- Shoot and directing
- Film production
The public can also take part during the programme as the organiser will share filmmaking resources and some seminars will be open to the public.
British Council Indonesia Head of Arts, Camelia Harahap, said: “We are excited to collaborate with InDocs and Scottish Documentary Institute through the Indonesia Distanced Stories programme to encourage young filmmakers in Indonesia and the UK to connect, exchange ideas and collaborate more inclusively. We try to ensure that this programme is accessible for our friends with disabilities, participants from diverse cultural backgrounds and geographical reach across Indonesia. The pandemic might disrupt our everyday life, but it should not stop our creativity and spirit of collaboration in creating meaningful works.”
Noémie Mendelle, Director of Scottish Documentary Institute, said: “Indonesia has a strong cultural identity associated with storytelling making the opportunity of running Stories in Indonesia a very exciting challenge, all the more that we are experimenting with online delivery. Stories celebrates the art of creative documentary and is the main international training activity for Scottish Documentary Institute to engage with different realities, alternative stories and growing talent. Such international collaboration is essential to help filmmakers develop synergies and connections across borders. In this day and age of fast news, it is really important to nurture filmmakers able to tackle the complexity of our reality and create a long-lasting reflection.“
In-Docs’ Interim Director, Mandy Marahimin said: “InDocs feels really honoured to have a collaboration with British Council and Scottish Documentary Institute in holding this workshop, Indonesia Distanced Stories. This program is geared towards emerging filmmakers from all around Indonesia, spread out in 4 different provinces, and through this workshop they have to collaborate and respond to the pandemic crisis. This makes the workshop relevant to the current state of the world and it will be exciting to see the stories that will come out of this collaborative experience. In the end, we hope this workshop will enrich their knowledge of documentary filmmaking and empower them to tell their stories to the world.”