Kynan, a 14 year old filmmaker from Kalimantan (Borneo) was one of the stars of the festival, backed by a powerful grass root movement of a new generation of media activists, using all possible media to communicate with local and global audience. From Papua New Guinea filmmakers taking a risk touching political issues to Ibu Onet, communicating with a Orang Utan puppet as Instagram star to local audience or international productions like Small Island – Big Song showing Austronesian culture interwoven from Madagascar to Easter island.
Emmanuela Shinta, a young activist from Kalimantan, who just spoke in front of the UN, founded the festival together with David Metcalf.
Co-founder David Metcalf (New Zealand) and Ado-Kaliting-Pacidal (Taiwan) presenting “Musical Healers of Land”
Getting organized: the power behind the new grass root movement are organizations like Ranu Welum Foundation in Kalimantan (founded by Emmanuela Shinta) or Wapikoni Mobile in Kanada, which provides media technology and knowledge to indigenious communities in Canada and supports aspiring filmmakers like Craig Commanda and Jani Bellfleur-Kaltush, who presented their films at the festival.
Rizal Lanni comes from mountain area of Papua New Guinea only accessible by airplane – he is one of Papuan Voices, an initiative of videographers in Papua- check out Rizals youtube channel here . Yonri Revolt is a filmmaker and activist in Papua, also promoting archiving and presentation programs (more here).
Filmmakers as networkers: Hugo Metz is collaborating with many organizations and channels to give indigenious cultures a voice world wide – check out the huge youtube channel of “If not us then who?” here.
Multi-talent Charlie Hill Smith from Australia works as producer, networker & director in West Papua (trailer of his festival film here)
Music is a powerful messenger, as two other festival films showed, both based on the Austronesian migration over 5000 years, rediscovering common roots, deeply touching in the film Musical Healers of Land by Ado Kaliting Pacidal and vibrant charismatic in Small Island Big Song orchestrating musicians from Madagascar to Easter Island in a project by Bao Bao Chen and Tim Coles.
Sometimes nothing is more powerful then the spoken word – as special guest Miliwanga Wurrben, grown up in the outback of Australia, showed in her welcome speeches. It all comes back to basics – an open heart – Thanks for a great festival.
more on the film program here
The next Indigenous Film Festival will be in Kalimantan August 9th to 11th 2019, more here.
Support indigenous filmmakers by donation to Ranu Welum Foundation in Kalimantan here