Introducing a new project.

Who are they anyway? A film about refugees living in Indonesia

The project began when I heard that many refugees who attempt to reach Australia lived in a village outside of Jakarta called Cisarua. Having heard so much about refugees in the Australia media for so many years, and now living in in Jakarta, I thought I would head up the hill and see if I could meet them.

I went to Cisarua and almost immediately I met Rizwana and her family. They invited me in for tea and I spent an afternoon talking with her and her family about Afghanistan and their experience. I quickly warmed to them. I found out they were Hazara and I also realised that, although I'd been hearing about refugees for years, I knew nothing about them and where they'd come from.

When Rizwana found out I was a filmmaker she suggested that I meet her brother Muzafar, who was a photographer.

A week or so later I met Muzafar and he brought a friend, 18 yo refugee, Khadim. Khadim had  had been making a film about his flatmates on his mobile phone. I liked them both immediately and suggested that we should make a film together. We all agreed this would be a good idea.

After a few more discussions on how we should proceed, I edited this small film/trailer from Khadim's mobile phone footage. The password is 'Cisarua'.

Since then we have bought a new 'proper' camera and are continuing to film. I don't think this is going to be a quick project, over a year or more we'll follow as they try to educate their children, get interviews with the UNHCR, possibly take boats to Australia or possibly get relocated to other safe countries. I hope that through the film we'll get to know more about the refugees, because if we are going to turn them back or lock them up, we might as well get to know who they really are!