Bobbi-Lea is a Master of Screen Production student at the Griffith Film School, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and was awarded the 2018 John Darling Fellowship to support her participation in the CADPP in Indonesia. Bobbi-Lea completed the first two weeks of intensive Indonesian language classes at Atma Jaya University in Jakarta, attending a series of seminars and fieldtrips led by experts and practitioners from Indonesia’s creative industries.

After the first two weeks of the program, Bobbi-Lea moved to Yogyakarta where she completed her four-week professional placement at EngageMedia. EngageMedia is a not-for-profit Video for Change organisation that began in March 2005. The organisation focuses on creating social change through the distribution of human rights and environmental video and media capacity-building, research, network development, and digital rights advocacy.

When asked about her placement, Bobbi-Lea said:

“I really enjoyed the work culture. The team at EngageMedia are like a big family. They are very friendly and easy to get along with. The environment is more relaxed and flexible than in Australia.”

During her placement, Bobbi-Lea edited promotional videos for various projects and workshops EngageMedia deliver like Coconet Digital Rights Camp and Papuan Voices. She also made a short film about a local social and environmental issue. Her short film, entitled “Jogja Asat, Jogja Banjar” looks at the impact of tourism on the special region of Yogyakarta (Kapupaten Yogyakarta), describing how rapid economic development is putting pressure on local communities by causing alternating water scarcity and floods in the region. The film explores the role plaid by local government, which gives away building permits to hotels, enabling them to dig wells and deplete the groundwater resources whilst increasing the living costs for ordinary people. As an example of local community activism, the film introduces Dodok from the village of Miliran and Anang Saptoto, a local Yogya artist and gallery manager, and examines their particular way of protesting against these environmental and economic issues affecting their lives . The film ultimately asks the viewer to think about the need for a sustainable future for Yogyakarta, one that cannot be based on the unlimited and exponential growth of tourism.

Bobbi-Lea is planning on entering the film into film festivals, especially ones that focus on social and environmental issues.

Overall, Bobbi-Lea had a great time on the CADPP:

“Through the people I have met on this trip, I have made some connections for when I come back next year to direct a feature length documentary. This has also given me greater insight into the film industry of [Australia’s] nearest neighbour.”

In keeping with the legacy of John Darling’s pioneering documentary filmmaking work in Indonesia in the 1970s and 80s, the John Darling Fellowship is intended to provide an opportunity for emerging Australian documentary and ethnographic filmmakers to experience the vibrancy of contemporary Indonesian filmmaking, and to collaborate and exchange ideas with Indonesian filmmaking peers. The John Darling Fellowship will offered again in 2019. See more details here

The EngageMedia Team
The EngageMedia Team
The EngageMedia Team