Documentary films can be a major catalyst for change and can ultimately influence millions of viewers. Documenting cultural stories and raising awareness can bring heart-based indigenous wisdom to mainstream audiences. This is all the more important since the need to live more sustainably has never been greater. By working towards sustainable support between filmmakers, doors will open. By discussing effective strategies for positive change, indigenous communities across Indonesia and beyond will benefit for the greater good.

The films cover a variety of topics including indigenous wisdom, connection with nature, solution focused alternatives, land rights issues, success stories, forest preservation, and use of technology to support indigenous interests. Great indigenous leaders come forward when armed with education and positivity. Their past can be our future.

Ranu Welum Foundation is based in Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan. This non-profit foundation specialises in media, film making and provides funding and training for Indonesian filmmakers. One of its long term goals is to help indigenous film makers to create their own pop-up film festivals in smaller regional towns all over Indonesia. This will further promote a sustainable future and help to preserve indigenous cultures by giving them the respect and understanding they deserve and educating others about their wisdom and the teachings of their ancestors.


The Indigenous Film Festival Bali started as a way to raise awareness about the indigenous cultures of Indonesia and beyond, through the art form of film. In the words of John Pilger, a famous Australian writer and filmmaker; ”The early British filmmakers believed the documentary should speak from below, not from above; it should be the medium of people, not authority. In other words, it is the blood, sweat and tears of ordinary people that gives us the documentary.”

The festival allows for indigenous film makers to meet, collaborate, share their films, inspire each other and ensure the voice of indigenous people reaches a larger audience. Using film as a way to tell stories to strengthen heritage and cultural identity in the indigenous communities.

We hope the film festival will be a wellspring of inspiration, solutions, renewal, community and hope, as we welcome indigenous people from Indonesia and various countries.



David Metcalf


Travelling, writing and photographing is the way David Metcalf has found his way around

Indonesia for the past 18 years. Bali resident and internationally acclaimed photographer,

David Metcalf uses the power of photographs to educate and encourage positive social



Emmanuela Shinta

With a reputation for leading and empowering young people, Emmanuela Shinta is a Dayak leader, activist, filmmaker and writer whose work is widely known in Asia Pacific. She is the founder of Ranu Welum Foundation, ALIVE Global Ministry, and EL Creative Production.