Running from 31st October to 8th November, the film mentoring company Filmmaker Abroad is offering eight lucky aspiring filmmakers the chance to make their own films in Central Borneo, and not surprisingly places are filling fast. Plus one of the eight filmmakers is going to win FREE POST-PRODUCTION for their film, which is valued at more than $3000.
The number of participants is strictly limited to eight so that they each get plenty of time with their mentor, but also because some the locations, to which they’ve been granted privileged access, limit human movement. The filmmakers will get to go where tourists are normally excluded, interviewing researchers on the frontline of the battle to save the orangutan, and hopefully filming orangutans in the wild. It also includes wonderful wilderness experiences like camping overnight deep in the forest and sleeping on a klotok (river boat).
This is a new concept that offers emerging filmmakers the chance to select from a list of pre-researched stories (yes there are stories about orangutans, but there is also the chance to make a film with the indigenous Dayak people) and work independently on their film with an experienced mentor there to assist them, and offer feedback every step of the way. Some have said it’s like a combination of a film school and the holiday of a lifetime. The concept behind Filmmaker Abroad is first to offer a way for aspiring filmmakers to take the leap into becoming a director. In so doing, the aspiration is to raise awareness of social problems and to raise funds for worthwhile charities. The business model is in the ‘social enterprise’ spectrum. The company motto is “through the quest for self-expression, social change”.
Founder Sean Cousins says: “I think this trip will appeal to new and emerging filmmakers who aspire to produce a “calling card” film, to help them get into a prestigious film school, or who want a solid piece of work under their arm to approach production companies and agencies. The endangered orangutans are a wonderful subject for a short documentary. We chose Borneo because we think bringing talented young filmmakers here has the potential to create awareness of the tragedy. And we are giving them a subject about which there is so much to say, so many angles, so much scope for originality. We believe some really wonderful films will emerge from this trip.
For me it’s enormously satisfying to nurture new voices; to listen carefully to what they want to say and how they want to say it and then help them locate the tools to best articulate their vision. To do that in a wonderful exotic location like Borneo, is something I am really looking forward to.”
The cost of the 9 day adventure is $3995 ex-Jakarta, which includes YOurall accommodation, domestic airfares, transfers, most meals, camera fees, mentorship, and a $150 donation to The Orangutan Project. The process of joining Filmmaker Abroad in Borneo involves a short selection process. Applications can be made through the website – more info can be found here.