Papuan Voices is a video advocacy initiative with Papuan activists since 2011 to more effectively tell their stories to the world.

The Papuan Voices Community has announced the dates for the second independent Film Festival – Festival Films Papua (FFP-II) to be held this year in Jayapura the provincial capital of Papua, Indonesia. The chairman of the committee of FFP II Harun Rumbarar told online news site that the FFP-II will be held on 7 – 9 August 2018 and the theme will be “indigenous Papuans struggling in the face of modernization”.

Papuan Voices is a video advocacy initiative working with Papuan activists since 2011 to more effectively tell their stories to the world. From 2011-2012, EngageMedia and Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation collaborated with local organisations in Jayapura and Merauke to teach Papuan activists video production and distribution skills. In 2013 and 2014, EngageMedia partnered with Belantara Papua and Yayasan Teratai Hati Papua to host a series of video workshops in Wamena and Sorong.

The Papuan Voices community has now a presence in six regions of Papua, namely Biak, Jayapura, Keerom, Wamena, Merauke, Sorong and Raja Ampat.

The main aim of the FFP-II is to increase public awareness on the critical issues faced by indigenous Papuans and emphasise on their role in the economic and infrastructural developments in Papua region. Harun Rumbarar told the Jakarta post: “I hope this will provide rooms for the filmmakers to offer their input of criticism on the effects of modernisation on Papuan people.”

Papua is among the least developed and most native provinces in Indonesia despite its abundance of natural resources. The region is seeing growing infrastructural development after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration announced an ambitious development plan in the eastern region. But the human rights activists doubt whether these developments will actually impact the lives of the local Papuans by solving their economic struggles or bringing them social justice.

Competition leaflet in Bahasa Indonesia

The details of the Festival competition has also been announced. Interest filmmakers aged minimum 17, from Papua or from elsewhere, can submit their short films to the committee between June 1 and July 10 and the best ones will be screened at the Festival and be awarded cash prizes.

To generate more enthusiasm, Papuan Voices hosted pre-festival filmmaking workshops in several regions in Papua earlier this month – in Merauke, Wamena, Keerom, Biak and Jayapura and Sorong.

Last year the festival screened and promoted a number of films made by Papuans or on Papua and more than 700 people took part in the Festival.

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