Original Title

Sweet Honey

Theme

Nature and Environment

Origin

East Nusa Tenggara

Estimated Budget

IDR 136,108,500 (8,480 USD)

Project Initiator

James Elister Natbais

Director

Irwan Sebleku

Producer

Project Status

Research & Development
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Logline

A honey-producing family works to devise a plan and safeguard their way of life as a wildfire jeopardizes the source of their earnings.

Director Statement

For the past four years since my arrival near Bonmuti village, the sight of forest fires has become a common occurrence. I attribute the billowing smoke during the dry season to residents clearing fields in preparation for planting in the rainy season. As time progresses, the smoke thickens, and flames become visible from a distance, indicating a burning forest. Reports from local residents suggest that careless land burning by some farmers contributes to these fires.

 

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to meet Tince’s family, who relies on forest honey products in Bonmuti. Through extensive discussions about honey, particularly with her husband—an expert in honey harvesting—the recurring theme of forest fires during the dry season became evident. The abundance of eucalyptus trees in the area, crucial for bees in producing high-quality honey, is overshadowed by the significant concern posed by forest fires. This concern is particularly pressing in regions densely populated by these trees, affecting both the ecosystem and the livelihoods of those reliant on honey production.

 

This issue directly correlates with Tince and her husband’s complaints about the yearly decline in their honey harvest. The diminishing eucalyptus tree population reduces the bees’ food supply, potentially leading to migration. Without proper control of forest fires, this situation may worsen in the future. Realizing the gravity of this situation compels me to raise awareness about the dangers of forest fires in the region. Forests play a vital role for bees, significantly impacting the environmental ecosystem. Beyond promoting biodiversity and contributing to forest conservation, bees are integral to the livelihoods of people in Bonmuti village. For families like Tince’s, honey from beehives is not merely a product but a source of sustenance and economic stability.

Participant
James Elister Natbais

James has been studying film since he started joining Komunitas Film Kupang in 2019. He is actively involved in documentary productions as an editor in the films produced by his collective. Currently, James is in the process of directing documentary films.

Participant
Irwan Sebleku

Irwan got introduced to documentary production by being involved as a production assistant in Nokas (2016). He has consistently worked in documentaries as a producer and director. Irwan is also a member and manager of Flobamora Film Festival and Komunitas Film Kupang, an independent film collective established since 2013 in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

Minoni Oni

A honey-producing family works to devise a plan and safeguard their way of life as a wildfire jeopardizes the source of their earnings.