Original Title

Waya Masapi

Theme

Nature and Environment, Tradition

Origin

Central Sulawesi

Estimated Budget

IDR 385,734,248 (24,032 USD)

Project Initiator

Mohammad Ifdhal

Director

Liauw Suryani

Producer

Project Status

In Production
I am interested with this project

Logline

This is the story of waya masapi, a fishing platform standing in Lake Poso, who provides the people around it the opportunity to generate meanings from what they have gone through together, and the consequences of their choice to live together across generations—even on the verge of its extinction.

Director Statement

I am a young man of Kaili descent, born and raised in Palu. In a rapidly growing city, I have only little memory relating to my tribe’s tradition and cultural practices. Somehow, this does not seem to be a problem, until liquefaction hit Palu in 2018. That is when I learned that there is local knowledge that could have made a big contribution for disaster mitigation efforts. Sadly to say, without the disaster, I would likely never realize that there are heaps of local knowledge worth preserving.

 

In 2019, I visited Tentena for the first time. Even then, I have had a strong impression that culture and tradition play an important role in their way of life. The biggest surprise came from the youths of Tentena—they are able to fluently present and elaborate on their cultural knowledge. In Tentena, laolita, or the habit of telling stories related to tradition and culture by parents to children, is still often practiced; both at home and in other community activities. In Palu, a similar custom exists—called notutura, but nowadays rarely ever practiced.

 

Tentena is not an underdeveloped area, the growth around the village is quite rapid. The people also do not reject progression, but at the same time, they are anxious about the durability of the environment and the permanence of their ancestral traditions. In the midst of the fast-growing advancement, this situation brings me to a question: how much do traditions and culture contribute to the people’s lives so that they must be continuously conserved?

 

Such curiosity has motivated me to record the stories of their lives in a documentary. Throughout the process of making this film, I would like to delve into the hearts and minds of the people of Tentena who have their own way to actualize their intention to protect their cultural practices—in particular related to waya masapi—against the hasty development. The family of Fredrik Kalengke, as the owner of the last operating waya masapi, is my entrance. They would also be the vehicle that carries the audience to visit Tentena as welcomed guests.

 

During my previous visits to Tentena, I have approached and introduced this idea to Fredrik’s family and several other individuals who would be suitable as film subjects. Everybody has agreed to be filmed, they even express their encouragement and support for this project. I hope the experience we’ll go through together would bring us to grasp the values of tradition/culture, and the necessity to safeguard those values amidst the changes over time.

Participant
Mohammad Ifdhal

Mohammad Ifdhal started making films in 2017 when he participated in a short film production workshop program, organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture. His first short film, Tunalogi, was selected as the best short film at the EPSILON Film Festival, Yogyakarta; while Home Sweet Home—his second short film—received the Best Short Film award at the Anti-Corruption Film Festival. In Akatara Film Market 2018, his next short film project—Kabar dari Amal—received a production grant program from the Ministry of Education and Culture. Said film premiered at the Bakunawa Young Cinema Festival in the Philippines. In 2019-2022, he worked as the impact producer for a documentary project Hidup dengan Bencana.

Participant
Liauw Suryani

Suryani has actively taken part in Indonesian film industry since 2004, mostly as a program manager and producer. She was involved in Jakarta International Film Festival, ECCO Films Indonesia, Europe on Screen, and In-Docs. In 2017-2018, she was a manager of kineforum—an alternative film screening program, initiated by the Film Committee of the Jakarta Arts Council. On film production, she took part in various film productions, both fiction and documentary, for local and foreign companies/filmmakers, such as Red Umbrella (2010), Dino (2013), and Stories of Recovery: 10 Years after Tsunami (2014). Currently, she concentrates on developing new possibilities in film production and distribution.

A Way of Life

This is the story of waya masapi, a fishing platform standing in Lake Poso, who provides the people around it the opportunity to generate meanings from what they have gone through together, and the consequences of their choice to live together across generations—even on the verge of its extinction.