Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 9, 2011.


"Not Mother" is a short narrative film about how a young girl and her brother respond to the absurdities within the school system.

Why this project is important to me:
I've always found the problems of education in Indonesia both fascinating and frustrating. The curriculum demands completion of subjects that are often devoid of content and absurd. This short film is inspired by a Social Studies exam problem (described further below), which does not take into account the personal experiences of students. These types of questions put kids in a box and discourage critical thinking.

What happens when a child who has not had what people call a "normal" experience of family life, a child who is curious and questions everything, fails one of these exams? What happens when she is "shut up" in class by her teacher and classmates?

"Not Mother" is my degree project at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). It will be a short film (around 15 minutes) about a particular day in the lives of two siblings, an 8 year-old girl and her 17 year-old brother. The two siblings live in a kiosk with their father in a housing complex in Jakarta. Their daily struggles in dealing with society's expectations of a normal family structure will be presented through a discrepancy between what is taught at school and the reality of their own lives.

Some of the events in the film, mainly the ones occurring at school, are anecdotal and taken from actual experiences of people. The exam problems (cause for conflict in the classroom) are taken from actual test sheets.
One of the questions goes as follows:
The following picture (of a woman wearing semi-traditional outfit) represents the love of a ...
a. domestic worker
b. mother
c. father
To make matters worse, the problem itself (written in Indonesian) reveals a common grammatical error, which is to confuse the preposition "di" with the prefix "di".

The family drama, centered around the mystery of the "missing" mother and the brother's scar, will hopefully serve as a window to the absurdities within the education system in Indonesia.

The dialogue will be in Indonesian, but English subtitles will be provided.

For a complete synopsis and images of the location, please visit

I will be shooting in Jakarta, Indonesia. Shooting my film away from school means that I won't be able to use their resources, which also means that I will have to rent equipment, which unfortunately isn't cheap. This is where most of the funding will go. It will also go to building props, sets, and to hiring, feeding, and transporting crew and actors.

So... thanks for your support guys! Feel free to email me with questions at or cell phone: 62 816 948727



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    My deepest gratitude and a thank you email with photo attachments of the film shoot.

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    A personal "thank you" handmade postcard made out of recycled material.

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    Take the $100 reward and add a super special mention of your name in the credits, in VERY large font, as well as a copy of my favorite children's book (a surprise!).

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    Take the $300 reward and add round trip airplane tickets (from a Continental US location only) to Providence, RI, in time for the screening of my film at RISD's senior show. It should be a great experience to watch all of the other short films, too!

Funding period

- (31 days)