Logline: A film about the genocide in West Papua, Indonesia.
Current Status: Completed
Director: Anthony ‘Ash’ Brennan
Producer: Anthony ‘Ash’ Brennan
Looking for: Media Interest (ie buyer, distributor, sales agent, producer, media interest)
Where can I watch it: www.punks4westpapua.com
1. Congratulations! Why did you make this film?
I made this film to bring Australia’s attention to the ongoing genocide occurring in West Papua at the hands of the Indonesian Military. The Australian Media ignores West Papua as Journalists are forbidden to enter. The Punks of Australia have to stood up for the West Papuans, and I think it’s a great story.
2. Why do you think the situation in West Papua resonated so much for the punk groups?
At its heart, Punk rock stands up for the downtrodden and always asks questions of the government. Most punks are very politically and socially aware about the situation in West Papua and feel very strongly about it. And Punks just love to play for a cause, and more importantly play for nothing.
3. As an eyewitness Hugh Lunn discusses the staged Act of Free Choice in the 3 minute clip on We are moving stories. Why did you decide to include his testimony?
Hugh Lunn is a multi award winning Journalist. It was an honour for me to have Hugh Lunn in my film. He was there at the time of the act of free choice in 1969 and saw first hand the brutality of the Indonesian Military. Hugh has great credibility and someone to whom we should listen.
4. You also made the short film 26 January. Australia Day. Do you see any similarities between the plight of the West Papuans and Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders?
Both situations are about the indigenous peoples being moved off their traditional lands by force for corporate interests. I especially feel strongly about the Australian indigenous. They have been here for over 60,000 years. We should be celebrating and respecting their culture.
5. What type of feedback have you received so far about the film?
The feedback so far has been great. Most people say the same thing: ‘how come we don’t know about this?’ and want to do something straight away. The film has picked up a couple of awards in the US as well so it looks like the message is getting out there. We have also received these endorsements:
"Music has always played a crucial role in the struggle for Independence in West Papua. All Papuans are musicians & it is part of life to sing. The Punks for West Papua movement is fantastic! The documentary is fantastic. It’s helping to bring our voices to a whole new audience. It’s helping the world to wake up."
Benny Wenda, Leader Free West Papua Campaign
"Punks for West Papua captures the whole 50-year sorry story of West Papua in a very brave and poignant way. George Orwell would have said it "sees things as they are". Which is what he always tried to do himself."
Hugh Lunn – 3 time Walkley Award Winner
"This is the most significant film to come out on West Papua in the last decade. Not since Mark Worth’s 'Land of the Morning Star' have we seen a doco that tells it like 'Punks for West Papua'. It’s to their credit that ‘crazy’, tatooed anti social punk rockers lead the charge to prick our consciences in the West, along with Papuan activists prepared to risk death and cruel torture by speaking out in the film. 'Punks for West Papua’ makes naked Indonesia’s policy of slow genocide over the last 50 years of occupation. This film which reveals what is really happening to our nearest northern neighbor."
David Bradbury – 5 time AFI award winner, 2 time Academy award nominee
6. Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
People’s reactions haven’t really surprised me as it affected me the same way when I was doing my research.
7. What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
I would like as many people around the world to see this film, to spread awareness of the genocide in West Papua. Awareness is the most important thing. As Voters, we can pressure or governments to do something about it.
8. Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message and audience?
Yes, obviously all of the above would be very helpful in getting the message out there.
9. What type of impact would you like this film to have?
Since the film's release in January, it has inspired punk bands from around the world to create an international Punks for West Papua in June this year. That alone is an amazing achievement for the film. I hope it can inspire more organisations and more genres of music to do the same thing.
10. Lastly, what’s a key question that will help spark a debate about this issue and film?
Why is Australia so afraid of Indonesia?