Rockin' Busan!

Rockin' Busan!

Please have a look at this photo. It’s an image of a young man who’s spent much of his life dreaming of being a rock star, and for the first time this week actually felt like one. JALANAN isn’t a movie about life and death. The stakes in it aren’t very high. It isn’t about saving babies or curing disease or eradicating dire poverty. What we’re doing through this film is giving marginalized people a voice, acknowledging their worth, sharing a hopeful story, increasing awareness, and showing Indonesia in a light that isn’t good or bad – but merely honest.

So it’s these little moments – street busker Ho on his first ever trip overseas, flirting with and being admired by three beautiful AirAsia cabin crew – that make us happy and excited, that make this film worth doing.

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6AM Photoshoot


It’s been a packed week for the JALANAN team in Jakarta as we put the finishing touches on the movie and gear up for our October 3rd world premiere at the Busan International Film Festival. This included a 6AM photo shoot with one of Jakarta’s top shooters, Timur Angin, who helped us create some awesome images for our promotional materials and movie poster. We’ll be showing you the results very soon, but meanwhile here’s a shot of Timur who - in the spirit of the film - got as close to the street as possible to shoot an image of Ho for our ‘superheroes’ series. Stay tuned!

Burning Midnight Oil


Third straight night of burning the midnight oil on JALANAN’s music score edit & final round of sound mixing. Four more days and nights to go. Our brains are overloaded and our ears are playing games on us, but (or maybe therefore) it’s all starting to sound pretty sweet. 
Co-producer/editor Ernest Hariyanto (left) and sound editor/mixer Levi Santoso (right).

Indra Aziz coaches Ho

Legendary Indonesian vocal coach, jazz maestro and beat boxer Indra Aziz (right) is usually busy training the country’s top pop stars, including AgnezMonica, Afgan, Raisa & Titi DJ. He’s also the official coach for Indonesian Idol & X-Factor Indonesia. But this afternoon he took time out of his packed schedule to train a rather less glamorous student - JALANAN's very own street-singing star, Ho (left), as he prepares to record JALANAN's closing song in the studio tomorrow. Indra took Ho through basic breathing exercises, discussed the meaning of the song’s lyrics (which Ho wrote), helped plan the vocal style and delivery, and then rehearsed Ho until he could barely stay standing. We’ll post some video clips of their session soon, but for now wanted to share this image 

(Read more about Indra’s fantastic VocalPlus training on his popular VOX+ blog here:

Destination: Busan!

We’re so excited to finally be allowed to share what we’ve had to keep secret for nearly a month now: JALANAN will have its World Premiere in competition at the Busan International Film Festival, Asia’s largest and premier film event, October 3-12, 2013. We’re thrilled to be among just 11 documentaries selected to compete in the Wide Angle section, and the only documentary from Indonesia.


I‘m so proud of our awesome team: JALANAN’s three main characters – Ho, Boni & Titi – for sharing their life stories so patiently, openly and intimately with me for 6 years; our multi-talented and tireless film editor/co-producer, Ernest Hariyanto; our sound recordist (and former street musician) Meitha Eriska; our sound designer/mixer Levi Santoso, our music scorer Dadang Pranoto; and the many other wonderful people who’ve contributed so much skill and patience to this unlikely project.

If documentary filmmaking is described as a marathon sport, JALANAN has been a kind of insane ultra-marathon. But we’re crossing the finish line in style now at one of the world’s top festivals, and I’ve never been more excited or grateful.

Daniel Ziv
Director, JALANAN

JALANAN Journey: A Different Kind of Blog


I’m JALANAN’s director, Daniel Ziv, and these pages will be an attempt to put a somewhat different spin on the concept of a film blog.

Too many film blogs I encounter are dedicated solely to the purpose of promoting the film: listing its screenings around the globe, linking to media reviews or announcing accolades and awards. This is of course totally legitimate. A key purpose of a blog is to promote the product. The problem is, after a few posts or a few months, the promotional material doesn’t make for very good reading. My mother will surely check my movie blog each day to see what sort of trouble I’ve gotten into, but I don’t expect ordinary readers to care what time our third screening in Istanbul will begin, or whether we’re in competition at Vladivostok.

So I’m aiming to put a new spin on the idea of a film blog in two key ways.

First, rather than just a promotional billboard for JALANAN, I want this blog to go deeper and become a biography of JALANAN’s journey across the world over the next year or two. A sort of non-movie road movie of a movie. 

I want to try to document the ways in which the film resonates with different audiences in different countries and societies; to document viewer reactions; to try to discover which of the film’s themes and messages are truly universal, and which are uniquely Indonesian. Will audiences in Mexico City or Rio De Janeiro identify closely with the chaotic Jakarta street life portrayed in JALANAN? Will audiences in Finland or Canada find it strange or exotic or off-putting or uplifting?

Second, as an avid traveler who’s frankly applying to festivals as much because of the desire to visit that place than for the festival itself, I wish to incorporate bits of travelogue into this blog, interweaving these freely with the film posts on JALANAN.

I would find it odd to attend festivals in places as interesting and colorful as Busan or Durban or Almaty or Zagreb or Luang Prabang, and fail to talk about the place itself: its character, its traditional markets, local people I encounter there, the fantastic sights or the delicious food. Just because my documentary is finished doesn’t mean I stop being a documentarian. (Indeed, I was a documentarian long before I began making documentaries).

So I’m hoping this blog will offer added value: To film buffs or JALANAN fans, it will add a layer of travelogue that brings to life the places we visit. To travel buffs, it won’t just be about arriving somewhere or exploring a place, but about seeing experiencing the destination through the lens of this unique story from Indonesia that we’re sharing with the world. 

I honestly don’t know how well the concept will work, but I intent to have a lot of fun with the experiment.

Thank you for reading, and see you on the road!