Ubud News


The second Bali Indigenous Film Festival will be held in Ubud over three days in May this year, with the theme Stories That Matter reflected in both the “short documentaries” daytime program and the full-length feature film evenings.

The festival’s grand opening night will be held at the spectacular new Njana Tilem Museum in Mas, on Friday 10 May. The evening will focus on fifteen film directors and two feature films, along with a variety of performances honouring indigenous wisdom and culture. Organisers expect 400 people to attend. Over the weekend, a feast of 32 indigenous local and international films representing 12 countries will screen at the comfortable 120-seat Paradiso Theatre in Ubud’s Jalan Gautama South.

Festival organisers strongly support the development of indigenous films, so the program includes a private event for industry filmmakers, film industry affiliates, media and PR professionals and film producers. The objective of this vital session is to discuss effective strategies for getting documentary films out to a wider audience, and enabling better communication and mutual support among indigenous filmmakers in Indonesia.

Films must be submitted by March 1, to emmanuela.shinta@gmail.com. Info and tickets: www.indigenousfilmfestbi.com.



Founder of mothers and babies’ non-profit Yayasan Bumi Sehat, CNN Hero Robin Lim, says the natural disasters of the past year have significantly increased the need for Bumi’s health and human services in the region, with a variety of international supporters providing the financial backing that makes this possible.

Here in Bali, Mount Agung seems quiescent but is still considered to be “in an eruptive phase”. Meanwhile in North Lombok, Central Sulawesi and Java, communities attempt to haul themselves back to normal after various disasters, with aftershocks and torrential rains hampering progress.

Bumi Sehat also continues to support communities along the Aceh tsunami coast near Samatiga, where the 13-year-old BS health centre is undergoing repair, and in the Philippines, where Bumi Wadah Philippines helped feed people left homeless after a category 5 super storm in the northern island of Luzon. Direct Relief International, Earth Company and Hinoki of Japan supports Bumi Sehat’s work in all of these.

Meanwhile in Sentani, Papua, the new Bumi birth centre is almost complete, but still seeking funds for beds, medical equipment and supplies so it can open this year.



Ibu Robin says the long dreamed of Bumi Sehat Disaster Relief Resource Centre is currently under construction in Ubud.

This quake resistant building – also made possible through the generosity of Earth Company and Hinoku – will function as a Youth Education Centre in “peace time”, and be ready to house and give relief to evacuees during times of disaster and emergency.



Here’s a blissful getaway just out of Ubud, built by Javanese Hartono Lokodjoyo, who moved here for work in an “organic gardening” project set up by a foreigner. Har was so inspired by these new concepts of permaculture and organics that he stayed on after the original ex-pat project went bust.

Now we reap the rich treasures of his ever-expanding organic farm in Junjungan, and watch as Har improves the three little houses he built to take advantage of the natural features of the terrain behind the rows of vegetables.

Har’s Organic Garden is on Jalan Sri Wedari in Junjungan, about 4 kilometres north of Ubud. It’s worth a trip to wander around and select your own vegetables, or just purchase a “mixed bag” of whatever he’s picked that day. My 150,000rp vege mountain will feed me for 4-5 days.

Mr Google will find him for you: just type “hars garden tree house”.



HUBUD, Bali’s first co-working space – “office away from home” for many of us – has announced it’s joining forces with that fabulous Canggu space, Dojo.

According to Hubud co-founder Steve Munroe, working with Dojo Founder, Michael Craig, on a couple of big projects last year showed that the two teams share similar values and visions.

Michael will take executive control of the combined business, and there are some great conferences and workshops planned for 2019, as well as the eclectic weekly events and talks that will continue to pop up because of the extraordinary range of people passing through.

“Our community gets to leverage the very different experiences of two globally famous locations, for the price of a single membership. And for Hubud, membership fees actually drop!” Steve says.

On April 5 and 6, join SIY – Search Inside Yourself – a two-day mindful leadership program developed by Google and brought to Bali for the second time by Hubud. More info at www.hubud.org.



As a “local” of 10 years or more, I can never decide whether it’s better to venture away to another country for a big holiday, or spend my time exploring more of Indonesia, or the island of Bali itself for that matter.

The extraordinary tours offered by Bali-based photographer David Metcalf don’t help! I’ve already missed the Vietnam: Contrast and Culture Photography Tour; well, not missed it exactly, but I’m not in the right moment to drop everything and grab one of the last few places on this year’s tour (February 19- March 12). Sigh. David is taking tours this year to Mongolia and Alaska too, and it only takes a peek at his website to know that they’ll be unbeatable experiences too.

However, after several years of travelling and photographing in Indonesia, David has also created four different programs to various parts of the island of Borneo, where his local knowledge and friendships will ensure more “thrill of a lifetime” holidays. And I find I’m drawn to his Island of the Gods Photography Tour in June. Even longterm expats appreciate David’s meticulously planned programs, and the access to his collection of lesser-known locations. www.davidmetcalfphotography.com.