Your West | My East
Fauzan Abdillah, Sasha Mahe
aiorec pictures, Independent Film Surabaya (Infis)
Lara, an emotional girl who is a fan of Sailormoon, and Arman, easygoing boy who is a scribble artist, go to Madura Island where they discover who they really are.
Lara, a social media savvy, smart, emotional Indonesian girl studies abroad in France. She has come back to her hometown to complete her anthropology thesis. She is a huge fan of Sailor Moon (animation manga). She decides to attend the commemoration of her grandmother’s death in Madura Island alone. Along the way, she gets lost and crosses paths with Arman, a biology student with an easygoing attitude who has a repressed passion for scribble art. Through their shared journey, they contemplate their life and learn to love themselves as well as discover their own roots.
Back home in Surabaya from studying in France, Lara, a conceited, social media savvy girl is frustrated that she can not interview the city’s mayor for her anthropology thesis. To calm her, her sister and friend encourage Lara to attend the commemoration of the death of her beloved grandmother in their hometown of Sumenep, Madura Island. It is a place where Lara had spent her wonderful childhood with her grandmother and late father. However, it was also painful as she was bullied for her Madurese background.
With the help of the GPS, Lara decides to travel to Madura alone. Being less fluent in Madurese language, she gets lost and crosses paths with Arman, a visual artist with an easygoing attitude who has a repressed passion for art. Arman offers to accompany Lara to Sumenep, on the condition that they go to Kangean Island first for his thesis project.
Along the way, Lara and Arman talk about the contrast between real and virtual life. They encounter a lot of interesting local flavors, including the rare Kangean’s Cat that strangely resembles the cat in Lara’s beloved Sailor Moon. They become closer and realize they have a lot in common. They contemplate their life and learn to love themselves for who they are. They arrive at Lara’s grandmother’s house with a renewed outlook in life.
Finally, Lara is able to interview the mayor of Surabaya with a new spirit. She smiles to Arman one last time, and returns to France carrying his artwork with a heartbreaking surprise.
I am a Madurese-blood filmmaker born in Surabaya who also experienced childhood bullying due to this background. Traveling through Madura, I feel energized by different positive characteristics and the essence of Indonesia radiating in every town. Feeling the pride of our origins is the key for a society with such large population to rise up and move forward together. Madura Island is a place with a strong sense of unity and kinship, but this is not well known, because people are influenced by the stereotypes about domestic workers from Madura as “hicks” spreading throughout all parts of Indonesia. The language is described as “clownish”; and some of Madurese people become thieves and troublemakers.
Indonesians are one of the most socially active societies in the world but they still believe in hoax. Many Indonesians studying overseas promise to go back and develop Indonesia, but they are self-absorbed and only passionate about criticizing the government, without trying to fix things themselves.
This film takes the warmth of a tropical island, Madura percussion music, variety of language and accent in Indonesia, different dialects of Madurese language, the cheerful and suspicious moods of its main characters, and combines those with scribble art animation to consider the difference between the real and virtual life. It is a romantic satire comedy about the dilemmas of youth in this new era who try to enjoy themselves, relax, and find the true place of comfort and quality time.
Fauzan Abdillah was born in Surabaya, 15 October 1988, and become the chief of Independent Film Surabaya (Infis). Fauzan currently studies in International Film Business Academy – Busan Asian Film School after selected through a competition of 6:1 from all over Asia. He studied Educational Technology at the State University of Surabaya. He was a Young Professional awardee on HANDs Project for Disaster Education hosted by Japan Foundation in 2014 and has attended various master classes and studied film as a cultural activist at Auckland University of Technology with the Ministry of Education and Culture. In 2006, his short film, That Day, won the Best Film and Best Director at East Java Film Festival. Fauzan also teaches film productions and creative major in two universities in Surabaya, serves as film festivals and competitions jury member, as well as organizes screening, digital performances, workshops, and film competitions in East Java, Indonesia. Fauzan Abdillah is now ready for Your West l My East as his most anticipated commercial feature film debut which is developed and pitched on Asia Film Market and CineLink Asia BIFF this year.
Sasha Mahe is an Indonesian independent filmmaker based in Paris, France. She used to work in international film productions, both as director and producer. Previously known as the creator of hits television series in Indonesia.
aiorec Pictures is Indonesian film production company established since 2014 in Surabaya, East Java, located side by side with East Java Film Movement and Independent Film Surabaya (Infis). It has cooperated with various companies and institutions, such as Institut Franҫais d’Indonésie, Japan Foundation Asia Center, the government of Surabaya, the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, etc. aiorec pictures is established to gather much more creative people from East Java to lift up and develop film industry.
Independent Film Surabaya (Infis) is a film organization that has been working on film distribution, exhibition, and education since 2000. It has organized Surabaya 13 Film Festival in 2005 and 2007, produced the omnibus of 13 filmmakers of Surabaya that was screened in a Java-to-Bali roadshow from February 2008 to June 2009 with enthusiastic appreciation. Infis has also produced an educational film on natural disaster supported by Japan Foundation with Calon Sineas Pelajar Surabaya in 2014. Since 2010, Infis has collaborated with media, organizations, institutions, communities, and companies, as well as aspires to be a production house that improves East Java films from both the quality and quantity.