TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


Tale of the Land

Loeloe Hendra, Siska Raharja



Kalimantan, Indonesia. A conflict about indigenous lands a decade ago has left a long lasting trauma in a Dayak girl named May. At the time, she was saved from the slaughter by an old man named Tuha, a neighbour. Tuha took her with him to live in exile on the water. Since then, May lives in a floating house and has never returned to the land, not even to her homeland, which has become a mining site and a palm oil plantation.
Every time May sets her foot on firm ground, she falls unconscious. She thinks she is cursed. One day, May meets Lawa, a teenage boy who reignites her attraction towards reconnecting with the land. With Lawa’s help, May makes several attempts to return, despite Tuha’s warnings of the dark sides of the land.


I spent my childhood in Kalimantan filled with beautiful folktales and myths. When I returned there, those childhood memories seemed to disappear: land exploited for palm oil plantation and mining has made such a great impact in Kalimantan.
A story of a Dayak girl who cannot set her foot on the land is a folktale which I made up to respond to current events. This tale is an allegory of the Dayak tribe as Kalimantan’s indigenous people who cannot live freely in their own land. An allegory that triggers an essential question: what if humans were unable to live on land?
This film is my representation of those who were marginalised. The entire film will be shot on a lake. The land becomes something that is foreign and forbidden. The visuals and the sounds in this film will present alienated and depressed psychological conditions, yet at the same time, fused with a strong curiosity for the land.

budget, distribution & sales

“Tale of the Land” uses a universal approach to combine several themes: land exploitation, indigenous people, human rights and family ties. Because of this, we target funding opportunities from both local and international NGOs that focus on similar issues. This project has been supported by Naladwipa Institute in terms of support on the research on Dayak indigenous people and has an on-going negotiation with the East Kalimantan provincial government, as well as several other national institutes. This project is in the development stage with a total production budget of € 516.909. We are currently engaged with the Indonesian partner Super 8mm Studio; this project is also supported by Focused Equipment for camera equipment: the co-production is valued at € 106.000. Our current financial need is € 410.909. TorinoFilmLab is our foothold to prepare while still looking for international partners to realize this project. “Tale of the Land” aims to be screened in various international film festivals and to reach a wide audience through various channels of distribution.


A girl is suffering from a peculiar syndrome: she faints every time she steps on the land.
Loeloe Hendra

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Siska Raharja


production notes

original title
Tale of the Land

directed by
Loeloe Hendra

produced byElora Production
Rotowijayan Street no.9
55132, Yogyakarta
Indonesia, Indonesia

in co-production with
Super 8mm Studio – Indonesia

total production budget
€ 516.909