Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens In Australia

Director: John Hughes
Year: 2009
Duration: 90mins

Two weeks after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Indonesian Independence leaders proclaimed “Indonesia Merdeka!”: ‘Freedom!’ for a new Indonesian Republic and an end to Dutch colonial rule. Internationally renowned Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens, here in Australia as Film Commissioner for the Netherlands East Indies government in exile, resigned his position and in collaboration with Indonesian activists, Chinese, Indian and Australian trade unionists, and local artists and filmmakers, made Indonesia Calling a film documenting the crucial role of Australian trade union support in the establishment of the new Indonesian Republic.

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia recalls the birth of Indonesia, and the impact of a small film, made at a moment of crisis, on Australia’s relations with its northern neighbor and it’s legacy for Australian documentary film culture.

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia had it’s World Premiere screening at Melbourne International Film Festival on Saturday 25th July, 2009. The International premiere screening took place at IDFA on Friday 20th November, 2009.

DVD Release
A DVD of the feature with extras for private use, library, school or university sales is now available from Contemporary Art Films

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia went to air on ABC1, January 25, 2010 and ABC2 at 7.30pm on Sunday 5th December, 2010.

REVIEWS Visit ‘The Stacks’ for reviews and further information about the film.

Production Credit

Writer, Director John Hughes,
Editor, Graphics, Design Uri Mizrahi, Music Brett Aplin,
Producers Johh Hughes, Andrea Foxworthy.

Full production credits are available in the Press Kit

An Early Works production in association with Screen Australia, Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund,Film Victoria and ABC TV.


  • Winner, Best Documentary: Public Broadcast (John Hughes), Australian Writer’s Guild Awards (AWGIE Awards), 2010.
  • Nominated, Documentary Feature Award, Australian Directors Guild Awards, 2010.
  • Nominated, FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize, Sydney Film Festival, 2010.
  • Official Selection, Sydney Film Festival, 2010.
  • Official Selection, IDFA, 2009.
  • Official Selection, Melbourne International Film Festival, 2009.
  • Official Selection, Brisbane International Film Festival, 2009.
  • Official Selection, Halls Gap Film Festival, Australia 2009.

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