This profile was prepared when Lexy Rambadetta was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
The New Idea
Lexy is taking advantage of Indonesia’s increasing press freedom and the rise of digital media to train young documentary filmmakers and develop public interest in documentary film journalism. In order to create the foundation for effective documentary film journalism, especially in a nation where this medium has been almost silent, he is training and supporting dozens of young documentary makers to build the nation’s capacity both to create and receive interesting and informative documentaries. Lexy is stimulating public demand for documentary journalism through a program devoted to film literacy, concentrating on films that expose human and civil right’s violations. He is also engaging youth to document issues and events so that future citizens will better understand their history, and bring awareness to rights violations and injustice throughout Indonesia. This information is invaluable for present and future generations to motivate people to understand their rights and create positive social and political change.Lexy takes on young documentary journalists as interns, giving them the opportunity to have on-the-job experience with his production company. The training includes the fundamentals of video production and journalistic standards, focusing on how to tell rich, substantive stories rooted in fact. To date, approximately 30 filmmakers have apprenticed with him, producing dozens of full-length documentaries and thousands of video shorts. Lexy is engaging the Indonesian public by increasing the reach and impact of film in Indonesia by distributing his and his student’s films and creating in-school and online venues for extended discussions of the issues they raise.Lexy has also established a visual archive of Indonesia to capture the lives of ordinary Indonesian citizens during this century. This includes the documentation of large-scale public events in an effort to record history while allowing citizens to participate in recording their own history. To provide easier access to all of the films, Lexy has set up an Internet-based micro-TV platform, www.offstream.tv, where the public can view the films, interviews, and recorded civic discussions. The site, which currently offers close to 7,000 hours of documentary footage, serves as a community forum: Young documentary filmmakers can post their work, community members can upload personal videos and photographs, and viewers can participate in dialogue and discussion.