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Production   /  Alex Savvides

Freedom Street

14000 refugees are trapped in limbo; caught in the crossfire of Australia’s border policy and Indonesia’s indifference.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Alfred Pek

  • PRODUCER Alex Savvides, Malcolm McLennan, William Cheung



Freedom Street is the harrowing story of Joniad, Ashfaq and Azizah, three refugees who have been stuck in Makassar, Indonesia for several years as a result of Australia’s border policy. There are currently around 14000 refugees in Indonesia and every day their hopes for resettlement are diminishing. Freedom Street presents the refugees’ stories while deconstructing Australian policy in a series of conversations with various experts. The experts provide insight into Australia’s long history of border control and Australian-Indonesian relations which serve to contextualise the struggle of our three protagonists as they look towards an uncertain future. The documentary highlights the cost of Australia’s undemocratic policies both on the refugees and the Australian taxpayer while urgently sounding the alarm for meaningful and humane solutions to an ever-worsening issue.

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1.89% funded
  • $200,000.00

  • $3,780.00

  • 31st August 2022

  • 55

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

There are currently around 14000 refugees stuck in Indonesia as a direct result of Australian policy, which runs counter to the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (of which Australia is a signatory). Most of these refugees are trapped there, living in despicable conditions, without any rights, very little money and no hope for resettlement. The Australian public is ill-informed not only about the refugees’ situation but also about the harmful effects of Australia’s undemocratic policies that are expensive on the taxpayer. This film aims to shine a light on the refugee struggle in the region and Australia’s hand in it as well as give ideas for possible solutions. We hope it will enlighten and inspire people in order to take a stand for meaningful change that will give refugees a chance for a better future.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Our film aims to raise awareness about the experience of refugees who are stuck in Indonesia for years and years with little or no hope of resettlement. We aim to educate people on how Australian policy on refugees is expensive on the taxpayer while also harming these refugees. We want to make people understand that this policy is not sustainable and we want to inspire them to raise their voices in favour of a more humane approach towards this issue.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Our first goal is for this film to be seen widely across Australia and the world and through that increase awareness and sensitivity toward refugees and their plight. In addition to this, we want to help create a more organised and louder voice for policy change. We want to promote a frank discussion on Australia’s role in the Southeast Asian region and be part of an organised effort to provide resettlement for refugees who are trapped in Indonesia.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Our documentary aims to achieve its outcomes through partnership with refugee advocate groups and groups that promote social change. We hope to arrange screenings for these organisations as well as direct them to our website (currently in development) which will provide information on the issues presented in the documentary as well as relevant petitions which support a meaningful change to refugee policy. We also hope that with the support of advocates we can arrange screenings for audiences who are uninformed or misinformed about the consequences of Australia’s refugee policy so that we can reach a wider audience. We intend to apply to multiple film festivals in order to raise awareness and create more buzz around the documentary.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We have been in touch with many refugee organisations and several academics featured in the film in order to find a way to work together to increase the social impact of the documentary. We have attended a meeting with People Just Like Us and have the support of the Refugee Council of Australia. We hope to arrange screenings with their support and participation.

We have also been in contact with This is 42 and the Sydney University Southeast Asia Centre and are seeking out other organisations and academics so that we can further educate and deliver the message of the documentary. Through our contacts with the above, we have garnered useful feedback and input that has helped shape the documentary and its impact campaign.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Our aim is to inspire viewers to act after seeing this film. We want them to seek out refugee organisations, get to know people from refugee backgrounds and get in contact with their local representatives. We hope that through learning the truth about refugees and Australian policy we can unite people against those policies that harm refugees so that we can bring these issues to the attention of the media and the politicians who can effect lasting change. We hope to encourage people to volunteer with organisations who support asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We will work with various organisations in order to find ways to measure the success of the project. This might take the form of surveys at screenings with key impact groups and especially during Refugee Week that can help us look at the diversity of audiences who attended the screenings and their reaction to the information presented in the documentary. Furthermore, we will arrange post-screening Q&As where we hope to receive feedback as well as open our website for comments. We will also have links on our website to organisations who support asylum seekers and refugees as well as relevant petitions and we can track the number of users that go through our website. Through the above we can assess the outcomes and the social impact of our film and campaign.