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Production   /  Jolyon Hoff

Farahanaz and The Forgotten People

Farahnaz, discovered a new world of possibilities in Indonesia. Will that world ever give her a chance?


Impact areas






  • DIRECTOR Jolyon Hoff

  • PRODUCER Caroline (Man) Legoe



"I'm not going to wait for them to give me what is mine. I will take it." Farahnaz Salehi
Farahnaz is a young woman who is ready for the world, but will that world will ever give her a chance. When she was 13 she
joined the first refugee-led school in Indonesia, free from patriarchal Afghanistan and surrounded by an explosion of positive
refugee agency, she discovered she could be more than a housewife and mother.
Farahnaz dived into the opportunities at the school, fell in love with art and became the school’s art teacher. But refugees have no
control; it is others who make decisions about their lives. Her family is falling apart, her mother is stressed, and her father deeply
depressed. There are ten in the family and they have lived in limbo for 10 years. Covid-19 means that the little support they
received from overseas has disappeared.
In “The Forgotten People” Farahnaz turns the camera on herself, sharing her inner thoughts and plans through intimate diary-style
videos. We meet a woman whose journey from girl to woman has mirrored her external journey from student to teacher. It’s a
journey which has already seen her break from her culturally-bound gender limitations, but now she is taking on a larger force —
the world which keeps her physically stuck in Indonesia as a refugee.
What I have decided, I'm sure can change my life, and also I'm gonna change my families life. I will be a role model for others, I
want to be. And I can do it. I am sure.
As Farahnaz struggles to find a solution for herself she films the other refugee women in the community and reflects on their
journeys, and we meet an entire community also determined to change their lives and situation.
We don’t know if Farahnaz will make it, and what that even looks like. Neither does she, but as her ambition and personal growth
collide with the reality of her situation, we desperately hope she succeeds.

Support this project

36.50% funded
  • $90,000.00

  • $32,850.00

  • 1st January 1970

  • 4

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





Bokhara Foundation $20,000.00
Jill Kirshner $4,200.00
Jill McKay $50.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Over the past 20 years Australia has undermined its position as a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and, in 2013, our ‘stop the boats’ campaign became an inspiration for other inward looking countries.

With the support of individual Australians and years of hard work, the refugees who were stuck in Indonesia have started a refugee-led education revolution. There are now over ten refugee-led schools and nearly 2000 refugees getting education from 100 volunteer refugee teachers in Indonesia.

Their community is a real-life example of what can happen when our two communities work together. They provide an ongoing education opportunity for Australians and are an important part of Australia’s growth, as we become the liberal, multi-cultural and humane global leader that we aspire to be.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The refugee community in Indonesia has built an active education and school community and is an example of what is possible when refugees and non-refugees work together. This community provides Australians with an opportunity to connect and learn about the refugees who had hoped to contribute to our society. This film and our distribution strategy is the first step in connecting our two communities.


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

The Staging Post documentary was an integral communications element and helped build a borderless community between Australians and refugees living in transit. We plan to continue to grow this borderless community and to create ongoing two-way education opportunities for Australians and the transient refugee community in Indonesia and South-East Asia.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Our film presents a non-political human face to the refugee situation and allows the audience to connect with its characters, before allowing the audience to make their own decisions about the current political situation in Australia and worldwide.


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

We have positive partnerships and relationships with most refugee advocacy organisations in Australia, as well as direct relationships with community groups, universities and schools around Australia and Internationally.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

We hope they will accompany the refugees in Indonesia, on social media or otherwise, and that they will consider Australia's refugee position and its effect on our role as a leading liberal democracy.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We have two goals. One is to accompany the refugees in transit for as long as they need. The second is to provide the opportunity for Australians to connect directly with the refugees and to create education opportunities.

Ultimately we hope that this will create a well-informed and empathetic mainstream Australia and that it will influence the leaders-of-tomorrow to review Australia's refugee policies.