In your own words:
EngageMedia (EM): Why did you decide to work with the moving image?
Adithio Noviello (AN): I love telling stories, especially those that needed to be told. People can tell their tales through different mediums.
I studied Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. A very conceptual-based course, where we explore different ways to stimulate the audience through different practices. I chose to use more video work to tell my stories so my pieces would be projected directly to the eyes of the audience, not just through stage, but also digitally.
EM: What are the main issues you address in your video work?
AN: I address different issues, but what I love addressing most is personal struggle in human beings and stories of overcoming them, to hopefully show my audience to not take for granted for what they have in their lives.
EM: What do you think about making good works versus making money?
AN: We live to work and we need to work to live. In a perfect world, we would be making money by doing the things we love. But, unfortunately, we live in a world that is far from that.
The idea of money overpowers everything, but people would argue that love is the closest thing to challenge that idea.
To me, the path of the filmmaker is about hunger and sacrifice. We have to be brave to carry on making these real sacrifices, just so we can get our work done. If you don’t have the passion and the love for this, get a real a job.
EM: What are you doing now in Indonesia?
AN: Every two to three years, I visit my family in Indonesia. My last visit prompted me to make the decision to move out here for a year. I chose Bali, not just for obvious reasons but because of the rich culture they have kept despite the tourism, and also to help my aunt with her catering while I’m on my days off from filming.
I have completed a music video in Jakarta and have set up different photoshoots. I also plan to travel to different parts of the country to do some “backpack filmmaking” and to visit different spots. Hopefully, haunted ones, too, because I’m cool like that.
EM: Tell us about your Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) work.
AN: Every time I visit Bali, I have an amazing time and, living here for the past two months, people have been welcoming. I have made a few good friends and also enjoy what the island has to offer. Nothing is ever perfect.
It breaks my heart, when I see, in every corner, these poor neglected street dogs. As you may know by now, I’m a huge dog lover and, coming from London where mistreating animals are punishable by hefty fines and imprisonment, I’m always shocked and appalled by the situation.
Bali Animal Welfare Association is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of animals on the island. BAWA’s mission is to relieve suffering and overpopulation by providing medical care, street feeding and adoption.
After learning a lot about BAWA, I decided to offer my services by making short documentaries about the organisation and their programs. To help spread the good name of BAWA and their hard work and also to educate the audience.
Please donate what you can to this wonderful organisation at www.bawabali.com.
EM: How many videos have you produced?
AN: I have produced a few documentaries, and a string of music videos. I’m looking to add more documentaries to my portfolio during this year in Indonesia.
EM: How do you use online tools in your work?
AN: People would agree that marketing is where the art is. You should always take advantage of what is in front of your computer screen, because most people are now too lazy to go out and look for stimulation.
In the past 10 years, social networks are where you get your customers and your target audience. I do what I think a lot of filmmakers would do: when I finish a video, I upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and completely spam Facebook and Twitter. You’d be surprised by how a couple of hours of pestering your friends would do wonders for your view counts.
EM: Tell us more about Carrying On: Adhe’s Story. What does it feel like working on a personal story close to home?
AN: In March 2010, my brother Adhe was attacked by an opposing school rugby team during a match in Singapore. During this attack, Adhe tore his carotid artery, which then caused a blood clot, in turn causing him to have a stroke. Adhe was only 17 years old. This attack was then covered up as an accident but, in my heart of hearts, I knew this was deliberate. That day changed our lives forever.
Carrying On: Adhe’s Story was set on his 18th birthday, a year and six months after the incident. To see him competing in a charity bicycle race, after seeing him in a coma in an ICU, was truly the proudest moment. Sheer dedication, hard work and a dash of divine intervention were something I wanted to show. Adhe and his story have been, and always will be, a true inspiration for me.
EM: What’s the difference between shooting in Indonesia and the UK?
AN: For one, the costs! I directed a music video for a metal band in March in Indonesia, where we rented one HMI, three redheads, one diva lite, a track dolly, smoke machine and the location for around £100. In the UK … I won’t even bother telling you, because that’s how expensive it is.
Also, after being born and raised in London, I needed a change of lifestyle and I needed inspiration.
London is an amazing city, but you just need to step out of your comfort zone to find something even more amazing. Ever since I’ve been in Indonesia, the stories I hear about the people, the culture, the taboos, the tradition and the food has been nothing but an eye-opener – something I was looking for, when I was in London. It has been a culture shock, I’m just glad I got it all on video.
EM: What impact do you think you have made with your videos?
AN: I would like to think I have made a positive impact. Not just on my critics and my audience, but also more on the people I film in my documentaries. I hear their stories, I feel their struggle and it’s my job to help them tell their tales, and hopefully make a difference to their world.
I realised that money is not the only thing in the world that’s important to me, although it would be nice to get paid for telling stories.
If you know of any interesting filmmakers around the Asia Pacific that you’d like to see featured on EngageMedia.org, write to us today!