The heading on the email read, “Censorship reform attempt in Indonesia”. It was a message from Lalu Roisamri, Programme Director of the Jakarta International Film Festival.

I hope you still remember our festival, although it will remind you of a bad memory that your film was banned at our festival.

Oh boy do we remember showing up in Jakarta and being informed three hours before the screening that Passabe was considered too sensitive for Indonesian viewers. The festival was great fun nonetheless, and before we left, Lalu promised to try and get our film past the censors the following year. But despite repeated appeals, the authorities wouldn’t budge and the ban on Passabe remains to this day.

This year though, new developments are afoot. A movement aimed at putting an end to censorship in Indonesia is underway.

We are now going to the constitutional court… we will be backed by champions of democracy including former President Abdurrahman Wahid…

Hats off to Lalu and the rest of his team for their persistence. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.