The Flame (Bara)

Director: Arfan Sabran

Indonesia, 2021



As a native Dayak of Borneo, Iber Djamal (77) has witnessed two decades of ecological disasters that have destroyed Borneo’s forest. With the time he has left in his life, he is fighting to obtain a legal title for the remaining customary forest surrounding his home. With the expansion of palm oil plantations, indigenous Dayak people like him are asked to sign an agreement for the companies to further encroach their forest. Iber insists on pursuing the only legal way to protect the forest by obtaining a legal customary forest title for the remaining forest in his area.

About Director

Arfan is an Indonesian documentary filmmaker. Born in Makassar, his debut documentary, “Suster Apung” (The Floating Nurse) won Best Film at the Eagle Awards in 2006. Arfan’s films are known for having a strong visual aesthetic and for uncovering powerful, unique and colorful characters that audiences feel a personal connection with.In 2009, Arfan had the opportunity to be tutored by director Leonard Ratel Hamrich and produce a short documentary film entitled Paotere (The Fish Market). This film has also received several awards both nationally and internationally. His short documentary Silent Blues of the Ocean (2016) won in Denpasar Film Festival 2016 and official selection of the 13th “Pêcheurs du monde” Film Festival 2021 in Lorient, France. Arfan’s last documentary production was “Rabiah dan Mimi” which was the sequel to his first film “Suster Apung”. This film project successfully won the Tokyo Docs Film Festival pitching forum in 2019 and managed to get international co-production with TBS Sparkle and will be premiered on NHK Japan. The Flame is Arfan’s first feature length documentary.


Director: Arfan Sabran

Producer: Gita Fara