Empowering Communities and Celebrating Cultural Heritage: The Story Behind "Purun"


Indonesia's rich cultural heritage and contemporary creativity dazzled the global stage as the fashion film "Purun" by Merdi Sihombing, directed by Ignatius Raditya Bhramanta, clinched a prestigious victory at the 2024 PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival - Fashion Film Awards held last February. This remarkable achievement highlights the extraordinary talents of Indonesian filmmakers and designers, strengthening their voices on the global stage.

"It is an honor to tell this story and share it with the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to do what I love. Through this film, I want to express that there is so much richness on this earth. Even the wild-growing purun plants can be transformed into high-value artistic works, providing livelihoods for rural communities. Conceptually, the film is like a documentary, but with a contemporary touch to create aesthetic cinematography," said Ignatius Raditya Bhramanta, director of the film Purun, also known as Bramsky.

"The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia proudly welcomes the outstanding victory of the fashion film 'Purun' at the Melbourne Fashion Festival - Fashion Film Awards 2024," said Ni Made Ayu Marthini, Deputy Marketing Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, "This achievement is not only a success for the Indonesian fashion and film industries but also strengthens Indonesia's position on the global stage."

The film "Purun" tells a touching story that celebrates hidden treasures: the purun plants, Indonesia's natural resources. Set in the peatlands of South Kalimantan and South Sumatra, the film was created as a report on the women empowerment program in these two areas, a program by the Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG), funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

"I am honored to contribute by teaching them traditional craft techniques. With these skills, they can turn the wild-growing purun plants into beautiful high-value everyday products. This creation has the potential to become a sustainable source of income for these communities. Directed by the visionary Bramsky and supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy/Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, as well as the Innovation & Creativity Arena of Gadjah Mada University (GIK UGM), 'Purun' invites audiences on a captivating journey, witnessing the blend of cultural heritage, innovative spirit, and breathtaking natural beauty, showcasing how this program has successfully empowered women who are the backbone of family economies in peatlands by transforming local resources into economic opportunities, ultimately improving their welfare," said Merdi Sihombing, Traditional Fashion Designer, and creator of the film Purun.

"The victory of 'Purun' is well-deserved. This film captures and harnesses the storytelling power of culture, heritage, and a designer working alongside his community to honor traditional crafts and fibers. The merging of a designer's vision and inherited skills into a contemporary context," added Caroline Ralphsmith, CEO of the PayPal Melbourne Fashion Festival.

"Film Purun is a creative medium that portrays the cultural heritage of women's weaving in peatlands. Adding value to purun as quality fashion products will support the community economy in managing sustainable peatland ecosystems," said Nazir Foead, Head of the Indonesian Peatland Restoration Agency 2016-2020.

"GIK UGM extends heartfelt congratulations to the entire 'Purun' film team. This victory demonstrates the tremendous transformative potential when Indonesian creators are given the platform and support they rightfully deserve. 'Purun' offers more than just beautiful visuals. This film raises awareness about sustainable practices, respects traditional knowledge, and inspires global designers to revisit their own cultural roots for innovation. 'Purun' proves that ethical fashion and excellent cinematography can go hand in hand. We are very excited to see more impactful collaborations that will emerge from Indonesian artists in the future," said Myra Suraryo, CEO Ad-Interim, Innovation & Creativity Arena of Gadjah Mada University (GIK UGM).

This victory underscores the ability of fashion films to transcend national boundaries and trigger global conversations about sustainability, cultural preservation, and the transformative power of design. "Purun" serves as an inspiration for Indonesian creatives, showcasing the potential to reach international audiences through captivating narratives rich in culture.

#THE S MEDIA #Media Milenial #Fashion Film #Indonesian Culture #Cultural Heritage #Women Empowerment #Sustainable Fashion #Environmental Conservation #Community Development #Traditional Crafts #Peatland Restoration #Global Recognition