Help is on the Way

Dir. by Ismail Fahmi Lubis, Indonesia, Taiwan, 2020, 90´ & 52´

EBS IDFF South Korea, Taiwan IDFF (postponed to 2021), Balinale, Dili IFF, Hong Kong IDFF, Dokumenter IFF – Best Film in Feature International Competition, Nepal Mountain IFF, US Premiere: Thin Line Film Festival Texas, German premiere: Freiburger Film Forum, Darwin IFF Australia, Indonesian FF Melbourne; Broadcasters: PTS Taiwan, Go Play, EBS South Korea

Awards – Best Film in Dokumentar Film Festival Indonesia

Territories: World except of Indonesia & Taiwan

Dreams and realities of human migration.

Within the corrupt systems of recruitment, training and placement, millions of rural Indonesian women place their hopes and dreams in domestic care roles overseas. Can competent help be delivered when the path is broken?

Help Is On The Way brings to the screen a busy training center in Indonesia preparing women to work overseas as domestic workers. Every year, hundreds of women like Sukma, Meri, Muji and Tari are recruited by local agents who are remunerated after successfully seeing their recruits enrolled and placed abroad. They are among the many women from rural areas aspiring to work in countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. It is at times an emotional journey, but also funny, enlightening and a little competitive, offering a unique insight into a lifestyle not often seen on screen.

Category: Social Issues, Human Rights, women, work, SE Asia, slavery, migration 

Help Is On The Way is able to touch on other crucial issues, such as migration, social class, gender and labour rights.

Akbar Rafsanjani, SINdie


Ismail is one of Indonesia’s premiere documentary filmmakers. Ismail has directed two feature documentaries before Help is on the Way; Masked Monkey – The Evolution of Darwin’s Theory (2014) and Tarling is Darling (2017). Tarling is Darling premiered at Busan International Film Festival. Both films screened at the Taiwan International Film Festival with Tarling is Darling winning a Special Jury Mention award in 2018.




Composer Arlo Picasso Enemark

Sound Designer Hadrianus Eko

Executive Producer Amelia Hapsari & Wuan-Ling Guo

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