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NEWTOPIA is about one of the last remaining traditional societies in the world. The director, Audun Amundsen, becomes adopted by a clan deep in the jungle of Indonesia and follows the shaman Aman Paksa for 13 years. In this period they basically go through 10 000 years of socio cultural evolution. Amundsen has managed to capture the events of a drastic paradigm shift towards modernity. Paddling oars are being exchanged with motors, barter to money, and the muddy tracks in the jungle become highways. In the beginning we meet our main character Aman Paksa as a strong, happy and confident man in his best age, but as time moves on he feels like he is caught off guard by the modern world. He and the clan start to crave for bigger, better, faster and shinier. Money and things become their new obsession. At the same time Aman Paksa senses Amundsen’s negative emotions towards his struggle to catch up with the rest of the world. Where Aman Paksa sees possibilities, Amundsen sees destruction. Aman Paksa is going through a tremendous lifestyle change and his belief systems are continuously challenged. He is drawn between two worlds that are almost impossible to unite. Everything seems unpredictable in this battle of trying to make sensible choices. A beautiful mind is revealed, but also one that holds the same human flaws and imperfections as anyone, whether you are from the western world or a traditional culture. In the end he changes Amundsen’s mind and together they undertake an epic journey from the remote jungle to the buzzing metropolis of Jakarta. Aman Paksa has started to consider Audun his son, but in the city their roles are turned up side down. Gradually Aman Paksa loses touch with his environment as he tries to adapt to the world around him that is made up of religion and money. Can he find a way back to his roots, or is it too late? The personal story arc of Aman Paksa is dramatic and full of twists and turns. This goes for the director and narrator of the story as well. Newtopia is an intimate, positive, warm and humorous film, but also thought-provoking. Not only does the film describe an unlikely friendship, but it profoundly raises the question of how we should form our future. Aspirations and ambitions are not western privileges, nor greed and lust, and this film will challenge common misconceptions of a pure and virtuous tribal people deliberately sheltered from modern possibilities.


NEWTOPIA will bring the viewer into the middle of a historical paradigm shift as a traditional society turn to modern lifestyle. I was bewildered and spellbound by their life at one with nature, so I decided to learn their unwritten language via Indonesian, buy a camera and document their way of life. Initially my goal was to show this amazing culture to the rest of the world, but my project became much bigger than I imagined. I ended up documenting pivotal moments in the life of a traditional tribal family that never will be seen again. What started out as something that could have turned into exotification, became something that affected everyone involved to the core. My project turned into a personal character driven and creative documentary. I have become a part of the clan, and have been granted unlimited access to their community. My position gradually changes in the film as I become more emotionally attached to Aman Paksa and his family. I will connect and guide the viewer with my voiceover, and it is clear that this voiceover comes from a western mind trying to make sense of the situation. However, Aman Paksa is clearly the main character and dominates the direction of the film. The visual style of the film is raw and intimate, and the sound landscape will follow the progression of the film, going from organic to mechanical and further into a futuristic style towards the end. I realize that my vision about a pure and natural people was fueled by a false romantic fairytale fantasy. With NEWTOPIA I want to add new perspectives to modernization in a broader and more nuanced context, and I will show that there are many complex aspects to address when it comes to traditional societies and their interaction with the modern world. NEWTOPIA will become a refreshing story that leaves the viewer with hope and a sense of relief.


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Can we help you? If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. If you want to pay using GoPay instead of Paypal or Stripe, let me know. Thank you. Best wishes, Audun Amundsen (Director of Newtopia)