Isaac Kerlow is an independent filmmaker and digital art pioneer based in Los Angeles. His work bridges innovative storytelling, education and creative exploration, and his work has been recognized internationally. Kerlow lived and worked in Asia for 15 years, where he was Executive Creative Director and Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS). His team specialized in developing and producing interactive games and movies to improve the level of natural hazard preparedness in high-risk communities and the general public. Many of Kerlow’s projects are interdisciplinary collaborations with research groups and creators throughout the world. His Earth Girl strategy game was awarded with a National Research Foundation Interactive Media Award, and he received the prestigious AXA Research Fund award in Paris, France. Kerlow is Founding Dean of the first professional art school in Singapore: School of Art, Design and Media at the Nanyang Technological University, and Founding Chair of legendary Department of Computer Graphics and Interactive Media at Pratt Institute in New York.

The 2004 tsunami devastated the community in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, and accelerated the end of the civil war in this deeply religious region. A handful of survivors, men and women, tell their odyssey and question the community’s preparedness to face natural risks of this scale. How does a community keep life together after surviving a civil war and a massive natural disaster? Tsunami of New Dreams is a documentary about the impact of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the Banda Aceh community.

On 26 Dec. 2004 one of the largest underwater earthquakes ever recorded struck 50 kilometers off the coast of Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The estimated number of dead and missing from the 2004 tsunami in Aceh alone is around 167,000 people. It is estimated that about 65-70% of the casualties were female. The events in this movie may have happened almost twenty years ago, but they resonate in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Massive loss of life can happen when communities are unprepared against natural hazards.

The goal of this documentary film is to present the wide range of emotions experienced by survivors during and after the tsunami instead of focusing on quantitative information and technical explanations. Disaster survivors tell their tale of survival and re-evaluate the roles of faith and scientific knowledge to minimize future disasters. The survivors’ testimonies expose the contradicting opinions about science-based disaster preparedness often found in this religious province governed by Sharia Law.

This special session will preview the short version of Tsunami of New Dreams, followed by depth insights from the documentary director—Professor Isaac Kerlow, his thoughts, emotions, and experience on the pre-present-post of the filmmaking process.

Date : 27 October 2021
Time : 10:30 – 12:30 (WIB)
Venue : Online via Zoom
Contact Person : Rizanna Rosemary

Ph: +6282163711064

Email: rizanna.rosemary@unsiah.ac.id