A Long Road to First Fellowship

a pin/Harry Febrian
a pin/Harry Febrian

It’s probably easier to celebrate glorious moment rather than reflecting on the long hard process behind it.

I was once again reminded by this simple fact at the end of my NFP fellowship November last year. The fellowship — fully funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs — last only for 3 weeks, and it was a wonderful one. But behind it, there was 10 months long preparation, and probably much more than that.

It was all started in February 2016, as I first got the information about the course: Producing Media to Counter Radicalisation. It was held by RNTC, part of RNW Media, Netherland.

According to its website, RNW Media is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. Nowadays it transforms into a multimedia organisation promoting free speech in countries where freedom of expression is severely restricted.

I started my application for Netherlands Fellowships Programme in March 2016. It took 3 months to know the result. And with much luck, I was accepted.

First day of class/ Harry Febrian
First day of class/ Harry Febrian

It sounds easy when you put it in words, but it was anything but easy back then. To be honest, I cannot remember exactly how I got known about NFP because there are so many types of scholarships/fellowships that I read regularly and try to familiarize myself with. This particular habit can be traced back to 2009, when I first tried my luck to go abroad by applying to AMINEF Undergraduate Exchange Program and failed miserably: I didn’t even finish the application process, although I’ve got my TOEFL test result already.

To think about it, I owed several people along my line of study in high school and undergraduate that helped to nurture this dream to go abroad, which I still hold very dearly until today.

The AMINEF failure was an insightful one, though. I procrastinated a lot, but it taught me not to give up halfway trying. After that, all I know is trying, trying, and trying, without thinking much about the result. Continue reading “A Long Road to First Fellowship”


Ending Another Year

First Day of Fellowship/Harry Febrian

And here we go again. As cliché as it sounds, time do really flies–perhaps faster as we become older. When I woke up this morning, kinda hard to believe that it’s 2017 already. Last year was an interesting year. Many people freaked out at what happened in 2016. Some so creative they made 2016 as a horror movie. Other, as a comedy.

Despite of this, I personally thought that 2016, especially the last quarter, was one of the best years I had. To be honest, I tried to remember what happened earlier in 2016, but my short term memory loss really had me. So I turned to Facebook to help remind me of what I’d been through the whole year. Continue reading “Ending Another Year”


Dear friend, self promotion is, ehm, a little bit awkward for me :D. But I need some help from you all! I’m participating in a cultural program from Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports, to help me conduct some research. If you don’t mind, please help me to LIKE this Youtube video. Any help will be much appreciated 😀

thanks all!




Entah mengapa, agaknya akan selalu ada yang istimewa dengan 25 sehingga kadang Ia diasosiasikan dengan kualitas perak, si logam mulia itu, seperti di ulang tahun perkawinan. Dalam panjang nafas seorang, Ia boleh disebut telah hidup “seperempat abad” lamanya.

Padahal mulanya 25, seperti juga 24 sebelum atau 26 sesudahnya, sekedar angka biasa yang bahkan baru ditemukan oleh bangsa India tahun 500 Masehi. Namun ketika bergandeng dengan usia, 25 tidak mampir sebagai angka belaka, tapi juga makna—sebuah maksud atau pengertian yang diberikan— macam “perak” dan “seperempat abad” tadi.

Ia bisa membanggakan, jadi tanda sebuah kematangan, syukur jika kedewasaan. Tapi kadang tentu menakutkan. Banyak yang bilang, seiring waktu, kita makin jarang melihat usia dengan simbol matematika “tambah,” ketimbang dengan “kurang.” Semakin tua, kita lebih sering menghitung waktu yang tersisa, daripada momen yang sudah dilewati sejak permulaan. Jika tahun ini, angka harapan hidup di Indonesia ialah 72 tahun, mencapai 25 berarti hidup hanya tinggal kurang dari dua pertiga. Menginjak 25, dengan kata lain, ialah menjadi tua.

Dan siapa yang tak takut menjadi tua? Continue reading “25”

Don’t Just Write Words

In a 1985 book, Gary Provost created this tour de force to demonstrate what happens when the writer experiments with sentences of different lengths:

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.”

“Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length.”

“And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals — sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”

So write with a combination of short, medium, and long sentences.

Create a sound that pleases the reader’s ear.

Don’t just write words. Write music.


Quoted in 50 Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark



Ang Lee: A Never-Ending Dream

source: http://timgrierson.blogspot.tw/2012/11/hell-yeah-ang-lee.html
source: http://timgrierson.blogspot.tw/2012/11/hell-yeah-ang-lee.html

In 1978, as I applied to study film at the University of Illinois, my father vehemently objected. He quoted me a statistic: ‘Every year, 50,000 performers compete for 200 available roles on Broadway.’ Against his advice, I boarded a flight to the U.S. This strained our relationship. In the two decades following, we exchanged less than a hundred phrases in conversation.

Some years later, when I graduated film school, I came to comprehend my father’s concern. It was nearly unheard of for a Chinese newcomer to make it in the American film industry. Beginning in 1983, I struggled through six years of agonizing, hopeless uncertainty. Much of the time, I was helping film crews with their equipment or working as editor’s assistant, among other miscellaneous duties. My most painful experience involved shopping a screenplay at more than thirty different production companies, and being met with harsh rejection each time.

That year, I turned 30. There’s an old Chinese saying: ‘At 30, one stands firm.’ Yet, I couldn’t even support myself. What could I do? Keep waiting, or give up my movie-making dream? My wife gave me invaluable support. Continue reading “Ang Lee: A Never-Ending Dream”

Kereta Terakhir


Di situ, di kereta terakhir antara Xindan-Damsui, ada beragam kisah yang sudah setengah berjalan.

Ia tidak semeriah kereta ekonomi Jakarta-Depok tentu, yang entah bagaimana bisa menyimpan miniatur kehidupan dalam gerbong sempit tak berpintu. Tak ada bocah bertelanjang kaki, yang mengais-ngais sisa sampah sambil menadah tangan. Atau para pemusik bergaya orkestra yang tertawa riang menggesek biola kusam meski edaran kantung kresek hanya menghasilkan angin lalu.

Yang ada: sepasang berciuman seolah esok tiada lagi. Dua pirang berpakaian ala harajuku yang bercakap Jawa. Seorang tertidur pulas di pojokan. Continue reading “Kereta Terakhir”