40 Days in Europe: The Film

A feature film based on true story about young Indonesian musicians who faced an impossible journey


40 Days in Europe is not a documentary film. It is a feature film based on a true story about a group of young Indonesian musicians who faced an impossible journey when landed in Europe. The film is adapted from a memoir with the same title by Maulana M. Syuhada.


When a teen conductor of a secondary school angklung group found his team in financial crisis and on the verge of division during a 40 day-cultural mission in Europe, he had to remove his ego and show his leadership or the team would fall apart.


The idea to make this film appeared when I met an old friend, Adi Panuntun, in London in spring 2009. Adi who was at that time pursuing a master degree in Northumbria University was preparing the promotion of his first film, "cin(T)a", where he was the producer. He told me that he was very impressed with the book, “40 Days in Europe”, and offered me to make it into film. I was very excited and immediately agreed. Since the book was published in 2007, many readers have been suggesting me to make it into film because the story is so inspiring.

I like working with Adi, not only because he is a hardworking guy, but also he is a young man with a future vision. His ideas are always fresh, full of creativity and innovation. Cin(T)a gained a huge success and became the first low budget film that broke into Blitzmegaplex and stayed on the screen for six weeks, an achievement that has never been matched by any Indonesian indie film. It won the best screenplay in Indonesian Film Festival (FFI 2009), an Indonesian version for Academy Award, and Audience Award at Jakarta International Film Festival (JiFFest 2009). Just recently, Adi with his company, Sembilan Matahari, won a prestigious international lighting festival in Moscow (Circle of Light 2014) seeing off 29 participants from around the world, including some favorite countries like Italy, Mexico, Germany, United States, and the host, Russia.

However, because I wanted to get involved full time in the production and creativity process of the film, the project was on hold till I returned to Indonesia. In autumn 2013, Adi introduced me to Sony Budi Sasono, a young talented filmmaker who is also the co-founder of Sembilan Matahari. Mochamad Achir (currently SCTV news anchor) who also did the journey ten years ago, joined the team and completed the board of producers. The project finally kicked off in mid October 2013 and we held many interesting marathon-discussions since. Sometimes we fell asleep on the floor because the discussion lasted till very early in the morning. I couldn’t find any better combination of young people than this team, very solid, visionary and full of fun!

We hope this film is not only promoting angklung and Indonesian culture, but more than that, this film should inspire many people, especially young generations, about leadership and entrepreneurship. In this film, the philosophy of angklung and bamboo will be delivered through the interaction between the characters. We will show the audience that angklung is not only a musical instrument, but also a philosophy of life. Through angklung, we learn a lot of local wisdom such as the values of leadership, togetherness, unity, solidarity, resilience, and many others.

The other strengths of this film are the folkloric and youth festivals in Europe and the interactions between the group and the local culture. This film will show the greatness and festivity of the festivals in Scotland, Czech Rep. and Poland, where the group performed music and dance along with the groups from many different countries. In this film, we will also raise a sub-theme about the friendship between two nations, that is, when the group stayed with the French families in Vert-le-Petit, a small town in the suburb of Paris. Communication and cultural gap will become a flavour of this friendship theme.

When we are talking about Europe, we are not exposing mainstream European landmarks like the Eiffel tower, the Louvre Museum, or the Big Ben, which have been exposed pretty often in the other films, but we will capture Europe from a different angle, such as the traditional country side life of French families in Vert-le-Petit, the beauty of Victorian era granite buildings in Aberdeen, and the beautiful landscape of Mount Tatras in Zakopane along with its traditional highland culture.

Hence, this film will not only become a very important part of a diplomatic process promoting Indonesian culture, but also it will promote the message of friendship between nations. If this film succeeds in the international level, it will not only lift Bandung, West Java and Indonesia, but also the festivals and the cities that are part of this film. However, above all, this film should be able to inspire young generations about the power of belief, struggle, and surrender, and make them believe that nothing is impossible!

All best,
Maulana M. Syuhada
Team leader, board of producers


The filming process will take place in seven countries, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium, France, Scotland, Czech Rep., and Poland. The production cost of this film is around USD 850,000 (Rp. 10 milyar). We expect 10% of it is funded by this crowdfunding, and the rest 90% by investors and sponsors. Ideally, this film is 100% funded by crowdfunding. However, we are trying to set a realistic target. For your information, Indiegogo will cut 9% of the fund if we don't reach the target (instead of of 4%). The biggest “crowd funded” Indonesian film is Atambua 39' Celcius (Mira Lesmana and Riri Riza) raising up to 26,000 USD (Rp 312 juta). So, don't stop your support even though we've reached the 10% target. The more money we get from crowdfunding, the less burden for us to seek investors and sponsors.

The idea to put this project at Indiegogo is not only to get fund from people, but also to make the public aware about our project, so they can help to connect us with some investors (government/companies/individuals) who find this film is important (to promote Indonesian culture and inspire young generations) and are willing to invest their money. So, we also need your help to share this link to some potential sponsors and investors.

We are aware that USD 850,000 is a huge amount of money. However, the journey ten years ago makes us believe that nothing is impossible, and that is exactly the message that we want to spread through this film. So, the filmmaking process itself is a challenge for us to prove the film premise, “Nothing is impossible”. However, we can't work alone, so your help is vital for us!


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$85,000 USD





  1. Shipping cost is excluded for all types of physical packages.  Please add your payment with the corresponding shipping cost:
    • Java: $1
    • Outside Java: $2
    • Outside Indonesia: $20
  2. To avoid high shipping cost, you can provide Indonesian address of your family or relatives.
  3. Online release The film will not be eligible to take part in an international festival if it has been distributed online through the internet. Hence, we will do online release after the screening in some international festivals (summer 2016).
  4. Estimated perks delivery:
    • Digital thank you, avatar/twibbon, e-poster: December 2014 - January 2015
    • Book: February 2015
    • T-shirt: March 2015
    • Digital thank you card: September 2015
    • Digital OST: October 2015
    • Digital film streaming & download: June 2016
    • DVD: June 2016

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