Feedback and screenings

Your feedback makes us deeply proud and energised. Thank you all for your support. Click the like button or share your favourite

We love getting the community together, having a night out, and seeing the film on the big screen. This week we'll follow up everyone interested in community screenings and we're planning some more 'headline' cinema screenings. If you'd like to support a screening please be in touch. With your help we'll to spread this story.

Thank you for supporting us, and accompanying the dedicated refugees in Indonesia.

It's about people. It’s a community.

One of the things we loved most about screening The Staging Post has been all the generous and enthusiastic feedback. 

From your applause in the cinemas, to your email and Facebook reviews, these individual reviews are the most important to us. We see every response as another person who has joined our family and connected directly with refugees in whatever small or big way they are able.

We started making them into ‘memes’ and I’ve attached them here. Let us know you favourite, share with your friends, send us an email with your thoughts. We read and cherish them all.

More screenings are being organised already. Please help share the news when they are announced. See you again soon.


Jolyon, Muzafar, Khadim, Tahira, Nagina and Natiqa.

Wow! We are astounded, encouraged, energised and grateful.

What an incredible whirlwind screening tour around Australia! We could not have hoped for better turn-outs, more engagement, and a greater outpouring of love and support. We are more determined than ever to build our community and want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We also want to acknowledge the refugees who are stuck in Indonesia. They are focussed on educating themselves and others in the community and are our heroes. We accept your applause and kind words on their behalf, and because we hope to provide further accompaniment and support to the communities in Indonesia. 

Scroll down for a selection of photos from the tour. 

If you'd like to make a recurring or one-off donation to the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre you can do that below. (Go to to find out more about the non-profit that supports the school).


Want to meet a refugee?

The Staging Post is a hit! We've sold out every screening! Emboldened, we've announced new July dates. Find out why audiences are calling The Staging Post is the 'feel-good refugee film of the year!'.

Brisbane, 22nd, Sydney 25th, Canberra 27th, Adelaide 28th, Melbourne 29th and Avoca 30th. Check the website for all the latest details. Come and 'meet a refugee' for yourself.

In the meantime here's a short story about how I met a refugee.

See you all soon. Love and thanks.


How to meet a refugee.

Four years ago I was living in Jakarta when Australia re-instated the mandatory offshore detention for people arriving by boat. Refugees have been the biggest news story in Australia for the past 15 years but I’d never met a refugee. I wanted to know more. Who were they? Where did they come from and what are they going to do know?

I discovered that the staging post for boats to Christmas Island was in a village called Cisarua (Chi-sa-roo-a), about an hour out of Jakarta, So I rented a car and drove up the hill. We wound our way along the Indonesian road, took a left turn, down a small hill, over a bridge, past a fork and, as we came around the next bend, the driver pointed “There’s a refugee!”.

I got out of my car, walked up to the man and stuck out my hand. He shook it firmly. “Hi, I’m Jolyon. I’m an Australian”  I said. The man was Hasan. He told me his english was not good and that I should speak with his cousin, Rizwana.

Behind him, in a small room, was the tall and softly spoken Rizwana. She made me tea and we spent the afternoon talking. It’s not until you meet people from a different world that you realise how little you know. I asked all the dumb questions.

Where were they from? Afghanistan. 

Why did they leave? They were a persecuted ethnic minority, Hazara, and also were Shia Muslim not Sunni.  (I can’t remember now if I even knew the difference back then.)

Were they going to catch a boat to Australia? No, because they had children and wouldn’t take that risk.

Did they know others taken a boat? Yes, the family upstairs had taken a boat, but the boat sank and some of the family died. The rest of the family had returned.

How did they get to Indonesia? They paid smugglers and came via Malaysia. What were they going to do now? Wait for the UNHCR to register them as refugees.

Rizwana gave me straight answers and eventually asked me some questions. When I told her I was a filmmaker she said I must come back and meet her brother, Muzafar, who was a photographer. I said I would. 

I returned a couple of weeks later. Muzafar was there with another young Hazara refugee, 17 year old Khadim. Muzafar showed me his stunning photographs from Central Afghanistan and Khadim showed me some footage he’d been filming on his mobile phone. It was raw, intimate and authentic footage of life as a refugee in Indonesia. 

We liked each other straight away and, that day, we decided to start a project together. Our creative work became the basis of our connection and through it we began to learn from each other. The first thing we did was edit Khadim’s footage into a short film which was watched online over 100,000 times - in both Afghanistan and Australia. This was the beginning of a community that we built together.

Khadim kept filming as the refugees started a school for their children, the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre. That school inspired seven others and became the centrepiece of, and sanctuary for, the community which grew around it. There are now nearly 1000 refugee children receiving education in Indonesia.

The whole transformative journey is documented in our documentary, The Staging Post, which is screening in Australia at the moment. 

The film will be presented by myself and Muzafar, who is now living in Australia on a Humanitarian Visa. Come and meet a refugee for yourself.

Rizwana at the CRLC

400 UTS Communications Students

Muzafar and I were lucky to be asked to speak to 400 1st Year Communication Students at UTS on Tuesday and Wednesday. We screened an extract of the film and then spoke at each of the tutorials afterwards. Afterwards we were interviewed on the University radio station, 2SER.

20 years ago I was a communications student. As I looked out at their faces I clearly recognised the looks on their faces. That 19 or 20 year old 'look of cool detachment' which masks their confusion, underlying feeling of insignificance and sheer terror at the world around them.

They grumbled as I made them sit together up front, their body language and reticence trying to prove they certainly had more interesting, exciting and important places to be and think about.

Then I loved watching their faces as Muzafar spoke. As they leaned forward in their chairs and quietly slid their protective laptop computers to the sides of their desks. They realised they were actually experiencing something, feeling something. Me too. Every time we speak, we learn something new ourselves. A new corner to our story connects up for us.

We came away with a lot of energy. Thanks Lucy, UTS and all the students.

Community Screenings of The Staging Post are coming

The word is getting out. New screenings announced. Get in touch if you'd like us to visit your neck of the woods.

We'll be in Newcastle on the 2nd of July at 4pm at the super groovy Royal Exchange on Bolton St. It's a great venue. The last time I was here we packed in the burly creme of Newcastle's surfing royalty to watch Searching For Michael Peterson. Very glad to be back at this great venue.

UTS will hold a screening on the 26th of July, during O-week. Screening room to be confirmed. Stay in touch on the Facebook page or the website for the latest details.

There's also been enquiries from Merimbula, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Perth. So hopefully some more announcements soon. If you are in those areas get in touch and you can help promote the events.

Look forward to meeting you all.




Yesterday Muzafar and I were invited to speak at the Ian Potter Gallery in Melbourne as part of Tom Nicholson's 'I was born in Indonesia' exhibition. To walk into the gallery and see all our friends on the video screens took our breath away. I was taken straight back to Cisarua. In the next room their lives and stories were played out over a giant diorama. What a joy to see, recognise and feel all the spirits in the moulded figurines.

One example. When Tom asked Farahnaz what she liked about Indonesia the most she said 'Hugs'. That their family hugged each other for the first time in Indonesia.

I love that the bravery of the refugees in Cisarua is spinning off in so many ways; artists like Tom creating powerful exhibitions and touring it around the country, Politicians visiting and entering Parliamentary Bills, Lecturers giving teacher training to the CRLC teachers, Journalists making news and TV reports. I just know it's going to continue and more people will join this movement.

One day I hope that the refugees in Cisarua can truly understand how far their simple act of teaching is being recognised and felt

Thanks Tom for giving this special work and thanks to the Ian Potter Gallery for having us. If you're in Melbourne go and see the exhibition. It's very close to the Melbourne Premiere of The Staging Post so make a day of it and visit the gallery too.

Tickets on sale now. Don't miss this.

Premiere Melbourne Screening of The Staging Post. 6:30pm on 18th June at Cinema Nova.

Do not miss this first public screening of The Staging Post in Melbourne. Muzafar and Jolyon will be there, and we'll Skype the school and Khadim in LA. Melbourne have been such great supporters of ours. Get in quick. This is going to be special. Tickets are already selling quickly.

The ground-breaking documentary, The Staging Post, is vital in shifting the understanding and debate in Australia to better understand the impact of our current policies. Tim O’Connor, Director, Refugee Council of Australia

Melbourne friends. Muzafar and Jolyon to speak at Ian Potter Museum this week.

For our favourite Melbourne friends, Muzafar and Jolyon will be in discussion at the Ian Potter Museum this Wednesday 31 May 2017, 12.30- 1.30pm.

The talk is part of Tom Nicholson's exhibition 'Finding Home: Personal stories of seeking asylum. Building a community', which features Khadim Dai's film footage and many of our great friends in Cisarua. We plan to get there early to look around. Come and join us before the talk if you can.

Host your own screening of The Staging Post!

‘A phenomenally powerful documentary.’

‘Today was so incredible! One of the best days at uni!’

‘This is by far the highlight of my uni experience over the past three years.’

Host your own screening of ground-breaking documentary, The Staging Post.

The Premiere Community Screening Tour is kicking off at Refugee Week 2017 and we are looking for community screening partners. Would you like to host a screening in your local city?

After four years we cannot wait to screen this film. Even our test screenings have received standing ovations.

All the screenings will be fundraisers for the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre (CRLC) and, if we can get there, the film will be introduced by director, Jolyon Hoff and the co-founder of the CRLC, Muzafar Ali.

We’ll bring the film anywhere you can provide a space and a group of people. We can arrange the proper file delivery so you can screen in your local cinema, or we can screen in your local community hall, backyard, favourite cafe or bar on our own screen and projector.  We have the social media and ticketing system all set up to go. All we need is you!

Are you a School teacher or University lecturer. We’d love to introduce the film to your class.

Showing the world what refugees are capable of!

Dear CRLC Family,

The Staging Post and the Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre are showing the world how Australian’s respond to people in need. The refugee’s are showing the world what they are capable of when given a chance.

To all our supporters and especially the repeat supporters out there. Thank you so so much. We seriously could not have gotten here without you. We hope that once this film goes out into the world we will build a great big community of people just like yourselves, but right now we need some some help to get the film finished. Some of the final finishing elements of making a film are the most expensive and can’t be avoided.

Are you able to help once more? Do you have some family or friends who you might like to support the film? Please share to your social networks. If you can make a tax-deductible donation to help the film over the line, Here’s the link.

At the moment the Cisarua Learning Inc has $395 in monthly donations. If we can get that monthly figure to $2000, we can pretty much guarantee the CRLC's existence for as long as it is needed, and we can focus on accompanying more refugee initiatives in Indonesia. Can you spare 10/20/50 dollars a month? Here’s that link.

Any further supporters this week will also have their name in the credits of the film. Let your friends and family know that they can also stand with us!

We are going to let the world know that Australians know how to make use our privilege.

Thank you once more from deep in our hearts. We look forward to seeing you at the screenings.


Jolyon, Muzafar and Khadim and the CRLC Family. 



What a list! The CRLC and Staging Post supporters.

If you are on this list you are part of the CRLC family! Thanks you so much, we could not have come this far without your help. If we have missed your name or it is spelt incorrectly please let me know at jolyonhoff (at)

If you know someone we have missed please let me know. We want to make sure everyone is recognised.



Cisarua Refugee Learning Centre Supporters.

Jennifer Moberg

Margaret Spencer

Regina Rosi

Gulnaz Beg

Laura Claus

Rosie Yuille

Karmen Condic-Jurkic

Sally Paxton

Gael Walker

Gavin MacLaren

Michael Bachelard

Chrissy Kavanagh

Marie Rosewarne

Elisabeth Kramer

Beverley Kokkinn

Marion Harding

Vicki Burkett

Mike James

Helen Sage

Cath Beynon

Tania Boyd

Vijhai Utheyan

Laura BLackwell

Gael Walker

Louise Hayman

Sue McGinley

Ian Johnston

Jess Henderson

Nikki Henderson

Elizabeth Freeman

Sidra Haidari

Russell Smith



Jenn Roberts

Gulnaz Beg

Jennifer Moberg

Maria Isabel


Angus Hamilton

Troy Schultz

Edith Champtaloup

Gulnaz Beg

Samuel Clark

Jill Thomas

tanya sparke

Mary Brogger

Linda Muir

Timothy Mackay

Jen Makin

Penny Gilmour

Anne Parnis

Penny Gilmour

Janey Dolan

Suzanne Brown

Giselle Stollznow

Mairi Langton

Suzanne Nugent

William Lee

Edwina Maidment

Zoe Grant

Karmen Condic-Jurkic

Stephanie Gascon

Sally Paxton

Joyce Yee

Jasmine Thng

Khai Fang

Nina Burridge

Sybille Frank

Martha Morrison

Martha Ansara

Jane Wallace

Hamizah Haidi

Zhong Ng

Gayatri Acharya

Lambro Johnson

Lee Shan Tse

Susan Scott

Melody Hasse

Ben Plant

Ruth Waller

Prabhu Silvam

David Evans

Karma Lau

Debra Boncardo

Kate Rayson

Michael Hanneberry

Lucy Collins

Elizabeth Raleigh

Kate Audino

Peter Thannhauser

Lambro Johnson

Kiara Mucci

Ron Witton

Clair Amery

Lesley Ashwood

Margaret Spencer

Catherine Peters

Elizabeth Arcus

Lee Murray

Alexandra Readman

Stephen Axelsen

Ruth Waller

Marcia Watson

Anne Parois

Elizabeth Freeman

Sidra Haidari

Russell Smith

Peta Hoff

Brad Hoff

Georgia Mooney

Bronwyn McNamee

Jenn Roberts

Maria Isabel


Angus Hamilton

Troy Schultz

Edith Champtaloup

Samuel Clark

Jill Thomas

Tanya Sparke

Patrick Mooney

Mary Brogger

Linda Muir

Timothy Mackay

Jen Makin

Penny Gilmour

Anne Parnis

Janey Dolan

Michael James

Helen Leeder

Debra Boncardo

Thomas Christensen

Reed Tew

Rachael Maza

Awi Stewart

Robin Bush

Jamie Horsfield

Alejandro Erquicia

Rossana Tagliapietra

Lee Shan Tse

Edwi Tander

Preethi Selvaraj

Eva Orner

Simon Taaffe

Shannon Schubert

Suzan Piper

Hayatullah Nowruzi

Kelly Lee

Suliaman khasheea

Adrienne Stone

R A Blake

Leah Swann

D Sweeney

Marie Whitty

Roland Mooney


Susan Duggin

Sophie Blackall

Michael James

Robyn McIntyre

Katrina May

Jill Thomas

Melanie Morrison

Richard Christian

Rijck van der Gracht

Sally Clark

Matthew Stephens

S L Sage-Jacobson

Matthew Zurstrassen

Patrick Mooney

Ms A E Kinnear

Emma McGowan

Timothy Prewitt

Catherine Peters

James Brewis Calver

Georgia Mooney

Sarah Goulding

Brian Tress

Linda R Briskman

Sim Kok Eng Amy

David R Isaac

Sophie Waincymer

Susanne Holste

Mr C V Bowden

Graeme Isaac

Henry Rajendra

Saskia Doherty

Carly Copolov

Dan Witting

Timothy Mackay

Martha Morrison

David Ferguson

Caitlin Welch

Penelope Gilmour

Kathleen Beegle

Marion Webster

Samuel Clark

Jaffar Ali Hazara

Angus Hamilton

Anthony Henshaw

David Liebhold

Blanka Dudas


Andonea Dickson

John Gulzari

Brigitte Staples

Anne Monchamp

Kristen Manson

Lara Jonata

Katherine Roberts

Catherine Crowley

Katherine Green

Lucia Skerlikova

Peter Hayward

Fatima Shafaie

Miss A Chapman

Danielle Moylan

Madeleine Hetherton

Nami Nelson

Kathryn McCormack

Dianne Law

Jennifer Makin

Kate Lancaster

Catherine Mpofu

John Furler

Mrs M A Kain

Baqir Asghari

Louise Olliff

Alex Poll

Milena Stefanova

Helen Johnson

Kaknika Pon

Rebecca Barton

Sophie Hyde

Naheed Bilgrami

Kirstie LInklater

Linda Muir

Rosamond Murn

Ahmad Shuja

Aastha Hora

Marie O'Dwyer

Samantha Jane Pryse

Peter Grullemans

Alice Arnold

Rosalind Hammond

Tracey Donahue

Janey Dolan

Simone Murray

Kate Francis

S Litz

Prof David L Copolov

Tessa Piper

damien hughes

Annie McCall

Julia Charles

Gayle Morrow

Ewa Wojkowska

Joseph Isaac

Galina Witting

Darren Werner

Sally McCausland

Rebecca Reeves

Dr Robin Collier

Michelle Anne Sandall

Lisa Maree Brady

Sarah Goulding

Helen Johnson

Jennifer Roberts

Rose Isaac

David Ferguson

Sally Wodzinski

Raymond Kiley

Lynne Murphy

Julianne Crowley

Edward Aspinall

Helen Leeder

Peter Millard

Jean Lewis

Michael James

Helen Leeder

Debra Boncardo

Thomas Christensen

Reed Tew

Burgmann Residents’ Association

T Piper

Cornelis Hoff

Patrick Mooney

Ben Goldsmith

Katrina Retallick

Nadia Clancy

Stephanie Slewka

Sarah Pavy

Emma Pritchard

Belinda Richards

A Whitten

Diane Bell

William Maley

Mary Mayo

Dr PR Sage

Jane Wallace

Dr Helen M Sage

Cath Beynon

Gabrielle Thomas

Bradley Hoff

Jo-Anne Ruscoe

Tanya Burrows

A Whitten

Lara Lyttleton-Moor

Adam Copolov

Pamela Jacobs

Peta Hoff

Paul Kelman

Lynelle B Hammer

Maartje Sevenster

Katherine Hayne

Karen L Forde

Jorge Herrera

Jeffrey Waincymer

Ken Haley

Eunice Lau

Ken & Maxine Clark

Najeeb Najeebullah

Aimee Cesarin

Jamie Horsfield

Louise Olliff

Katie Richmond

Andrew McAllan

Siobhan Clair

Jamie Horsfield

Jacqueline Malins

Nils Langford

Julia Frei

Hannah Brunsdon

Marie Hapke

Helen Reilly

Patrick Mooney

Russell Swan

Alex Matthews

Deb Campbell

Roslyn Girvan

Suzanne Dixon

Marianne De Souza

Lindsay Flakelar

Andrew Dodd

Jeremy Perrott

Casey Homann

Laura Garrett

Ashley Porter

Sumnima Dewan

Eva Corley

Rachel Hayter 

Hannah Dixon 

Rebecca Henschke 

Dyah Pandam Mitayani 

Alicia Darker 

Rachael Dexter 


Josh Dye 

Antje Misshbach 

Sally Clark

Katrina May

Besleigh Cook

Alice Fogelberg 

Ali Asghari 

Rosie Isaac

Eros Djarot 

Wendy Harris

Roswita Kristy

Elis JRS

Diah JRS




Margaret Spencer

William Ryan 

Toni Benson 


Nathan Brown 

Anna Whyte 

Kate Ditchburn 

Melanie Kilby 

Angus Hamilton

Prabhu Silvam 

Kenneth Lee

Maylea Moreno 

Carmen Morno 

Lucy Fiske 

Tessa Welch 


Hilly Montague 



Han Nguyen

Milly Pink 

Jessie Chiang

Amy Mccann 

Breeanna Tirant bree.

Megan Sutherland

Ashley Carter 

Robyn Henderson

Tim Watts MP


Documentary Australia Foundation Supporters

Violet Roumeliotis

Lisa Button

Rosamond Murn

Martha Morrison

Gab and Llew 

Ben Plant 

David Isaac

Brian and Marijke Tress

Sybille Frank

Sophie Blackall 

Tessa Piper

Damien Hughes 

Julianne Crowley

Marianne De Souza 

Jo Ruscoe 

Jane Wallace

Stephen Charles

Julianne Crowley

Marianne De Souza 

Laurel Mackenzie

colin case

Tim and Peter

Helen Hayes


Dorothee Muller

Ailsa Lamont

Ted Smillie

Ross & Pam McKenzie

Charles Bowden 


Madeleine Hetherton 

Alice & Gary 

Lotte St Clair 

Andrew Dodd 

Ruth Thomas

Rick Clise

Monica Penders

Milena Stefanova

Tessa Piper

Jenn Roberts 


Emma McGowan 

Janice Candy

Lisa Button

Gavin MacLaren

Mim Bartlett

John Hoff 

Jodie Catherine 

17th in Sydney, 18th in Melbourne. Do not miss this!

Four years in the making, The Staging Post will be having it's first official full-length outing as part of Refugee Week 2017. The final details are being arranged but it's going to be the 17th of June in Sydney and the 18th of June in Melbourne. 

Mark down those dates and DO NOT miss tickets. These screenings are going to be special and will sell out in no time. Like our Facebook page for the latest information.

There are extra screenings being arranged in Sydney and Brisbane. If you would like to arrange your own Refugee Week screening, please get in touch. 




The Rosegarden of Light.

"This is just wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I'm quite speechless to be honest and utterly privileged to be part of such an important project." Sadie Harrison

This kind of thing keeps happening at The Staging Post

When we were looking for music, and knowing we would not have a budget for a composer, we asked Jennifer Moberg. We have never met Jennifer, but she has visited the CRLC a number of times to teach music and we knew she had taught at Afghanistan National Institute of Music.

She recommended we listen to a CD called The Rosegarden of Light by Sadie Harrison. A collaboration of Afghan and western musicians. As soon as we heard it we knew it was perfect, almost as if Sadie had actually composed the music for the film. It was seriously uncanny. Sometime we would lay the music on the timeline and the final bar and note would land right on our final shot!

We contacted Sadie about licensing the music. She and Martin at Toccata Classics were magnificent and agreed to allow us to use the music. Now we can't wait for you to hear how it complements our film perfectly.

To complete the circle, we showed Sadie the offline version of the film and her response is above. The whole story warms our hearts. It proves that we will never know the life our creations will lead.

Follow the links below to purchase The Rosegarden of Light or to find out more about the Afghanistan National Institute of Music.

Thank you Sadie, thank you Martin and thank you Toccata Classics. We look forward to meeting one day.





Another incredible screening

"Thank you so much for sharing your extraordinary stories and your wonderful film with our students. You will never know what a profound impact you have had – those two sessions mean that 150 future social workers will go out into the world and work with hundreds, even thousands, of people with the knowledge that they can ‘be the change they want to see’ and work, from the ground up, in truly respectful ways." Associate Professor, Susan Goodwin. THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

A day we will never forget

Yesterday Muzafar and I presented a nearly finished edit of the film to a class at Sydney University and the response was overwhelming. It was the first time the film had been shown to an audience and the first time Muzafar had seen the film in it's entirety.

Afterwards there was a standing ovation and stunned silence. No-one in the room could even gather their breath to ask a question in the Q&A. Thanks to Sydney University and Susan Goodwin. We will never forget this moment.

I was deeply moved and extremely intrigued throughout the whole lecture, and this is by far the highlight of my uni experience over the past three years so far. 

Dajana, Sydney University, Education Student

Last year the community in Cisarua captured my heart, today watching The Staging Post and talking with you both, I was reminded why. I stand with you in your endeavours.


Today was so incredible! One of the best days at uni! Thank you @thestagingpost for sharing your story with us and the world. We're so humbled by your courage to tell us your stories and we promise to do our best as social work students to serve the world however we can. Can't thank you enough! 

Audrey LIsing, Sydney University, Social Work Student

This is the look of pure joy and gratitude that comes from the privilege of truly listening to another human's true story of survival and resilience and the empathy and awe that grows as a result.

Sydney University, Social Work Student.

@thestagingpost is a phenomenally powerful documentary and we were honoured today to be part of its first screening, and to witness the strength, creativity and boldness of Hazara refugees in Indonesia who boldly are creating change in their community. 

Sydney University, Social Work Student

The Staging Post to feature at Refugee Week 2017

We are very excited to announce that The Staging Post will be the official featured film at Refugee Week 2017 – Sunday 18 June to Saturday 24 June 2017.

"The Refugee Council of Australia sees the ground-breaking documentary The Staging Post, as a crucial component of the refugee experience that is unknown to an Australian audience, and vital in shifting the understanding and debate in Australia to better understand the impact of our current policies. To this ends the Refugee Council of Australia is committed to making The Staging Post the feature film at the inaugural Refugee Film Festival and include the film in media screenings and as the central focus of our event."

Follow us on Facebook for updates on screening times.

Refugee Week Logo