The Sea Calls for Me (Tumpal Tampubolon) Indonesia

The Sea Calls For Me
Tumpal Tampubolon
Indonesia. 2021. 17 min

Sura lives alone in the fishing village, waiting for his father to return home. One day he finds a broken sex doll, and he asks Argo to help him fix the doll. He finds a companion and a surrogate parent in the doll. But this companionship is threatened by Argo, who wants to take it away from Sura. When Argo manages to take the doll from Sura by force, Sura is forced to do the unthinkable.


Tumpal Tampubolon is a cinephile-turned-filmmaker, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He graduated from Bandung Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Math. In 2005, his first screenplay, The Last Believer, won the Jakarta International Film Festival (JiFFest) Script Development Competition for Best Short Fiction category. It was a chance for him to have first-hand filmmaking experience. Since then, he has written and directed several short films, which were screened in various domestic and international film festival.

Tumpal has also been selected to attend the Asian Young Filmmakers Forum, a filmmaker-in-residence program in Jeonju, South Korea, Berlinale Talent Campus, and Asian Film Academy in Busan.

He is one of the nine directors that participated in Belkibolang omnibus film; a feature length film consists of nine short films that showcases the new and promising talents in Indonesian cinema. Belkibolang was screened at Rotterdam International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Jeonju International Film Festival, and Udine Far East Film Festival.

In 2014, he won the Citra Award, Indonesia’s most prestigious film awards, for Best Original Screenplay, for Tabula Rasa.


2017 Wiro Sableng: Pendekar 212 (feature film, co-writer)
2014 Tabula Rasa (feature film, scripwriter, Best Original Script Piala Citra)
2011 Soleram (short film, director and scriptwriter)
2010 Mamalia (short film, part of BELKIBOLANG omnibus, IFFR, HKIFF, Jeonju International Film Festival, Udine Far East)
2008 Drum Lesson (short film, director and scriptwriter)
2006 The Last Believer (short film, director and scriptwriter, Best Short Film JiFFEST)