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An Interview with Dicky Tanuwidjaya, Director of Adventures of a Happy Homeless Man

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2016

Films directed by Dicky Tanuwidjaya on (re)Search my Trash


Quick Links

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Your new movie Adventures of a Happy Homeless Man - in a few words, what is it about?


It’s about a mischievous man who pursues his passion for music and acting after he lost his job, his marriage and his home.


To what extent can you identify with Bobo the Hobo, and is any of the movie based on personal experiences and the like?


My life has been full of ups and downs. I wanted to make a movie about someone who has hit rock bottom, but still being optimistic in life. Bobo the Hobo is someone who has lost everything but still full of energy and confidence to chase his dreams.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Adventures of a Happy Homeless Man?


Characters of people that I know in real life.


Why choose the mockumentary approach to tell your story? And on a technical side, what are the advantages and challenges filming that way?


Creatively, I wanted it to look and feel ‘raw and fresh’, hence I chose to film it mockumentary style.

The advantages were mostly time-saving and cost-saving. You don’t need so many crew members and so many complicated setups when filming this way. It certainly saved time and money.

The main challenge that I encountered in this one was to find actors who are used to long takes and able to improvise on the spot. I intentionally chose actors with strong theatre background for this one. Another challenge was continuity issue is post-production. There was a script, but I told the actors that they could use their own words as long as they stick to the conversation topics in the script. So each shot had slightly different words in the dialogue, and it made editing difficult.


A few words about Adventures of a Happy Homeless Man's distinct brand of humour?


I like writing dark humor loaded with cheeky and satirical jokes. Some of the jokes can be seen as a little naughty or offensive, but with a reason. Exaggeration of something that people can relate to in their daily lives.


Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


I worked with Felino Dolloso (Bobo the Hobo) in my first feature film The Devil’s 6 Commandments, and I found that he’s a great actor to work with. Aside from having a tremendous acting talent, he’s humble and very easy to work with.

Some of the supporting actors were people I worked with before in my previous project. Rico Banderas (Alan) always brings strong screen presence in any scenes in my movies. He’s so memorable that everyone always mentions his characters and his scenes.

Some others, like Eliza St John (Gemma), Demitra Alexandria (Tori) and Iwona Abramowicz (Denise) were people I had not worked with before. I cast them based on their stage acting experience. I knew that I needed actors that could do long takes and are fabulous at improvising.

Aleksandra Voronina (Felicia) was a fresh face. This movie was her first screen acting experience, and she was confident and full of energy on screen. She beat a few more talented actresses in the audition.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


I wanted to keep it as close to a documentary style as possible. So, not only the actors were acting, but the crew were acting as well, despite being off-screen. Whenever we shoot an exterior scene, people in the street thought we were making a real documentary and Bobo was a real homeless person.


Anything you can tell us about critical and audience reception of Adventures of a Happy Homeless Man?


The responses have been extremely positive from the 25-54 year olds. People under 24 may prefer Hollywood blockbusters with all the special effects that we can’t afford, and people over 55 may think the style of the film is too post-modern. Overall, I’m quite happy with the responses we got.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I recently did jury duty for a court case the first time. The experience serving as a juror was very interesting. I’m planning to do a film about a court case.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?


I was 5 when my parents took me to the cinema for the first time. We saw a John Woo film which was probably not appropriate for a 5 year old, but I had a great time, and I became addicted to watching films since then. I studied Media Arts Production in university. It was fun.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Adventures of a Happy Homeless Man?


I was heavily influenced by Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie and Edgar Wright in my late teens and throughout my 20s. So all my films (7 shorts and a feature) before Adventures of a Happy Homeless Man were all crime/action/dark comedy films.

After I turned 30, I became more and more influenced by works of Richard Linklater, Spike Jonze and John Carney. Adventures of a Happy Homeless Man is my first film without violence.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I like to make films that are entertaining but also thought-provoking.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Richard Linklater, John Carney, Edgar Wright.


Your favourite movies?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Dicky Tanuwidjaya
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Dicky Tanuwidjaya here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Dicky Tanuwidjaya at

Reservoir Dogs, Fight Club, Begin Again, Life is Beautiful, Snatch.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


Now You See Me & Now You See Me 2. These films were actually pretty cool, until the extremely-forced endings, which made everything else leading to the final 10-15 minutes not making any sense.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I habe merely forgotten to ask?


Yes. I really want to say that Mike Haberfelner is a cool guy and his website is awesome!


Thanks for the interview!


No problem. My pleasure.


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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