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a story shared by many

Sweet and Sour


Sweet and Sour, a story shared by many
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"SWEET & SOUR" is a documentary film about how the dive industry and its people experience the pandemic in Indonesia. 

A message of struggle, adaptation and hope that all started with the worlds lockdown in March 2020.

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survival of the dive industry during
the covid pandemic in Indonesia

A story shared by many

The tourism sector, that is interconnected with the diving industry has been one of the sectors that has been hit the hardest. Thousands of people lost their jobs, income and

livelihood. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Indonesia had outlined a target to receive at least 17 million foreign tourists in 2020. Accounting for US$20 billion of foreign exchange revenue.


When all borders closed most dive centers, resorts and liveaboards were forced to stop their operations since local tourism is not sufficient to sustain the industry and the livelihood of those involved. So how did people react and how did it change their lives? 


a story worth sharing

This film focusses on telling the compelling stories of the people we met during our travels in Indonesia in times of Covid. Domestic travel remained open and we had the chance to travel and dive some of Indonesia most precious destinations. We met many people that just like us had become a victim of the crisis.


"Everyone had a story to tell and we decided it was a story worth sharing".

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how did covid change lives

For us, the makers of this film it was a very personal story. We had come to Indonesia to start a new job and life as dive center managers of Siladen Resort & Spa. But soon after our arrival the borders closed and the last guests went back to their home countries. Like most resorts, dive operators and people around us we did not yet know what the new pandemic meant.


But over the course of a year we witnessed first-hand how everyone in the industry dealt differently with the new situation that still goes on today. A situation of struggle and adaptation but amongst all the change, we found that most people shared a message of hope.

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awareness & inspiration

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It became a story that highlights the relationship between people and their natural world in which they live and work. People with passion for biodiversity, conservation and wilderness preservation, are underlying values that shape the lives of all people in this film.


We strived to bring awareness to their issues since it might inspire others to adapt in difficult times. Because it is a story that is shared by many. 

We want to thank all the wonderful people we met on our journey and especially those who have been involved in the making of this film. 

Special thanks to


Max Ammer

Papua diving & Raja Ampat Research and Conservation Center

Max Ammer, the founder of Papua Diving, first came to the region over 21 year ago following his passion to search for submerged World War II aircraft. The pioneer and visionary, fell in love with the Papuan people and started a number of initiatives to support the local Papuan communities. Max shares his vision on how the current pandemic affects local communities, the marine life and his activities.

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teddy bukunusa

Dive center Manager Siladen Resort & Spa

When resorts started closing in March 2020 most people employed in the dive industry lost their jobs. People had to find a way to survive by adapting to the challenges of the new situation. Teddy explains how his family and many in a similar situation are resourceful in their challenging environment.

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Christopher Harvey

Manager Sorido Bay Resort & Papua Diving

When running a resort during times where the number of guests are reduced to the minimum, you need to change the way you work to survive.

Finding new ways of reducing costs and creating a greener mentality by using more solar power, gardening and reducing waste are just a few examples. Companies are being forced to be resourceful and employees start to realise that it is crucial to find different forms of income and become less dependent.


Michael mobalen

Chairman Tourist Guide Association Sorong

Michael, a guide for many years and is one of the key players promoting Sorong in West Papua as a tourist destination. He is passionate about his work and the nature and misses the visitors that he normally takes around. His story shows how the Corona pandemic affects those even in the far corners of the planet.

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Anke Andree

Owner of Blue Bay Divers in Bangka

How do you survive the crisis as dive resort and live aboard company? According to Anke, crisis are chances. She tries to use the current situation as a chance to make the company better and more resilient than before. She shares a message of hope in difficult times.


Vill & Stephanie 

Travellers from Sweden 

When many are struggling there are also people who are just a little luckier than others. Vill & Stephanie planned their sabbatical in 2020 and came to Indonesia to explore this amazing country above and below the ocean. They share their thoughts through the eyes of the traveller that had the opportunity to travel and dive in Indonesia with very few tourists.  For them it is a once in life time opportunity.

locations featured





Raja Ampat



Tangkoko NP

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