Riders of Destiny

RIDERS OF DESTINY follows two young child jockeys and their families where your health and future prospects depend on the outcome of every race…

On the remote island of Sumbawa, Indonesia, the market for tiny jockeys is huge. The successful ones can earn enough to feed their families for an entire generation. But while their ancestors began at 10, today’s child jockeys often start at 3. Firman, 5, is just starting out as a child jockey. He falls off his horse every day as he tries to reach speeds of 70 km/h – barefoot and without a saddle or any protective clothing.

Sila, 7 years old, is one of the most in-demand jockeys of all the young riders. His parents no longer have to work because the money he earns takes care of the whole family.

But in this traditional sport, accidents are frequent. Many children are crippled. Some die.


  • Year: 2019
  • Duration: 85 & 52 mins
  • Production: Ansgar Pohle For Seventyone Films
  • Director: Michael Niermann
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: Germany



  • German TV Award Best Camera for DOP Dominic Gill (German Tv Awards 2020 , GERMANY), Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2019 (Greece), FICDH Buenos Aires 2019 (Argentina), Life After Oil International Film Festival 2019 (Italy), Chania Film Festival 2019 (Greece), FICDH 2019 (Costa Rica), MOVE It! Film Festival 2019 (Germany), Life After Oil International Film Festival 2019 (Italy), Docs Mx 2019 (Mexico), Peloponnisos International Documentary Film Festival 2019 (Greece), EQUUS International Film Festival 2021 (USA)

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