A jermal is a large platform constructed off the ocean's coastline for fishermen, who use it to bring in the catch that they sell for their living. In Ravi L. Bharwani and Rayya Makarim's drama, Jaya (Iqbal S. Manurung) is a 12-year-old boy who has been sent to live on a jermal near Indonesia overseen his father Johar (Didi Petet). Johar is a gruff and ill-tempered man who doesn't like to admit Jaya is his son; the boy serves as an unpaid laborer on the jermal along with a handful of other boys who almost never see day land. Johar also has a checkered past and legal problems that prevent him from working on the mainland. Jaya is smaller than most of the other boys, and he's bullied on a regular basis. But Jaya is smarter than his peers on the jermal, and in time his ability to read and write wins him a favored position that he can use to his advantage. However, it can't win him the respect of Johar, who has little respect for his son even when he's forced to declare he is indeed the boy's father. Jermal was an official selection at the 2009 Rotterdam International Film Festival.