Jakarta. The Indonesian film "Kado" won the Best Short Film category in the Orizzonti Competition at the Venice International Film Festival in Italy on Saturday (08/09).
The film competed against 12 others from various countries in this category. One of them was also from Indonesia, directed by avant-garde filmmaker Garin Nugroho.
Despite not winning, Garin's feature film "Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku" ("Memories of My Body") addressed issues of gender fluidity and gender discrimination – a topic still treaded lightly in Indonesia.
The word "kado" means "gift," which it was indeed for upcoming young director Aditya Ahmad, who did not expect to win.
"I really didn't expect it. In addition to winning this prestigious award, I also had the opportunity to be in one room and get acquainted with world-renowned directors such as Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro," Aditya said.
Born in Makassar, South Sulawesi, in 1989, Aditya is no stranger to international film festivals. He won the Best Southeast Asian Short Film Director award at the Singapore International Film Festival in 2014.
"Kado" is intended as a continuation of Aditya's last film, "Sepatu Baru" ("New Shoes"), with the main protagonist Isfira Febiana reappraising her role in the latest project.
Though "Kado" is only 15 minutes long, something as simple as Isfira compromising to wear a long skirt and hijab instead of comfortable pants, speaks volumes.
Renowned Indonesian film producer Mira Lesmana and film director Riri Riza, who worked together to produce the short film, shared the pleasant surprise with Aditya.
"'Kado' competed with films from various countries, which were also special, so this victory was really proud not only for us, but also for us, [for] Indonesia," Mira said.