Jakarta. A film adaption of an Eka Kurniawan novel by director Edwin took out the Busan Award and $15,000 in cash prizes at the Asian Project Market in Busan, South Korea, on Tuesday (11/10).
"Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas" ("Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash"), currently still in pre-production, is the first collaboration between Edwin and Eka, who will also be writing the script.
The story is an exploration of masculinity following Ajo Kawir, a Javanese man who deals with impotency after witnessing violent events. Edwin says the book is very visual.
"This book is very thick with knowledge and how mysteries shape our modern culture. Like millions of boys who grew up in Java in the 1980s, I really know Ajo Kawir and his world," he said. "It is a world where Pantura dangdut singers convey the longing of truck drivers who struggle with machismo and adrenaline on a daily basis."
The film is produced by Muhammad Zaidy from Palari Films and Meiske Taurisia from Babibutafilm.
"It is not easy to adapt a book into a movie. We have to make sure that the author and the filmmaker are on the same page. It is Edwin's vision about the movie that makes us excited and believe in the project," said Zaidy, who recently produced "Athirah" ("Emma'") and "Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? 2."
This year marks the 19th anniversary of APM as a co-production platform for international filmmakers to meet with potential investors and buyers. Each year, the APM receive submissions of incomplete feature film projects. This year, they selected 27 films from 16 countries.
Selected projects will be facilitated with meetings with industry professionals and automatically nominated for APM awards. The Busan Award is one among seven APM awards with cash prize varying from $6,000 to $30,000, which would help filmmakers fund their film productions.
The APM have helped brought Asian blockbusters, such as South Korean science fiction "Snowpiercer" by Bong Joon-ho and Taiwanese drama "Stray Dogs" by Tsai Ming Liang, to international audience.
Edwin's last movie is "Postcards from the Zoo," which was the first Indonesian movie to be nominated for best feature at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012.
Eka recently won the OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices 2016 Fiction Award for his 2004 novel, "Manusia Harimau" ("Man Tiger"). The author has four books under his belt. His first novel is "Cantik itu Luka" ("Beauty is a Wound"), was published in 2002. "Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas" ("Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash"), published in 2014, is Eka's third novel. It will be released in the United States in mid-2017.