Indonesia's Audit Board Launches Film Festival to Raise Awareness on Use of Public Funds

Yudi Ramdan from BPK, left, and filmmaker Ismail Basbeth during a press conference at the H. Usmar Ismail Film Center in Jakarta on Tuesday (14/03). (JG Photo/Lisa Siregar)

By : Lisa Siregar | on 8:41 PM March 15, 2017
Category : Life & Style, Movies

Jakarta. Indonesia's Audit Board, the BPK, launched its "Guard the Wealth of the Nation" film festival in Jakarta on Tuesday (14/03) to raise awareness on how public funds are distributed.

The film festival, with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will feature a talk show with BPK General Secretary Hendar Ristriawan and a series of film screenings.

BPK has hired rising Indonesian filmmaker Ismail Basbeth and TV journalist Thomas Herda for film and citizen journalism workshops in Jakarta, Medan, Magelang, Malang and Ternate as part of the festival.

The festival will also receive submissions of short film, documentary film, citizen journalism video and public service announcement until July 7. Winners in each category will receive funding for their next film.

BPK Public Relations Bureau Chief R. Yudi Ramdan said the film festival is aimed at educating young people about the BPK and to encourage the public to help oversee the use of public funds.

"We want to educate the younger generation, the future leaders of this country. Film is the language they speak," Yudi said.

Yudi said BPK had been producing short films to educate the public since 2014, when they released a 24-minute short film called "Kertas si Omas" (Omas' Papers). The film highlighted the lack of protection from the state for Indonesian migrant workers. The film was inspired by audit reports filed by the BPK.

"That short film shows that BPK's work is not just about fighting corruption. We also work to protect our migrant workers," Yudi said.

Yudi said he hopes films submitted for the festival's competition may spark new investigation by the BPK.

Ismail, the director of 2015's indie hit "Another Trip to the Moon" said film is the most effective medium to reach out to the country's youth.

Ismail will be leading a series of film workshops as part of the festival from March until May.

"Making film is now as cool as being in a band. Kids these days always talk about producing their own movies," he said.

Ismail said his role in the workshops will be to help develop new ideas.

"For example, filmmakers have to know that corruption is not only about stealing money," Ismail said. "It's about everything rotten and broken in the system. It's about people who cannot tell right from wrong."

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