Marvel and DC Comics illustrator David Ross' Gundala fan art. (Photo courtesy of @gundalaofficial on Instagram)

Gundala Thunders Into Toronto International Film Festival for World Première


AUGUST 09, 2019

Jakarta. "Gundala," Joko Anwar's new superhero movie, has just generated more hype with the announcement that it will have its world première at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The Gundala première will be part of the festival's action, horror and fantasy-focused Midnight Madness program.

Gundala, the thunderbolt-wielding The Flash lookalike, will be in competition for the Grolsch People's Choice Award: Midnight Madness alongside the more usual Hollywood fares including DC Comics' "Joker" by Todd Philips, "Radioactive" by Marjane Satrapi and "Knives Out," starring Chris Evans and Daniel Craig.

"This is a big honor, that Gundala has been selected for this prestigious festival. [I'm] proud that Indonesian films are considered as some of the best in the world today," producer Wicky V. Olindo said in a press release on Friday.

The Toronto International Film Festival will be held on Sept. 5-15. It is one of the "Big Five" film festivals in the world along with Cannes, Venice, Berlinale and Sundance. 

"I'm really happy to introduce an original Indonesian superhero to the international stage," producer Bismarka Kurniawan said.

Director Joko Anwar said the TIFF world première shows that Gundala, a superhero with distinctive Indonesian traits, is finding an international audience. 

The head of Indonesia's Creative Economy Agency, Triawan Munaf, said Gundala is a game changer for Indonesian superhero movies.

"Gundala's success at TIFF will leave an important legacy, [Indonesian superhero movies can create] a sustainable economic impact. Indonesian film fans will also have a better regard for local films," he said.

Gundala is an adaptation of an old Indonesian comic book by Harya Suraminata, better known as Hasmi. Its production house, Jagat Sinema Bumilangit, already has more Indonesian superhero movies in the can. 

In Gundala, Sancaka (Abimana Aryasatya) gains the power of the lightning-wielding Javanese mythical hero Ki Ageng Selo. He then faces the classic moral dilemma of a superhero: to fight crime as a vigilante with his new superpower or live a normal life as an ordinary citizen.

Gundala will be out in local cinemas on Aug. 29.