ChopShots Pays Homage to the Art of Documentaries

By : Lisa Siregar | on 7:39 PM April 06, 2014
Category : Life & Style

jalanan2 DocNet Southeast Asia and Jakarta's Goethe-Institut will stage the third annual ChopShots film festival. The five-day ode to documentary filmmaking will feature 58 films, including Jalanan, pictured above. (Photo courtesy of Jalanan)

ChopShots, an international documentary film festival focusing on work from Southeast Asia, returns for a third year. Organized by DocNet Southeast Asia, a network for documentary projects initiated by Goethe-Institut and the European Union, ChopShots is a platform for professional documentary filmmakers in Asia and beyond. A series of events will take place in various venues in Jakarta from April 22-27.

The festival will open on April 22, with an award winning documentary about Indonesian street musicians, “Jalanan” (“Streetside”). Directed by journalist and writer Daniel Ziv, “Jalanan” presents the lives of Boni, Ho and Titi, who make their living by busking on Jakarta streets. The film starts with humble beginnings of Jakarta’s roadsides, but the conversation quickly covers various topics from love, politics, sex and corruption, to street music and globalization. Last year, “Jalanan” generated positive responses after winning Best Documentary at the Busan International Film Festival.

Documentary films offer a window to deeply observe a society. This year’s ChopShots features 58 documentaries that will be screened in GoetheHaus, Kineforum, 21 Taman Ismail Marzuki and Salihara. Each of these films highlights relevant issues in the Southeast Asian region, such as politics, history, democracy, religion, public life and the struggle of the indigenous people.

The festival divides its line up into two major categories, Competition and Non-Competition.

The Non-Competition category consists of four programs, namely “Docs Animated!”, “ChopShots Special,” “Why Poverty?” and “International Shorts.” “Jalanan,” along with last year’s “Special Mention” and “The Missing Picture” are strong contents in the ChopShots Special.

The festival also features one feature-length animation film, “Camp 14, Total Control Zone” from Germany, as well as three animation shorts from Malaysia, Norway and France.

“Why Poverty?” is a special section to highlight eight short films from the US, UK, Russia, Columbia, India, Malaysia and Ethiopia, all of which address poverty as a global issue and portray the struggles of living in various settings.

Participants in the Competition category are divided into two groups. Feature-length films go to the International Competition while short and middle-length documentaries by Southeast Asian directors are put within the Best SEA Shorts category. Filmmakers and scholars from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, the Netherlands and Germany, will decide on the best films.

As usual, DocNet Campus will also hold special training programs for Southeast Asian filmmakers, who were previously asked to send in proposals. If selected, these filmmakers will meet their professional counterparts in several master classes that are also open for public. The tutors are film festival regulars, such as filmmaker and architect Jord den Hollander, producer Min-Chul Kim and producer Wenlan Peng.

An exhibition called Early Images of Southeast Asia will take place at GoetheHaus from April 16-27. It will present collections from family archives and film institutions.

For schedules and further information about the ChopShots Documentary Film Festival Southeast Asia, check out

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