Jakarta. Indonesian feature films and documentaries will be screened at the Europalia Arts Festival, which will take place at the Bozar Center of Fine Arts and Vendome Cinema in Brussels, Belgium, from Jan. 9-23.
The event will be held in conjunction with the biannual Europalia Arts Festival, one of the biggest arts festivals in Europe.
The final round of Europalia will showcase 30 feature films, 12 documentaries and 10 short films, which represent diverse themes such as women's issues, history, politics, religion, sexuality, arts and culture and social and urban issues.
Speaking at a press conference in South Jakarta on Wednesday (12/12), film director and curator Nan Achnas said the festival will highlight films that were made after the reform era, which marked the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998.
Nan said the films were selected to represent the milestones of Indonesia’s film industry after a long hiatus due to political rules that prohibited any projected images on the big screen prior to the reform era.
"Some of the films we selected are able to raise the issue of pluralism, questioning the role of women in modern Indonesian life, criticizing the social order, celebrating the freedom to dream among children and films that focus on unique individual lives."
The films to be screened will include "Laskar Pelangi" ("The Rainbow Troops") by Riri Riza; Joko Anwar’s "A Copy of My Mind"; "Love for Share" by Nia Dinata; "I Dance With Camera on My Finger" by Sardono W Kusumo; "Postcard From the Zoo" by Edwin; "Istirahatlah Kata-Kata" ("Solo Solitude") by Yosep Anggi Noen; and "Puisi Tak Terkuburkan" ("A Poet") by Garin Nugroho.
In the historical category, the festival will screen restoration films "Tiga Dara" ("Three Midens") by Usmar Ismail; the 1974 "Titian Rambut Dibelah Tujuh" by Chaerul Umam; and the 1987 "Saur Sepuh: Satria Madangkara" ("Tale of Madangkara’s Knight") by Imam Tantowi.
A discussion led by Dr. Budi Irawanto, a writer, researcher and a professor at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, and a screening of Garin Nugroho’s "Opera Jawa" ("Requiem of Java"), will kick off the event on Jan. 9.
Teddy Soeriatmaatja’s "Lovely Man" will open the festival on the next day at Vendome Cinema.
In addition to the event, Europalia Arts Festival Indonesia also invited guests from Indonesia’s film industry like Sardono, Mira Lesmana, Nia Dinata, Lavesh Samtani and Ismail Basbeth.
Hilmar Farid, director general for culture at the Ministry of Education and Culture, said the ministry fully supports the screening events.
"I am very proud that Indonesia is the guest of honor at the Europalia [festival]. This will help promote our creative industries, especially local films to larger audiences."
He said he is hopeful that the event will encourage young filmmakers to never give up on promoting a positive impression of Indonesia through film.
"I hope this event inspires them [filmmakers] to never give up on creating great local films," Hilmar added.