Indonesian Film Festival 2012

THE Indonesian Film Festival is on again for the seventh time in Melbourne this October. Marcella Purnama has the details on the biggest celebration of Indonesian screen culture in Australia. Plus we have free tickets!

It’s lucky number seven, and the largest celebration of Indonesian screen culture in Australia is coming to town.

Screening five movies in six days, the seventh Indonesian Film Festival will once again fill the movie-goers appetite for Indonesian culture. The program includes a Meet and Greet session, a workshop and a seminar, an educational program which includes a movie screening for Australian high school students, as well as two drama and two comedies.

Located in RMIT Capitol Theater this year, festival managers Andrew Aditya and Kemal Caesar say they are thrilled for the opportunity to celebrate Indonesian culture in Melbourne.

“Since coming to Melbourne last year, by the time we literally stepped down from the airplane, we heard about IFF,” Andrew says.

“Then, Melbourne University Indonesian Association’s leaders asked Kemal and I to be involved in the festival, since the founder, Ronald Wicaksana, has gone back to Indonesia and he envisioned that IFF can be once again screened in Melbourne this year.”

Kemal took the opportunity to be involved too.

“We saw an opportunity to be involved in something big,” Kemal says.

“If we can, then why not? And it’s film, it’s something that we personally enjoy ourselves.”

When asked what movies both of them would recommend, they both agreed on the Lovely Man. 

“It tells the story a girl from the village, who comes to Jakarta for the first time to find her father. However, as she arrives, she finds something very different about her father,” enthuses Kemal.

“If you want to know more, watch the movie!”

The Lovely Man has also been screened at other film festivals. It was accepted into the official selections at the Hongkong International Film Festival 2012, the  Palm Springs International Film Festival 2012, and the Busan International Film Festival 2011. The film’s lead actor, Donny Damara, won the Best Actor in Asian Film Awards 2012.

Kemal says the opening movie, Dilemma, is also in demand with its unique concept. The movie consists of five plots knitted into one cohesive story. It won the title of Best Feature Film at DetectiveFEST 2012 in Moscow, Russia.

“Dilemma is an omnibus movie – so it has five different stories directed by five different actors that tell stories about individuals’ life complications, decisions, and lessons,” says Kemal.

“Each character has his own different background and they face different issues.”

On the last day of the screenings, IFF will showcase two comedies: Mama Cake and For Ucok.

Despite being branded as a comedy, Mama Cake addresses the important issue of finding one’s own identity. It tells the story of Raka, a 25-year-old bachelor who comes from a wealthy background but does not complete his studies. With no idea of what to do with his life, he finds himself trying to fulfill his grandmother’s last dying wish – to buy the famous Mama Cake’s chocolate cake.

Ucok, on the other hand, tells the story of a mother’s obsession with finding her daughter a husband. But being the stubborn daughter that she is, she decides to pursue her passion of making movies rather than stepping into a marriage. Money, however, is her problem.

In addition to these screenings, a Meet and Greet session with Dilemma’s artists and directors will be held on October 9 at 7pm at Ramen Ya, The Paramount. A seminar, followed by a workshop  will be held on October 10.

Kemal says the Indonesian Film Festival will also offer an educational program for high school students. It will be screening Ciliwung Troops to Grade 8 to 12 students who study the Indonesian language.

“By joining this educational screening, we hope the local high school students are able to practice their own Indonesian language,” he says.

With a combination of movie genres, workshop, and events, Andrew and Kemal hope to set the benchmark of how Indonesian culture should be celebrated.

“One of the the purposes of this movie is to bring entertainment to Indonesians,” Andrew says.

“But we don’t want to stop there.

“We also want to introduce Indonesian culture to the locals. At least, from Indonesian language used in the movies, people would get a taste of what Indonesian cultures are able to perform.”

The Indonesian Film Festival 2012 runs from October 8 to October 13. Tickets are able to be purchased online or at the door. Check out the festival website for more information.

The Indonesian Film Festival is giving a lucky Meld Magazine reader a double pass to Dilemma, a double pass to Lovely Man, and a double pass to Mama Cake.

For your chance to win, tell us which movie you would like to catch in the comments section below. Remember to provide your real name and email address so we can get in touch with you.

The competition closes on Friday, October 5 and is only open to those living, studying or working in Victoria. Winners will be picked in a random draw and announced via email on Saturday, October 6. 

There are 3 comments

  1. Livia Benedict

    I’d love to watch Dilemma. An omnibus movie always interests me and I’m always excited to see how the story connected. More, it’s about Jakarta, which is my hometown. Can’t wait to watch it.

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