The Indonesian Film Festival (IFF), Australia’s largest celebration of Indonesian screen culture returns to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) this April.
Now in its 14th year, IFF brings together the most exciting new films from Indonesia, presenting Australian premieres of the best and latest arthouse and commercial films from some of country’s leading filmmakers.
Taking the ‘Enchantment of Authenticity’ as its theme, this year’s Festival showcases an eclectic mix of genres, perspectives and films by new and established filmmaking talents from a country known for its striking beauty and rich culture.
This year’s Opening Night Film Foxtrot Six screens only weeks after its premiere in Indonesia. The debut feature by Randy Korompis, Foxtrot Six is a gripping action-thriller set in the not-too-distant future and follows a former marine and his friends as they struggle to save Indonesia from a ruthless political leader who has seized control of the country. Executive produced by Hollywood veteran Mario Kassar (the Rambo and Terminator franchises, Total Recall, Basic Instinct) and filmed entirely in English, Foxtrot Six boasts some of Indonesia’s hottest young stars including Festival guest, rapper-turned-actor Oka Antara and heralds the arrival of a major new filmmaking talent in writer-director Korompis.
In Keluarga Cemara (Cemara’s Family) a close-knit family find themselves in financial ruin and are forced to leave their Jakarta home for a village in West Java, while the parents Abah and Emak (played by Festival guest Nirina Zubir) work hard to get back on their feet and younger daughter Ara embraces the change, elder daughter teenage Euis struggles to fit in at her new school and misses her friends in Jakarta. Keluarga Cemara is a heart-warming rumination on the importance of family, affluence and contemporary adolescence which won 6 Piala Maya Indonesian film awards including Best Film and Best New Director award for filmmaker Yandy Laurens in January.
Night Bus follows a group of civilians share a bus ride to Sampar, a town full of natural resources. It is heavily guarded by the state army who is fighting against the rebel militias, who want freedom over their homeland. Director Emil Heradi is a guest of the Festival.
Based on a true story, Terbang: Menembus Langit (Fly: Reach the Sky) is a classic rags-to-riches portrait of Onggy Hianata who despite being born into poverty in northern Borneo, has become one of the most successful network marketers in Southeast Asia and a prominent life coach. Star Dion Wiyoko (who plays Onggy) is a guest of the Festival.
Festival guest Robby Ertranto’s fourth film Ave Maryam (Ave Maria) is a tale of forbidden love between a young Catholic nun Sister Maryam who cares for the elder members of her order in a Semarang convent and a young priest Father Yosef. Beautifully shot by award-winning cinematographer Ical Tanjung (who also shot Foxtrot Six), Ave Maryam explores lust, guilt and the decline of religion.
Inspired by actual events, Turah (Leftovers) explores poverty and injustice in a small village of Tegal in Central Java. Spoken in the Tegal dialect and featuring non-actors, Turah is an intimate, immersive portrait of the lives of the rural poor in contemporary Indonesia, many of whom still lack access to basic education, healthcare, hygiene and nutrition. Turah was Indonesia’s official entry in the 2018 Academy Awards and won director Wicaksono Wisnu Best Director at the inaugural ASEAN Film Awards and a special mention at the Singapore International Film Festival. Wicakwsono Wisnu is a guest of the Festival.
Each screening will be introduced by a Festival guest and include a Q&A with highly regarded Melbourne film critic Peter Krausz.
In addition to the main screening program, the Festival presents a number of special pre-events starting with Under the Stars: a free open-air screening of the sequel to the 2015 hit Filosofi Kopi on Friday 22 March.
In Filosofi Kopi 2: Ben & Jody, two baristas find the purpose of life through their love of coffee and trying to give their customers the best coffee they can grind, brew and serve. Taking place two years after Ben (Chicco Jerikho) amd Jody (Rio Dewanto) decide to sell their store and travel around Indonesia to distribute terbaik, the best coffee, their adventures have hit a dead end. What is their dream now? The evening includes live music and Indonesian snacks and coffee will be available for purchase prior to the screening. Tickets are free, bookings via the Immigration Museum.
Short filmmaking is the focus of Through the Lens with a screening and discussion featuring emerging Indonesian filmmaker and Festival guest Aditya Ahmad on Thursday 28 March. While on Thursday 4 April, 4th Wall is “talk show” forum featuring Indonesian filmmakers and industry figures, including Festival guests stars Oka Antara and Nirina Zubir. Bookings via the IFF website.
The Festival is also presenting special educational screenings of Koki-Koki Cilik (Little Chefs) on Monday 1 and Thursday 4 April, 10:00 am ACMI. In Koki-Koki Cilik, Bima, a child from an underprivileged family participates in a very prestigious and expensive cooking camp. Koki-Koki Cilik is a story of friendship, generosity and being true to yourself and is particularly suited to middle years school students (years 5-8). The session includes Indonesian dancing and a classroom resource. All tickets $10, bookings via ACMI.
The 14th Indonesian Film Festival takes place from Friday 5 April to Wednesday 10 April at ACMI.
Tickets are now on sale via our website for Through the Lens and 4th Wall, and will be available soon for main screening. For now, tickets can be purchased through Angelyn Tirtajaya (+61 415 131 705).
For session times and full program information visit www.iffaustralia.com