Youths shine at short film festival
By Gotot Prakosa
JAKARTA (JP): Two important cinema events passed without much fanfare in the capital last week, the Jakarta Arts Institute (IKJ) School of TV and Film's annual national short film competition and the 2nd Indonesian Independent Video Film Festival.
IKJ chose four best short films from among 20 titles vying for the school's awards this year.
Faozan Risal's Angin Kemarau (Summer wind) won the award from Kodak for best cinematography and will be featured in the upcoming Asian film festival next February, where it will compete with works of young artists from Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan. Should the film win the Asian award, it would eventually find its way to the international film festival in Rochester, New York.
Faozan is a young productive cinematographer who makes films with his friends.
The wind was directed by Lono Abdul Hamid, a young director who got a big name for his short film Bawalah Aku Terbang (Up where You Fly), 1998, a story about a boy, overly influenced by his mother, who chooses to become a transvestite. The exotic film will be featured at the ongoing Jakarta International Festival on Nov. 6 at H. Usmar Ismail film center.
Another of IKJ's choices is Anugerah yang Terindah (Most Beautiful Award) by director Lina Nurmalina for best plot category. The film was acclaimed for presenting great detail with a simple plot and powerful characters. It is Lina's debut.
Saat Menyatakan Cinta (Moment to say love), the second work of director Eric Gunawan, was recognized for its innovative filming techniques. Eric's first short film was Sebuah Lagu (A Song), 1998.
IKJ's best choice is Untuk Secangkir Kopi (For a Cup of Coffee), the debut of Lintang Pramudya Wardani. The wide-screen format film tells about a man who left home for over 10 years after having an affair. When he eventually returns, his wife accepts him.
The IKJ awards are presented every Oct. 28, the Youth Pledge Day, also the anniversary of the passing of cinematographer D. Djajakusuma, who died in 1987.
Meanwhile, the Independent Video Film Festival at H. Usmar Ismail film center from Oct. 25 to Oct. 28 attracted about 1,550 people, mostly youths.
The festival featured 88 local and four German films.
The four foreign films were winners of the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, which has a relationship with Indonesia's Independent Film Community.
The 88 local films came from major cities across Indonesia, mostly Jakarta (60), Bandung (10), Yogyakarta (8), Surabaya (5), Semarang (1), Gunungkidul (1), Palembang (1) and Bali (2). All of them were local audience choices.
The most favorite films received awards from Kuldesak Foundation managed by well-known film figures like Mira Lesmana, Nan T. Achnas, Riri Reza and Rizal Mantovani and from Set Foundation led by film director Garin Nugroho.
The favorite film of the audience's choice was Portrait by William Christian, 16, and friends, who made the film together with Pop Corner, a non-governmental organization offering film lessons to high school students. The film also won Special Mention from Kuldesak, which gave it Rp 1 million in cash.
Kuldesak awarded Rp 1 million cash to www.gasberacub.con, a short film by Puguh p.s. Admaja for best plot category. While Violence against Fruits, an experimental short film about racism was awarded Rp 1 million for best concept category.
"The most pop" category award of Rp 2 million from Kuldesak went to Don't Touch, a short film by Andy Nugraha. The monochrome film that tells about drug addicts is poetic and well-done.
Taim Krisis (Time crisis) and Jadi Pembalap 10 Menit (Ten Minute Racer) were proclaimed as "most independent works" and won Rp 500,000 and a trophy each from Set Foundation. Both films were made by teenagers with Pop Corner.
The events proved that short films are thriving better than long feature films in Indonesia. The independent film festival was the second to have been held in Jakarta.
With the slogan of "Think freely, work independently, develop Indonesian cinema", has proven to be a popular forum for the younger people to express their ideas through cinema. The effort is worth trying outside Jakarta as well.