Thursday, December 20, 2007


The 2007 Indonesian Film Festival recently concluded in Pekan Baru of all places. I guess the industry gurus of the Indonesian cinema wanted to bring the films to their audiences outside Jakarta. Actor Alex Komang (who was in KL for the screening of his film Bom Bali (Long Road To Heaven) at the KLIFF 07, did extend an invitation to me and a couple of other friends - however, due to various commitments, none of us could make it.
Anyway, the 2007 FFI was really a showcase to award commercial filmmaking at its best - because that's what they did - they honoured commercial hits. Below are the results:

Best Film: Naga Bonar Jadi 2
Best Direction: Hanung Bramantyo (Get Married)
Best Actor: Deddy Mizwar (Naga Bonar Jadi 2)
Best Actress: Diana Olivia (Mengejar Mas Mas)
Supporting Actor: Lukman Sardi (Naga Bonar Jadi 2)
Supporting Actress: Meriam Bellina (pictured above) (Get Married)
Cinematography: Ipung Rahmat Syaiful (Kala)
Art Direction: Wencisiaus (Kala)
Sound: Adytia Susanto/Adimolana Machmud (Naga Bonar Jadi 2)
Score: Dian HP (Love Is Cinta)
Editing: Cesa David Lukmansyah (Get Married)
Best Indonesian Language Film: Kala
Screenplay: Naga Bonar Jadi 2
Documentary: Sang Budha Bersemayam di Borobudur (Marseli Sumarno)
Short Film: Karena Aku Sayang Markus (Magra C Noor)

Jury Awards
Best Animation: Bahan Bakar Tinja (
Jury's Choice Best Director: Deddy Mizwar (Naga Bonar Jadi 2)

Commercial box office hit Naga Bonar Jadi 2, a comedy, won the major awards - or rather old hand Deddy Mizwar (pictured below on the right) went home with three awards - actor, screenwriter and jury choice for best director (don't know what this award means as the official best director award went to Hanung Bramantyo for the comedy and modest hit Get Married).

I'm glad that Kala (pic below), the stylish and noirish film by Joko Anwar won a few awards including cinematography and art direction. It also won another strange award - Best Indonesian Language Award - which I assume means that the other films in the running were in Javanese or Minang or other local dialects.
Another old hand, the beautiful actress Meriam Bellina won best supporting actress. This is wonderful as I've been a fan of this beautiful woman since she appeared in Roro Mendut directed by an old friend of mine, the late Amy Priyono. In fact, in the early 90s, when I got to produce and write my first ever sinetron for Indonesia entitled Agensi, I casted Amy Priyono. I also named the fictitious ad agency in the series Roro Mendut Ad Agency - a nod to Amy's classic film.
Strangely at the FFI, the big guns drew blanks - Garin Nugroho didn't have a new film after last year's Opera Jawa (scene from the movie shown below),Eros Djarot too hasn't completed his much awaited The Last Dancer, no entries from Riri Reza and Nia Dinata (who scored big with her Berbagi Suami in 06).
Nevertheless, the overall quality of Indonesian films have actually improved - technically and commercially - and augurs well for their industry.
In the domestic scene, I heard that we have two dozen films already completed and waiting to be screened. This does not include the indie films (perrenial favourites at international fest circuits) and those that are in production. For a country that has very few local film fans, this is not necessarily good news - but there are a couple of films that are worth checking out - Hans Isaac's Cuci and Mamat Khalid's Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang.

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