The longest running international film festival, Europe on Screen, is back this month with a range of movies and other programmes. 93 movies will be screened at cultural centres, universities, co-working spaces and hotels this year. From 3 to 12 May, Europe on Screen will also tour the country stopping at Jakarta, Bandung, Medan, Denpasar, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta.
NOW!JAKARTA spoke to Meininaputri Wismurti, the festival co-director of Europe on Screen (EoS) about the highlights of the festival this year.
It’s your first time handling this big festival since you were appointed to be the first Indonesian festival co-director of EoS. What makes this year’s festival unique? What is Europe on Screen 2018 about?
Personally, it’s very nerve-wracking. It’s very personal for me. My colleague, Nauval Yazid who is also co-directing the festival, and I grew up watching and coming to the festival. We only had three months to prepare the festival. We aim to bring more films by holding the screening in more venues and in more cities. EoS has its loyal fans. This year, we also want to invite younger audiences to come see the movies. That’s why we are holding some screenings in public spaces where people can watch with their friends and family.
Tell us about curating the movies this year. What can Indonesian audiences expect from the lineup?
We are used to the idea that European films are serious and boring. In 2018, moviegoers will see more diversity of film genres, not only drama, but also family movies and comedies. Europe also has this. Though the vision of the European Union is to focus on the tagline “We All Love Movies”, we have made sure that the movies we curated consider the power of the story where people will be inspired by the diversity of the stories from France, Spain, Hungary or the Czech Republic.
What are the various programmes this year?
We will be screening fiction, documentary features and retrospective screenings of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman. There are also specialtiy programmes such as short film screenings, on location screenings, open air screenings, exclusive previews, surprise screenings, film talks, and short film pitching projects. We will also screen Indonesian movies shot in Europe as well as European films made in Indonesia such as “Surat dari Praha” and “5 Islands, 5 Villages”. One of the topics of the film talks is“The Art of Subtitling”. EoS will host European filmmakers such as Weronika Mliczewska, Dierdre Barry, Jean-Pascal Elbaz, Aliakbar Campwala, and Andreas Johnsen.
You mentioned Ingmar Bergman just now. What will we be seeing from his classic work?
This year marks the centennial birth of Ingmar Bergman. We will screen three classics which have been digitally restored, “Autumn Sonata”, “The Seventh Seal”, and “Wild Strawberries”. We have added archival interviews with Bergman and will also hold an exhibition of Bergman’s life journey at the Goethe Institute throughout the festival.
There are going to be five movies about the ocean this year. Tell us about this environmental focus.
As the European Union Ambassador, H.E. Vincent Guerand, said [during a press conference in mid April] Europe and Indonesia have been working on maritime issues. The programme is expected to increase awareness of the impact that our daily choices have on our planet’s blue lungs. It’s a good way to reach out to the public through a movie screening. It’s not only storytelling about what is really happening but there is also advocacy involved. For example, the documentary film, “The Last Sea Gypsy” will change our perspective on the ocean.
What is the Short Film Project about?
For the first time, EoS has organised a Short Film Pitch Festival. Ten finalists were selected from 122 submissions made during March. Indonesian filmmakers pitched their ideas to a panel of professional filmmakers. Three winning projects will receive production funds from EoS and the short films will premiere during Europe on Screen next year.
Is there increased cooperation between Europe and Indonesia in relation to the film industry?
It’s getting easier. We can see more Indonesian movies shot in Europe and European films shot in Indonesia. Since the Joko Widodo administration, it’s been more accessible to produce and screen European movies. There is also more funding for movies. We also see that Indonesian filmmakers are showing their movies at European film festivals. We frequently see foreign films from Hungary or Iran. For two years in a row now, Indonesian movies have been screened at the Cannes Film Festival such as “Prenjak” by Wregas Banuteja and “Marlina: The Murderer in Four Acts”. Though this festival, I hope it will be more accessible and improve the Indonesian film industry.
To see the full schedule of the festival, visit the Europe on Screen official website http://europeonscreen.org. All screenings are free.