As Indonesian cinemas are mostly dominated by Hollywood movies, international film festivals are always a welcome opportunity to learn more about the cinematic landscape of other countries.
The “Festival Sinema Australia Indonesia 2017”, held in Jakarta between January 26 and 29, offers film enthusiasts the chance to take a glimpse into contemporary Australia. “I am so pleased to say that we are back with the Australian-Indonesian film festival,” said H.E. Paul Grigson, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, at the press conference at Senayan City XXI on Tuesday. “Last year was a great success so this year we have expanded both the type and the list of films and the cities where we are showing them, Jakarta, Surabaya and Makassar.” The line-up includes the award-winning film “Lion” starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. “Lion”, based on the book “A Long Way Home”, is the true story of Saroo Brierley, who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta as a 5-year-old and is eventually adopted by an Australian couple. More than two decades later, he begins to search for his lost family. Saroo Brierley will attend the festival on January 29 for a Q&A session with the audience after the screening of “Lion”. Other Australian films shown during the festival are “Girl Asleep”, “Spear”, “Looking for Grace”, “Satellite Boy” and “The Ravens”. The festival also features Indonesian filmmakers who have studied in Australia, namely Kamila Andini’s “Sendiri Diana Sendiri”, Mouly Surya’s “What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love” and Riri Riza’s “Sokola Rimba”. “Film is a remarkable medium which entertains and inspires people across the world. It conveys a nation’s character and the stories of its people,” the Ambassador explained. “These films feature different aspects of Indonesia’s diverse societies, our histories and our aspirations. These stories will resonate with audiences of all ages.” For the first time, the festival includes a short film competition that aims to support the Indonesian film industry and its aspiring filmmakers. From more than 300 entries, six short films were selected as finalists. The winner, determined by a grand jury, will participate in the Melbourne International Film Festival. “It’s a great way to start the new year,” the Ambassador said. “This year we are going to promote the Australian lifestyle, as we call it, in a campaign using the hashtag AussieBanget. This month, January, is all about film, and other months will have different themes.” For more information and full screening schedule, visit FSAI.Eventbrite.com