The Jakarta Post
Written and directed by Kamila, 'The Seen and Unseen' was the only film from Asia selected to compete at Platform, which is said to be the festival's most prestigious program. (tiff.net/File)
The Seen and Unseen by Indonesian filmmaker Kamila Andiri premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to an enthusiastic audience on Tuesday, according to a statement.
"The film, which tells the story of Indonesian people, was enthusiastically received by a large crowd audience who filled the movie theater and was then followed by a lively applause after 86 minutes of screening," the statement said.
Written and directed by Kamila, it was the only film from Asia selected to compete at Platform, which is said to be the festival's most prestigious program. The 2017 Academy Awards' Best Picture, Moonlight, also premiered there.
Five years in the making, The Seen and Unseen tells the story of a pair of boy-girl twin children named Tantri, played by Thaly Titi Kasih, 12, and Tantra, played by Gus Sena, 13. Ten-year-old Tantri retreats to a fantastical and evocative dream space to deal with the impending loss of her twin bother.
TIFF CEO Piers Handling on Tuesday attended the film's premiere, which he dubbed as the "hottest" selection.
“The first time I watched this movie, I was very impressed with its sensitivity in understanding the world of children. This film conveys imagination, creativity of cinema, simplicity, as well as magical things in it,” Piers said in his remarks at the event, as quoted in the statement.
Stars of the film, Thaly and Gus, had flown from Bali to speak at the premiere, along with Kamila. When asked why she chose children as the main characters in the film, Kamila said she wanted to explore a different point of view.
"Children always have their own paradigm, and letting go of that paradigm has always been something I was interested in exploring. Death and night time are two topics that are foreign to children. This foreignness is what I want illustrate in a different way," Kamila said.
Producer Ifa Isfansyah said The Seen and Unseen will premiere in Asia next month at the 2017 Busan International Film Festival and will air in Indonesian theaters sometime in early 2018. (kes)