The Jakarta Post
'The Malediction' is a movie set in Yogyakarta, which is considered a religiously conservative town. (Shutterstock/File)
Indonesian short film The Malediction won a special mention in the Southeast Asian short film category of the Silver Screen Awards held in Singapore on Saturday night, beating 15 other films from the region.
“I am certainly happy to win the award. I had no expectation of winning, because the movie is 27 minutes long and it is about Yogyakarta […]. But it turns out that neighboring countries, specifically in Southeast Asia, have some things in common, and making a film to emphasize that we have a common culture is fun,” said filmmaker Makbul Mubarak on Saturday.
The Malediction is set in Yogyakarta, which is considered a religiously conservative town. The story is about Haji Halim, who lives there as a wealthy man and decides to marry a young widow with the aim of helping her, despite opposition from his first wife. She curses him, and some unfortunate events soon follow.
The movie won the special mention because sensitive issues like religion and polygamy in a country that cherishes tradition gave the jury great insight into the lives of the characters living in the small province. The bizarre take on gender inequality also makes this film relevant today.
Makbul will receive a prize of S$1,000 (US$742). He plans to make a film titled The Autobiography in 2019, which is nominated in the Development Programme of Most Promising Project that recognized Thai film A Useful Ghost as the winner.
HONORARY AWARD & CINEMA LEGEND AWARD The Festival is delighted have presented its two highest honours this year to Indonesian filmmaker, Garin Nugroho, for the Honorary Award and to legendary Japanese actor, Koji Yakusho, for the Cinema Legend Award. We had a great audience this evening at Koji Yakusho’s In Conversation session; and we hope to see you at Garin Nugroho’s Masterclass tomorrow Sun 3 Dec at 11.00am at the National Museum of Singapore. • • The Honorary Award recognises filmmakers who have made exceptional and enduring contributions to Asian Cinema. Capturing his love for his country and Javanes culture, Garin Nugroho’s filma possess an undeniable poetic and reflective quality that resonate with audiences, gaining critical attention at home and international festival. A teacher, community leader and artist, Nugroho is one of the most important Southeast Asian filmmakers of our time. SGIFF is proud to confer this year’s Honorary Award on Garin Nugroho. • • The Cinema Legend Award is awarded to a luminary Asian actor who has made an indelible mark with his or her performance, celebrating outstanding achievements in bringing Asia’s story to life on screen. Koji Yakusho has worked in over 60 films with directors like Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Takashi Miike. Known internationally for his performances in Memories of a Geisha ( 2005 ) and Babel ( 2006 ), his latest work includes Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Third Murder at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival, and a special appearance in Atsuko Hirayanagi’s critically acclaimed Oh Lucy! which just screened at SGIFF this year. The Festival is proud to present the Cinema Legend Award to Koji Yakusho for his lifelong dedication to acting and his inspiring contribution to Asian cinema.#SGIFF2017 #thefutureis #MBSxSGIFF
There are four categories in the Southeast Asian short film competition. The first category, Best Singaporean Short Film, was won by Between Us Two by Tan Wei Keong. Thai film Death of the Sound Man by Sorayos Prapapan took home The Youth Jury Prize, and Sorayos also won in the Best Director category. The award for Best Southeast Asian Short Film was given to Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month by Carlo Francisco Manatad from the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho won the 28th Singapore International Film Festival Honorary Award for his contribution to Asian Cinema.
“This award also presents the character and identity of the festival. What is the identity of the festival this year? It is change, always change. Change in all the members of the festival and change in the film genres,” Garin said when receiving the award.
During his career, Garin has produced films like Slice of Bread in 1991, Letter for an Angel in 1994 and My Family, My Films, My Nation in 1998.
Garin who is a teacher, community leader and artist, is considered one of the most important Southeast Asian filmmakers, having negotiated the complexities of his nation through the language of film. He is the recipient of the BJ Habibie culture award, the French honorary decoration of Chevalier dans lórdre des Arts et Lettres and the Stella D’atelerie Cavalerie award from the Italian government. (kes)