‘Athirah’ wins big at Indonesia top film festival
Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak
The Jakarta Post
Miles Films’ Athirah won six awards at the Indonesian Film Festival (FFI) 2016 on Sunday evening, including the Citra Award for Best Picture.
Producer Mira Lesmana and director Riri Riza, who was also honored as Best Director for the film, received the trophy, the most prestigious award at the country’s largest film festival.
“It’s my first time attending the festival in 12 years,” said Mira earlier as she walked down the red carpet heading to the venue at Teater Jakarta in Taman Ismail Marzuki Arts Center in Central Jakarta.
“This year I’ve seen how serious the organizer has been in preparing for this event and seen the rise of the industry, with many films succeeding in garnering over 1 million
The film, which was nominated in 10 categories, also won Best Screenplay Adaptation, Best Costume Director, Best Artistic Director and Best Actress, for Cut Mini’s personification of the title character
Meanwhile, the Lifetime Achievement Award went to senior actress Christine Hakim.
The awards night was also a celebration of freedom of expression. All the nominees for Best Picture touched on sensitive issues that were in the past subject to censorship.
Riri’s Athirah follows the story of the mother of Vice President Jusuf Kalla, wrapped up in the struggle of a woman dealing with polygamous marital issues, while Pritagita Arianegara’s Salawaku dealt with a pregnancy out of wedlock in a conservative society.
Rudy Habibie, directed by Hanung Bramantyo, is the story of a young BJ Habibie — Indonesia’s third president — dealing with discrimination and political repression, while Surat dari Praha (Letters from Prague) by Angga Dwimas Sasongko showcased the political views of Indonesians in exile knitted into a love story. The film will represent the country at the 89th Academy Awards in the Foreign Language film category in February 2017.
Meanwhile, the last nominee for Best Picture category, Aisyah: Biarkan Kami Bersaudara (Aisyah: Let us be Sisters) directed by Herwin Novianto, is a narrative about the co-existence of people of different faiths.
“We picked the theme of restoration in the film industry for the festival this year, with a change of mindset in censorship as the main message,” said the organizing committee chairman, actor/director Lukman Sardi.
“We are surprised the voters picked the film nominees in line with our message.”
At least 150 voters from the film industry and FFI lifetime members were involved in the judging of 86 feature films and 308 shorts and documentaries. The online voting was audited by independent auditing company Deloitte.
The awards ceremony, which was directed by Inet Leimena with the stage designed by Jay Subiyakto, was also graced by performances by Shanty Paredes, Tara Basro and Tatyana Akman, as well as a collaboration between Bunga Citra Lestari and Yogyakarta-based hip hop artist Marzuki Mohamad.
The first FFI, formerly known as National Film Appreciation Week, was held in 1955, with the second and third held in 1960 and 1967. It became an annual event in 1973 but was suspended in 1993 as a result of the low production level of local movies.
The FFI was revived in 2004 as the local movie industry began once again to flourish.
2016 FFI Award Winner
Best Picture: Athirah
Best Director: Riri Riza for Athirah
Best Original Screenplay: Jujur Prananto for Aisyah Biarkan Kami Bersaudara
Best Screenplay Adaptation: Salman Aristo and Riri Riza for Athirah
Best Actress: Cut Mini in Athirah
Best Actor: Reza Rahadian in My Stupid Boss
Best Supporting Actress: Raihaanun in Salawaku
Best Supporting Actor: Alex Abbad in My Stupid Boss
Best Visual Effects: Andi Novianto in Headshot
Best Original Soundtrack: “Ratusan Purnama” in Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? 2
Best Short Film: Prenjak
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