The Jakarta Post
Award night: The Usmar Ismail Awards, now in its second year, crowned Aisyah: Biarkan Kami Bersaudara (Let Us Be Sisters) as Best Film. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Film One production Aisyah: Biarkan Kami Bersaudara (Let Us Be Sisters) was named Best Film at the Usmar Ismail Awards (UIA) on Saturday evening. It also picked up awards for its screenplay by Jujur Prananto, supporting actor Arie Kriting and supporting actress Lidya Kandou.
Directed by Herwin Novianto, Aisyah follows a young Muslim woman from West Java, played by Laudya Cynthia Bella, as she struggles being a teacher in a Catholic village in East Nusa Tenggara.
The diversity-themed drama was named Best Feature Film at the Piala Maya Awards last December, chosen by film community and practitioners.
At UIA, the film received eight nominations on par with Rudy Habibie, a biopic on third president BJ Habibie helmed by Hanung Bramantyo. Rudy Habibie won the award for Best Sound Editor, which was handed to the team of Chris David, Khikmawan Santosa and Satrio Budiono.
However, the most awards were taken home by production house Miles Film for its two films released in a year from March 2016, both directed by Riri Riza.
Athirah, a biopic on the mother of Vice President Jusuf Kalla, won two awards, one for Best Actress (Cut Mini Theo) and the other for Best Art Director (Eros Eflin), while romance Ada Apa dengan Cinta? 2 (What’s up with Cinta? 2) took home three awards: Best Film Score, Best Soundtrack (Anto Hoed and Melly Goeslaw) and Best Editing (J. Ichwandiardono).
Read also: ‘Athirah’ wins award at French film festival
Aisyah: Biarkan Kami Bersaudara (Let Us Be Sisters).(Film One Production/File)
Istirahatlah Kata-kata (Solo, Solitude) won Best Director (Yosep Anggi Noen) while Best Actor went to Gunawan Maryanto for his portrayal of Wiji Thukul, the politically active poet, during his hiding from persecution in 1996.
The awards night at Balai Kartini was aired live by Trans7 and packed with performances from Krisdayanti, Cakra Khan, Rossa, Afgan, Once Mekel, Sheryl Sheinafia, Iis Dahlia, Benigno and Wezzy belting out the popular title tracks of Indonesian films.
The UIA, now in its second year, was named after the father of Indonesian film, a journalist-turned-film director, soon after the country’s independence.
The jury had initially shortlisted 30 out of 135 films released between March 3, 2016 and March 23 for the nominations in 13 categories.
“The films nominated not only met the aesthetic and cinematography standards of a feature film but they also featured messages on actual issues,” said jury chairman Wina Armada.
Last year, the jury named Surat dari Praha (Letters from Prague) Best Film, which follows the story of political exiles in Eastern Europe.
Honoring the effort to reenact the speech of founding president Sukarno, the jury presented a special award to documentary drama Pantja-sila: Cita-cita dan Realita (Five principles: Aspiration and Reality) directed by Tino Saroenggalo with main cast member Tyo Pakusadewo.
The Lifetime Achievement Award this year was handed to JB Kristanto for his contributions to archiving Indonesian films in a book.
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