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Indonesian short film on oil palm industry enters international festivals

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, March 19, 2018  /  02:57 pm

Sigek Cokelat (Chocolate Bar), a short film about oil palm plantations in West Kalimantan, has reportedly been entered in two foreign film festivals, the US's Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) and the 2018 International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema London (IFF London 2018).

The film has been nominated in five categories at the IFF London 2018: Best Cinematography in a Foreign Language Film, Best Short Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay of a Short Foreign Language Film, Jury Award and Best Director of a Short Foreign Language Film.

VOA Indonesia reported that Sigek Cokelat had been entered in 10 international film festivals. However, it has yet to be screened in Indonesia, following the requirements of various film festivals.

Read also: Viddsee joins Indonesian Film Board to promote short films

Directed by Ashram Shahrivar, an Indonesian diaspora living in Los Angeles, California, the 15-minute film tells the story of a family that works at a palm oil plantation in West Kalimantan and reveals the ugly truth behind the industry.

Ashram told VOA Indonesia that the idea for the film came after he saw a viral video on Facebook about an orangutan in pain as it caught fire against a background of deforestation.

Sigek Chocolate, which means "chocolate bar" in the Malay dialect spoken in West Kalimantan, was chosen as its thematic title, because palm oil is among the ingredients used to produce a bar of chocolate.

Ashram said that he wanted the movie to open the audiences’ eyes to what was really happening on West Kalimantan plantations while people were enjoying chocolate. (jes/wng)

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