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Europe on Screen returns with animation, documentaries

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, April 25, 2018  /  08:35 am
Europe on Screen returns with animation, documentaries

Film festival: A scene from the animated drama The Breadwinner. (Elevation Pictures/File)

Animated movie The Breadwinner ( 2017 ) is set to open the Europe on Screen (EoS) film festival, which returns to Indonesia for its 18thedition this year. With a total of 93 films from 23 countries, the free-admission festival is ready to entertain audiences in six cities on May 3 to 12.

The Breadwinner, an Irish animated movie based on the novel of the same name by Deborah Ellis, marked the first animated movie to open EoS. Produced by Angelina Jolie, the Oscar-nominated feature was chosen for having a theme close to the heart of Indonesians. 

EoS co-director Meninaputri Wismurti said organizers believed that the movie’s theme fit the current state of the country.

“The movie is about a little girl who tries to survive for the sake of her family, while also being repressed by her country and religion. She tries to find her own way, and while it may seem naive, it is very touching,” Meninaputri said, adding that organizers had wanted the audience to have a connection with the opening movie.

This year, EoS organizers will present two themes for filmgoers to reflect on. The first theme, #Bergman100, will commemorate the centennial birth of legendary Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, with restored versions of Bergman’s Autumn Sonata ( 1978 ), The Seventh Seal ( 1957 ) and Wild Strawberries ( 1957 ) set to be screened at the Institut Français d’Indonésie (IFI) Jakarta and TIM XXI in Cikini, Central Jakarta.

The other theme, #OurOcean, comprises six documentaries on marine issues, including The Last Sea Gypsy ( 2017 ), a Dutch film on the Bajo Sea Gypsy, a tribe from Wakatobi in South Sulawesi that lives in harmony with the ocean.

European Union Ambassador to Indonesia Vincent Guérend said in a statement that #OurOcean was dedicated to the plight of the world’s oceans.

“Both European countries and Indonesia share a concern about the fragile life of the oceans and their value in our lives,” Guérend said, adding that he hoped the program would increase awareness about the impact the public’s daily choices have on the ocean.

One of the highlights of EoS is a surprise screening to be held on May 11 at IFI Jakarta. Festival organizers were tight-lipped about the screening, saying only that it would be the most exciting part of the festival, and that tickets would be available only one hour before the event.

Filmgoers will also be given the chance to see a preview of two new European movies that will be released commercially after the festival: Based on a True Story ( 2017 ) by Roman Polanski, and Submergence ( 2017 ) starring Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy.

EoS will also hold a panel discussion on the importance of film subtitling, featuring speakers Jean-Pascal Elbaz, a professional translator and subtitler from France, and Aliakbar Champwala, the director of documentary film The Invisible Subtitler.

Festival co-director Nauval Yazid said the idea for the panel discussion came after he attended a film festival that screened a badly subtitled Indonesian short movie.

“It was an Indonesian short and it had bad English subtitles, while the Indonesian [dialogue] wasn’t that great either. The [movie] got lost in translation. After that, I texted [Meninaputri] to hold a discussion on subtitling,” Nauval said.

EoS will conclude with a screening of My Big Night ( 2015 ), a Spanish comedy making light of what goes on behind the production of a hit TV show.

“[…] It gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of the entertainment business, but presented in a comedic way,” Meninaputri said, adding that she also wanted to change the perception of European movies being too serious. (jlm)

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