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Anticorruption campaigning through short movies

Felicia Tiara

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, July 5, 2018  /  08:16 am
Anticorruption campaigning through short movies

Anti corruption Film Festival (ACFfest) first started in 2013 to commemorate International Anticorruption Day, but was stopped in 2015 because of budget constraints. (Shutterstock/File)

Decades ago, the late Mohammad Hatta, who was the first vice president of Indonesia, said corruption had become a part of Indonesian culture.

On Aug. 17 this year, Indonesia will celebrate 73 years of independence and nothing seems to have changed when it comes to corruption. It remains a part of the culture in a society easily lured by the idea of getting rich and becoming powerful quickly regardless of the consequences.

During first president Sukarno’s reign and successor Soeharto’s dictatorial New Order regime, massive corruption by high ranking officials was conducted “under the table”, and while everyone knew what was really going on, almost everyone tried to protect each other’s back.

Following democratic reform, with the establishment of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in 2002, it has become so blatantly obvious how rampant corruption is. 

Within the last couple of years, Indonesians have witnessed how high ranking officials — from regents to governors and even the speaker of the House of Representatives — fell from grace and went to prison specially assigned for graft offenders.

Because of the severity of corruption within society, the KPK has decided to bring back its Anti corruption Film Festival (ACFfest) to remind Indonesians how such crimes should not be included in the country’s culture and daily life. 

The festival first started in 2013 to commemorate International Anticorruption Day, but was stopped in 2015 because of budget constraints.

One of the KPK’s deputy commissioners, Saut Situmorang, said the commission felt the need to bring the festival back because it believed films were the best instruments to inspire people to change.

“When you are feeling down from a break up, you will become even more depressed if you watch sad movies. By using this principle, we would like to show Indonesians what corruption is all about and how it can truly hurt people,” Saut said. 

This year’s ACFfest is a short movie competition and festival. The tagline for this year is “Integrity Starts With You, Make Your Movie” and the KPK expressed its hope that aspiring filmmakers will showcase movies with anticorruption messages such as transparency, integrity and honesty.

Filmmakers who want to participate and compete in the festival can register by submitting their short movie ideas to the organizer from June 28 to Aug. 20.

Director Kamila Andini, who is one of the judges, gave some tips for filmmakers to make the best proposal. 

“My mentor once said we need to be able to explain the idea of a film in only one intriguing sentence,” Kamila said. 

The KPK will then choose the best seven movie ideas and each of the seven filmmakers will receive Rp 20 million (US$1,389) to start producing their film. The chosen filmmakers will also get the chance to join workshops and mentoring programs held by professional filmmakers.

Once the filmmakers finish making their film, they will compete during ACFfest to earn the right to brag as the festival winner and receive additional filmmaking tools such as laptops and cameras as their prize.

The competition during ACFfest, scheduled to take place in November, will feature the screening of the produced films on the first day. 

The KPK will then hold a film discussion at the National Library of Indonesia on the second day of the festival and in the following days, the organizer plans to embark on a roadshow and distribute DVDs of the produced short films.

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Short movie proposals can be submitted via email to [email protected] Aug. 20.

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The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post.

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