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Campus-made sci-fi film ready to be screened in cinemas

Sri Wahyuni

The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta  /  Sat, September 8, 2018  /  08:05 pm
Campus-made sci-fi film ready to be screened in cinemas

'Tengkorak' filmmaker and stars at Cinequest Film Festival 2018, San Jose, the United States. (Akasacara Film/-)

Tengkorak (Skull), a science-fiction movie produced by students and lecturers of Gadjah Mada University’s (UGM) Vocational School, is ready for screening in national cinemas starting on Oct. 18, following its success in regional and international film festivals.

“Today is a special day for us as we finally can announce that we have a fixed date for the screening of the film in national cinemas,” school dean Wikan Sakarinto, who also executive produced and acted in the film, told journalists at the campus on Wednesday.

The film's director, Yusron Fuadi, said it had taken four years to finish Tengkorak, which is rich in visual effects. He said a total of 127 visual effects were created for the film, similar to the amount seen in Hollywood movies.

“You don’t have to watch it, but if you do, I can assure that you will find in Tengkorak something that you have never found before in Indonesian movies,” said Yusron, who is also a main character in the movie.

Read also: ‘Tengkorak’ gets warm welcome at Cinequest 2018

Yusron did not seem to be exaggerating as despite the limited budget, Tengkorak has received appreciation and recognition both in regional and international film festivals.

Screened for the first time at the Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival’s special gala program in Yogyakarta in December last year, Tengkorak was named a nominee for Best Film at the Cinequest International Film Festival in California, the United States, in March. It is also among the official selections to be screened during the Balinale International Film Festival in Bali by the end of this month.

Wikan said looking at the end product, the movie commercially could have spent up to Rp 16 billion (US$1.07 million) to make. Yet, he said, the school so far had only spent about Rp 500 million, which was mostly used to buy a special computer unit required to work on the visual effect elements.

“We really started from zero,” said Wikan, adding that all the crew members worked free of charge, among whom included UGM rector Panut Mulyono and 10 deans of the university.

The film tells the story of finding a giant skull of a creature predicted to be some 2 kilometers tall, following a major earthquake in Yogyakarta in 2006. The finding leads to chaos and global wars of interests as it is believed to be able to change the history of the world.

The story starts when a UGM student accidentally gets a clue a few years later, which leads to answers to the questions regarding the skull, thus putting her in a dangerous situation.

Yusron said the film was shot in Yogyakarta, Bandung (West Java); Jakarta; Mount Bromo (East Java) and Singapore. (asw)