press enter to search

FFI 2020 brings new optimism for filmmakers

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, June 17, 2020  /  03:06 pm
FFI 2020 brings new optimism for filmmakers

New norms: A new logo is created for FFI 2020 to represent the new spirit of humility, creativity, collaboration and inclusivity being shared among film people to ride out the pandemic. (Courtesy of FFI/-)

In anticipation of new challenges, the organizing committee of the country’s prestigious Indonesian Film Festival has devised necessary changes to its programs this year.

In its 40th edition, shortened to FFI 2020, the committee that will end its three-year tenure this year changed the event’s logo to a simpler, yet dynamic set of letters to reflect the current situation.

The logo, as well as this year’s programs, according to committee head Lukman Sardi, represented the spirit of the festival.  

Against all odds: Indonesian Film Festival organizing committee head Lukman Sardi announces the start of this year's awards in a virtual press conference on June 16. The awards night will be held in December.Against all odds: Indonesian Film Festival organizing committee head Lukman Sardi announces the start of this year's awards in a virtual press conference on June 16. The awards night will be held in December. (Courtesy of FFI//Arman Febryan)

“We adopt the spirit of humility, creativity, collaboration and inclusivity as our foundation in working on our programs,” said the actor and film director. 

“We want to show the ‘new face’ of the festival,” he said in a virtual press conference on June 16 to announce the start of the festival.

The committee’s program head, film director Lasja F Susatyo, said two main programs were being prepared -- the announcement of nominees in November and the awards night in December – while it had yet to be decided whether to hold them in virtual settings or on-site pending further progress in the country’s mitigation efforts.

There will also be side programs to educate people on film literacy, such as a movie soundtrack concert, FFI Academy and film screenings.

“We are preparing for both settings by observing health safety protocols,” said Lasja. 

“However, the technology enables us to reach out far and wide, to all film communities and even our Asian counterparts with whom we share the same enthusiasm to face the new challenges.”

Since the World Health Organization announced the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic mid-March, the Indonesian film industry has been in a pause with the halting of production while all movie theaters were closed.

Although the government has started to gradually ease restrictions on people's movement and business activities since last week, movie theaters are among the last to be allowed to reopen.

In this slump, according to Lukman, the festival would boost the morale of those involved in the film industry through the public appreciation of their work. 

“It is of great significance to hold FFI, especially during a time like this, as we should not stop creating,” he said.

To support the industry, the Education and Culture Ministry launched on June 14 a movement called Satu Hari Satu Hal Baik Film Indonesia (One Good Thing About Indonesian Film Each Day) to improve public confidence in the industry.

“The pandemic has taught us to keep moving and empower ourselves, look out for every opportunity by rallying creativity and using technology to distribute it,” said Minister Nadiem Makarim in a recorded speech, addressing stakeholders of the film industry.

“Indonesian films have become a part of our daily lives and a source of inspiration, especially in tough times. They hold an important role in keeping us optimistic and being entertained,” added Nadiem.

The festival as a pool of support for creative workers could also assume a role as a medium for cultural advancement, he said, adding, “by joining our hands, the Indonesian film industry could survive this difficult time and ascend to being a more advanced industry”.

According to the committee’s head of judging and selection, Nia Dinata,  53 feature films were eligible for preliminary selection - films that had been screened in movie theaters from Oct. 1, 2019 to March 15.

“In previous years, we could have listed eight to 15 new releases a month,” she said.

The situation, she said, called for a breakthrough. As the selection process will end on Sept. 30, there will be ample time for filmmakers to submit new releases screened at drive-in theaters, through OTT services or other streaming platforms.

The same as last year, the curatorial team will also consist of representatives from film communities for short films, documentaries, animation or other experimental products.

The shortlist will be handed to the associations of film professionals to vote for the winners.

Acting as the ambassadors of FFI 2020, top-notch actors Laura Basuki, Reza Rahadian and Chicco Jericho shared their optimism for new efforts to keep the industry going.

While Chicco took the filming halt as an opportunity to improve the script for his next movie, the third installment of Filosofi Kopi (The Coffee Philosophy), Reza and Laura braved the filming of Sekarang, Selamanya (Now, Forever) amid the public health crisis by applying strict health protocols with a very minimal cast and crew. 

“We decided to go on with filming to inspire others on how to cope with the situation and to keep working,” said Reza. “I believe that film workers and communities are up to the idea of collaboration and are ready to work together to get out of this situation.”

“We hope the Education and Culture Ministry and the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, which oversee Indonesian film, will soon come up with safety guidelines for us to start working again. We cannot delay this further if we want to save the industry.”

Your premium period will expire in 0 day(s)

close x
Subscribe to get unlimited access Get 50% off now