The Jakarta Post
A still of 'Humba Dreams'. (Courtesy of/Miles Films/Netflix)
Miles Films’ Humba Dreams will be available on Netflix starting on July 9.
Written and directed by Riri Riza, the movie tells the story of young film student Martin (J.S. Khairen) in Jakarta who is asked to return to his village in Pulau Humba (a native word for Sumba Island in East Nusa Tenggara). He then receives unused celluloid film, leading him to make a film and discover his own identity.
“I feel something is missing in this digital era. There are so many things too easily recorded and shared but soon forgotten. In Sumba, I found what was missing,” said Riri about the film. “This film is […] based on Indonesia’s abundance of stories from various places, and it continues Miles Films tradition of exploring Indonesia.”
Producer Mira Lesmana said that they had initially planned a limited release in national cinemas this year, but the release was delayed because of the pandemic. “When Netflix expressed their interest in acquiring Humba Dreams exclusively and streaming the film on their platform in the Southeast Asian region, I was very excited and said yes right away. Streaming it on Netflix will not only accelerate the film's distribution but will also reach a wider audience,” Mira said.
Raphael Phang, Netflix’s manager of content acquisition for SEA, said, “Humba Dreams is an authentic story from Indonesia, and we are very proud to tell this Indonesian story to the world."
In 2017, the film won a CJ Entertainment Award for script development at the Asian Project Market (APM) of the Busan International Film Festival. It received a Piala Maya Award in 2019 for Best Film in the Independent Film Not Shown in a Regular Cinema category.
The movie had its world premiere at the 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival and was screened in several cities in Indonesia in collaboration with film communities. These included the Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (JAFF), Kineforum and ARTJOG 2019.
On Netflix, Humba Dreams will join other Miles Films productions currently streaming on the platform, including Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 1 & 2 (What’s Up with Cinta), Athirah, Gie and Sokola Rimba (Jungle School). Another film from the company coming to Netflix is the martial-arts adventure Pendekar Tongkat Emas (The Golden Cane Warrior), which will be available on July 16.
At its screening during ARTJOG 2019, Mira said the idea to make Humba Dreams came when she and Riri were filming Pendekar Tongkat Emas in the region. During their time there, they realized that Sumba, in addition to boasting breathtaking landscapes, also had various community issues.
Riri, who has been exploring Indonesia since 2003, shared his enthusiasm for making the film in Sumba. He is hopeful that the movie will encourage people to see Indonesia from other perspectives, not only from that of Jakarta or Java. (wng)
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