The Jakarta Post
A still from 'What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love' by Mouly Surya. (Courtesy of Cinesurya/-)
A prestigious platform for arthouse films, the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland is shifting online and offering over 80 films to stream amid the pandemic.
Annually held in August, the festival usually welcomes 8,000 film fans to the open-air Piazza Grande to watch its selection. This year, from Aug. 5 to 15 the festival is showcasing 20 films (10 full-length and 10 short) from Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Malaysia in its Open Doors Screenings.
The films are available to view worldwide and exclusively online, with up to 1,500 free views available. The list includes Isabel Sandoval’s Apparition (2012, Philippines), Maung Wunna’s Tender Are the Feet (1973, Myanmar) and Chia Chee Sum’s High Way (2018, Malaysia).
The program aims to promote new, young talents as well as surveying or rediscovering the early works of directors from the region who have made a name for themselves on the international circuit.
There are six Indonesian films in the program, namely Riri Riza’s Atambua 39 Celsius (2012), Aditya Ahmad’s Kado (A Gift, 2018), Garin Nugroho’s Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku (Memories of My Body, 2018), Wregas Bhatuneja’s Tak Ada yang Gila di Kota Ini (No One is Crazy in This Town, 2019), Mouly Surya’s What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love (2013) and Luhki Herwanayogi’s On Friday Noon (2016).
Tak Ada yang Gila di Kota Ini was adapted from Eka Kurniawan’s short story about people with mental illnesses who are exploited as tourist attractions. It was named the Best Short Film at last year’s FFI and was selected for the short film competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
In December last year, Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku swept eight awards at the Indonesian Film Festival (FFI), including Best Feature Film and Best Director. The film was banned in several regions due to its allegedly homoerotic nature. Despite the controversy, it was chosen to represent Indonesia at the 2020 Academy Awards.
Both films are currently not available to view, presumably because the viewing number has reached 1,500.
Wregas tweeted on Friday evening that he was requesting the festival increase the viewing quota.
Bagi yang mendapati "sold out" saat menonton " #TakAdaYangGilaDiKotaIni "dikarenakan kuota menonton film di Locarno Film Festival adalah 1.500 orang per film. Kami sedang request pihak festival untuk menambah jumlah kuota tersebut. Mohon tunggu info di @rekatastudio— Wregas Bhanuteja (@Wregas) August 7, 2020
About a family in Timor Leste with each member facing their own hardships, Atambua 39 Celsius was included in official selections of the 2013 International Film Festival Rotterdam and the 2013 Melbourne International Film Festival, among other events.
Kado was named Best Short Film at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival in Italy for the Orizzonti section and had its premiere in the United States at the 2019 Sundance International Film Festival. It tells the story of masculine female student Isfi who has to constantly adjust herself to her social surroundings.
From award-winning director Mouly Surya, What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love presents a love story between people with disabilities, while On Friday Noon tells the story of Wina, a prostitute searching for a mosque to perform Friday prayer.
The complete list of films available to stream can be seen here. (wng)
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