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Indonesian filmmakers sweep prestigious awards

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, October 27, 2020  /  12:55 pm
Indonesian filmmakers sweep prestigious awards

International appeal: A behind-the-scene image of web series "Pretty Little Liars". The drama and mystery series available on streaming platform Viu won nine National Winners titles at the 2020 Asian Academy Creative Awards. (Courtesy of Viu Indonesia/-)

Indonesian short films and documentaries released on major streaming services Viu and Vidio won big at the region’s two important awards.

Web drama and mystery Pretty Little Liars, an adaptation of the American series with the same name, won nine National Winner titles at the Asian Academy Creative Awards (AACA) 2020.

The awards’ announcement, made on Oct. 15 in Singapore, also honored two other Viu Indonesia original productions: web series Assalamualaikum Calon Imam (Greetings, Imam Trainee) and Dawuk, a short film in Viu Shorts! Season 2 produced by a group of students in Cilacap, Central Java.

From the three films, Viu received 14 National Winner titles out of 40 categories, making it eligible to enter the international round in December to compete with winners from India, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, the Philippines, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The winner for each category will receive the prestigious Goddess of Creativity trophy.

In four years of its operation in Indonesia, Viu has brought many Indonesian films to international audiences and taken part in developing and improving the quality of local productions.

In 2018, Viu won five titles through The Publicist, Sunshine and Kenapa Harus Bule? (Why a Foreigner?), while last year, it got two best titles with Knockout Girl and Viu Shorts: Miu Mai, a short movie made by students in Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara.

Recently, Viu received the Best TV Format Adaptation (Scripted) award at the 2020 ContentAsia Awards for Pretty Little Liars.

Separately, the 2020 Viddsee Juree Awards Indonesia named Indonesian short films released on Vidio streaming service Har and 50:50 as Gold and Silver winners, respectively.

The awards ceremony was held virtually and broadcast live on Viddsee, YouTube and Vidio on Oct. 8.

Started in 2016, the Juree Awards is an annual industry award celebrating the best short films from Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

This year’s winners were picked by an international panel of judges comprising Filipina producer Armi Rae Cacanindin, whose short film Employee of the Month premiered at Cannes Critics’ Week; world-class festival programmer, film writer and producer Paolo Bertolin, whose resume include international festivals and institutions such as IFFRotterdam, the Doha Film Institute, Mumbai, Beijing and Torino Film Festivals; and Indonesian filmmaker Yosep Anggi Noen, whose film Peculiar Vacation and Other Illnesses was nominated for the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival.

Unforgotten:  Short feature film Unforgotten: Short feature film "Har" is named Gold Winner at the 2020 Viddsee Juree Awards Indonesia. Directed by Luhki Herwanayogi, the film is a family drama set against the background of a politically unstable Indonesia in 1998. (Courtesy of Vidio/-)

Gold winner Har, directed by Luhki Herwanayogi, follows a boy who takes the brunt of the civil unrest and political turmoil in Indonesia in 1998.

“The panel of judges recognizes a film that gracefully reminds us on the periphery of history, life goes on. And sometimes, the big events of history affect the life of a little child,” the judges cited on the release. 

The film was a nominee at the 2018 Indonesia Film Festival and was screened at the 2019 Busan International Short Film Festival, as well as the 13th International Children Film Festival Bangladesh this year. 

“This film was inspired by my childhood interactions with my father, which led me to re-examine the past and our relationship. I wanted the film to be a reminder that while the past can never be repeated, we can still treasure it by bringing it back to life,” said Luhki, who runs his own production company, Catchlight Pictures Indonesia, and community-based production house Cre8pictures as quoted in the press release. 

Rofie Fauzie was named the Silver winner for 50:50, a documentary that spotlights Indonesia’s transvestite community through the personal story of Dona, an aging transvestite living in a halfway house. It was also nominated at the 2019 Indonesia Film Festival for Best Short Documentary Film. 

“I hope that this film will shed more light and empathy toward the transgender community living on the margins,” said Rofie, a documentarian who graduated from the Indonesian Cultural Arts Institute (ISBI) Bandung in 2019.

Filmmaker Philipus Maliobowo also received the Audience Choice Award for Koper Gendis Finding Answer Measuring Question, which centers on a 9-year-old girl who seeks to understand her father’s abusive behavior against his mother. The winner was chosen following public voting that closed on Sept. 14.  

Coinciding with the Juree Awards was the launch of Viddsee’s Indonesian podcast Difinisee, which featured frank discussions with filmmakers on the local filmmaking industry. The podcast is available now on Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.  

All nominated and other out-of-competition films of the Juree Awards are available for public viewing on

National Winners titles secured by Viu at the 2020 Asian Academy Awards:

Assalamualaikum Calon Imam, Viu - Prized Productions

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Miller Khan)
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Baskara Mahendra)
  • Best Original Program by a Streamer/OTT
  • Best Original Screenplay (Evelyn Afnilia)

Pretty Little Liars, Viu - Darius Sinathrya and Grace Whent

  • Best Actress in a Leading Role (Eyka Farhana)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Wulan Guritno)
  • Best Adaptation of an Existing Format
  • Best Cinematography (Batara Goempar)
  • Best Direction for Fiction (Emil Heradi)
  • Best Drama Series
  • Best Promo or Trailer
  • Best Sound (Endy Sunu)
  • Best Theme Song or Title Theme (“Secret” by Yovial Virgi and Bengky B-Clef, performed by Jennifer Coppen)

Viu Shorts! Season 2: Dawuk

  • Best Short Form Content


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