a non-competitive section of Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival. The section was developed to read the diverse Asian perspectives from first or second directors who hold the future of Asian cinema.

School Town King

120 minutes | Documentary | Colour |O.v. Thailand, English | sub. English

Director: Wattanapume Laisuwanchai

Two boys, BOOK (18) and NON (13), cannot adhere to Thailand’s school culture. Every morning, students must stand perfectly in rows to sing the national anthem and recite the controversial ‘Twelve Values’ created by the military junta. The school curriculum’s core focuses only on academic achievement, making them lack interest. After school, they walk home to the Klong Toey community, the biggest slum located in Bangkok’s heart. The boys start to rap against the system of oppression and hope that music can lift them out of poverty. Why be a student when you can be a king of rap?

Director’s Filmography

2020: School King Town (feature)

2017: Phantom of Illumination (feature)

2011: Passing through The Night (short)

Production Company: Eyedropper Fill

Biriyaani (Flavours of Flesh)

95 minutes | Fiction | DCP | Colour| O.v. Malayalam | sub. English

Director:  Sajin Baabu

The movie chronicles the life of Khadeeja, a married Muslim woman confined within the four walls of the household, forced to conceal her desires in the name of religious and societal norms. When fate brings her to an abandoned life, she chooses a different way of financially and sexually liberating herself- to be a sex worker; soon to realize that her soul is still dissatisfied. Finding a new way of hope, she decides to give back to the forces that pushed her to live an orphaned life of humiliation and misery.


Film ini mengisahkan kehidupan Khadeeja, seorang istri dan wanita Muslim yang terkurung dalam rumah. Khadeeja dipaksa menyembunyikan keinginannya atas nama norma agama dan sosial. Ketika takdir membawanya ke kehidupan yang sial, dia memilih cara lain untuk membebaskan dirinya secara finansial dan seksual, yaitu menjadi pekerja seks. Namun, lambat laun Khadeeja menyadari bahwa jiwanya masih belum puas. Menemukan cara baru untuk menjalani hidup, dia memutuskan untuk mengkonfrontasi hal-hal yang membuatnya hidup sengsara sebagai yatim piatu.

Director’s Filmography

2020: Biriyani (Flavours of Flesh) (feature)

2017: Ayaal Sassi – A Man with Coffin

2015: Asthamayam Vare (Unto the Dusk)

Production Company: UAN Film House

Contact: Sajin Baabu :


88 minutes | Documentary | Colour | o.v. English, Indonesia | sub. English

Director:  Audun Amundsen

Newtopia is an immense, soul-wrecking, humorous and sobering tale from a disappearing world that brings us to a place in time which will never be documented again. The shaman Aman Paksa finds himself in a situation of continuous escalation towards modernity. For 15 years the director Audun Amundsen has followed Aman Paksa deep in the jungle of Indonesia and became a part of the clan, while documenting crucial key moments of a staggering cultural paradigm shift. Newtopia tells a story about everyone’s future, and past, and at the same time we witness the forming of an unlikely life long friendship.

Director’s Filmography

2020: Newtopia (feature)

Holy Rights

52 minutes | Documentary | Colour| o.v. Urdu | sub. English

Director:  Farha Khatun

“In the middle of the street he shouted Talaq. I wasn’t even there and the decision was made”

Safia, a deeply religious Muslim woman from Bhopal in Central India, driven by her belief that because of the patriarchal mindset of the interpreters of ‘Sharia’, Muslim women are denied equality and justice in the community. She joins a program that trains women as Qazis, (Muslim clerics who interpret and administer the personal law), which is traditionally a male preserve.

In its four years journey, the film also documents the movement against triple talaq, muslim women’s struggles to break free of patronising voices within the community as well as resist forces outside from appropriating their movement to suit their own political agenda.

Director’s Filmography

2020: Holy Rights (feature)

2014: I am Bonnie (short)

The Badger

93 minutes | Fiction | DCP | Colour| 

Director:  Kazem Mollaie

Right before Soodeh Sharifzadegan’s second marriage, her 11-year-old son, “Matiar” is kidnapped. After considerable effort, Soodeh is forced to ask for the ransom money from her ex-husband, “Peyman”. After Matiar’s release, Soodeh, being curious, comes to the sudden realization that it was all her son’s plan to provide the grounds for his father’s return.


Tepat sebelum pernikahan kedua Soodeh Sharifzadegan, putranya yang berusia 11 tahun bernama Matiar diculik. Setelah berusaha keras, Soodeh terpaksa meminta uang tebusan dari mantan suaminya, Peyman. Setelah Matiar dibebaskan, Soodeh yang penasaran, menyadari bahwa itu semua adalah rencana putranya agar ayahnya kembali.

Director’s Filmography

2020: The Badger (feature)

2017: Kupal (feature)

2011: Delete (short)

2009: Minus (short)

Hail Driver!

82 minutes| Fiction | DCP | Black & White | O.v. Malay, English, Mandarini | sub. English

Director:  Muzzamer Rahman

After his father’s death, the unemployed Aman returns to Kuala Lumpur and embarks illegally on a ride-hailing service, as he fails to obtain a driving license due to his colour blindness. When his landlord chases him out of his rental accommodation, he ends up sleeping in his car. A chance encounter with Bella, a Chinese ‘escort girl’, grants Aman a temporary residence at her place. In return, she asks Aman to become her driver. As they become closer, Bella confides in Aman about her intention to leave Malaysia. Complications ensue when Bella finds herself pregnant and decides to have an abortion.

Director’s Filmography

2020: Hail Driver! (feature)
2019: Ninavau (short)
2017: Linguistik Kedai Makan (short)
2017: Roti Tampal atau Gadis Dari Kosmos Lagi Satu (short)
2015: Nadia (short)
2013: Kopi, Donat & Bayang Gadis Berambut Hijau (short)
2012: Matinya Seorang Perempuan (short)
2011: Leman (short)
2011: Nesan Tak Terukir (Short)
2009: Ronamaya (short)

Production Company
Le Mediator Studio

Le Mediator Studio :

The Warden

90 minutes | Fiction | Colour | o.v. Persian, Farsi | sub. English

Director:  Nima Javidi

1960s, in Shah-era Iran. The curtain rises in an isolated prison, scheduled for demolition, where soon-to-be-promoted major Jahed is quivering with pride. His pompous authority though is about to slip away when he finds out that a death-row prisoner has vanished into thin air. As a paradoxical manhunt sets off, Jahed is joined by an attractive female social worker, with whom they are working at cross-purposes: she is convinced that the impoverished escapee has been framed. A clock-ticking thriller set in the Kafkaesque labyrinth of an empty prison, where absolute power is demystified to the point of collapse.


1960-an, di era Shah Iran. Film dimulai dengan menyorot Jahed yang senang karena akan dipromosikan. Latar dari film adalah sebuah penjara terpencil yang akan dihancurkan. Namun, kebahagiaannya sirna ketika mengetahui bahwa seorang tawanan yang dijadwalkan untuk hukuman mati telah menghilang. Ketika perburuan dimulai, Jahed bergabung dengan seorang pekerja sosial perempuan dan mereka bekerja untuk tujuan yang berlawanan, dimana sang wanita yakin bahwa pelarian yang miskin telah dijebak. Film thriller ini berlatar labirin dari sebuah penjara kosong, di mana kekuatan absolut dihancurkan hingga ke titik kehancuran.

Director’s Filmography

2020: Sun Children (feature)
2019: The Warden (feature)
2014: Melbourne (feature)
2010: Catnap (short)
2007: Person (documentary)
2004: The Poor Earth (short)
1999: Marathon Paralyzed Champion (short)

Production Company: Iranian Independents

Contact: Iranian Independents :

Just 6.5

134 minutes | Fiction | DCP | Colour

Director:  Saeed Roustaee

The city is brimming with drug addicts, many of whom are homeless. Samad, a member of Anti-Narcotics Police Task Force, is looking for a drug kingpin, Nasser Khakzad. After several operations, Samad manages to track him down at his penthouse, where he’s committed suicide but is still alive.
Nasser goes through legal steps that lead to his death penalty and execution, but along the way, Samad comes to realize that Nasser was drawn to this path because of broken down social conditions, imposed on him. Nasser is ultimately executed, and Samad who has been promoted to the station chief, resigns from his post. He has come to believe all the arrests and executions in all these years, did not have any effect on society’s drug problems. The end result of all the violence has been that the number of addicts has gone from one million to 6.5 million!


Kota tempat Samad tinggal penuh dengan pecandu narkoba dan banyak di antaranya adalah tunawisma. Samad, anggota Satgas Polisi Anti Narkoba, sedang mencari gembong narkoba, Nasser Khakzad. Setelah beberapa kali operasi, Samad berhasil melacaknya di penthouse, tempat dia pura-pura bunuh diri dan ternyata masih hidup.

Nasser akhirnya menjalani langkah-langkah hukum yang mengarah pada hukuman mati dan eksekusinya. Namun, dalam perjalanannya, Samad menyadari bahwa Nasser tertarik pada jalan ini karena rusaknya kondisi sosial. Nasser akhirnya dieksekusi, dan Samad yang telah dipromosikan menjadi kepala stasiun mengundurkan diri dari jabatannya. Dia percaya bahwa semua penangkapan dan eksekusi selama bertahun-tahun ini tidak berdampak pada masalah narkoba di masyarakat. Hasil akhir dari semua kekerasan tersebut adalah jumlah pecandu telah meningkat dari satu juta menjadi 6,5 juta!


Director’s Filmography

2019: Just 6.5 (feature)

2016: Life and A Day (feature)

2013: A Vetry Quiet Street (short)

2012: The Light-Colored Manteaux (documentary)

2011: The Ceremony (short)

2010: Saturday (short)

Production Company: Iranian Independents

Contact: Iranian Independents :

A Hairy Tale

105 minutes | Fiction | DCP | Colour

Director:  Homayoun Ghanizadeh

Danesh is in love with both cinema and Homa, a well-known actress. Kazem Khan is in love with both the movie, “Casablanca” and his barber shop’s certificate. Shapoor is love with both canned tuna and politics. The city is full of beggars while an earthquake may happen soon. Every now and then a body of a dead woman, with shaved head, is found near the sea. As the Inspector Kiani says: It’s a messy situation.

Danesh jatuh cinta dengan sinema dan Homa, seorang aktris terkenal. Kazem Khan jatuh cinta dengan film “Casablanca” dan sertifikat toko tukang cukurnya. Shapoor menyukai tuna kaleng dan politik. Kota ini penuh dengan pengemis sementara gempa bumi mungkin akan segera terjadi. Sesekali tubuh seorang wanita mati ditemukan di dekat laut dengan kepala gundul. Seperti yang dikatakan Inspektur Kiani: Ini adalah sebuah situasi yang kacau.

Director’s Filmography

2019: A Hairy Tale (feature)

2018: Irreversible (short)

Production Company: Iranian Independents

Contact: Iranian Independents :

Jhon Denver Trending

96 minutes | Fiction | DCP | Colour 

Director:  Arden Rod Condez

His name is John Denver Cabungcal, a Grade 8 student. All he really wants is to do well in school and bring good grades to his mother. But one day, a classmate accuses him of stealing an IPAD. After his classmate’s persistent allegation, John Denver snaps and assaults his accuser. Unluckily for him, someone records the incident and posts the video on social media. In just five days, this ordinary farm boy’s life is suddenly overturned.

Based on harrowing true stories, John Denver Trending is a reportage, a cautionary tale that bookmarks a period in our lives when we allow social media to reshape our mindset.
Namanya John Denver Cabungcal, siswa kelas 8 SMP. Yang dia inginkan hanyalah berprestasi di sekolah dan menunjukkan nilai bagus kepada ibunya. Tapi suatu hari, seorang teman sekelasnya menuduhnya mencuri iPad. Setelah mendengar tuduhan teman sekelasnya, John Denver marah dan menyerang penuduhnya. Sialnya, seseorang merekam kejadian tersebut dan memposting videonya di media sosial. Hanya dalam lima hari, kehidupan anak petani biasa ini tiba-tiba terbalik.

Berdasarkan kisah nyata yang mengerikan, John Denver Trending adalah reportase, kisah peringatan yang menandai periode dalam hidup kita ketika kita mengizinkan media sosial untuk membentuk pola pikir kita.

Director’s Filmography

2019: Jhon Denver Trending (feature)

Long Day

86 minutes | Fiction | DCP | Black & White | O.v. Chinese | sub. English

Director:  Yumo Luo

One day, a man bought a used electrical motorcycle and started delivering goods. On this day, Lan Xu and his girlfriend Li Can quarreled because of the pressure of life. In order to life continue, Li Can decided to leave his 3-year-old daughter An An and steal things from the store. Cashier Ms. Zhou was missed by the store manager for negligent work she did not find that Li Can stole things at this time. Ms. Zhou was fired by the boss. Then she went back home after that. Because she was dissatisfied with her flatmate who soiled the house’s hygiene, she stick a paper on her fltmate’s door to mock her flatmate, and she felt that she had found her pride again. But because of she accidentally filled the wrong address of her package made the diliverman went a lot of places on his first working day. Ms. Zhou’s sticker of mocking her roommate made her roommate very angry, so she had to call the house agent Lan Xu and police Wang Haiyang for asking help. Police officer Wang who arrested Li Can was worried about the little girl AnAn who was at home alone all the time,but he was in troubled by various trivial matters, while Li Can ’s boyfriend Lan xu cannot be connected by phone call.
Pada suatu hari, seorang laki-laki membeli sepeda motor bekas dan mulai mengantarkan paket. Di hari yang sama, Lan Xu dan kekasihnya, Li Can, bertengkar karena beban hidup mereka. Demi melanjutkan hidup, Li Can memutuskan untuk meninggalkan An An, anak perempuannya yang berusia 3 tahun, dan mencuri barang-barang dari sebuah toko. Sang kasir, Nona Zhou, tidak menyadari barang-barang di toko tersebut dicuri dan karenanya ia dipecat. Saat pulang ke rumah, teman sekamarnya yang jorok membuatnya marah. Nona Zhou pun lalu menempelkan sebuah kertas di depan pintu temannya sebagai bentuk kekesalannya. Namun, karena ia menuliskan alamat yang salah di paketnya, si pengantar paket harus pergi ke banyak tempat dengan kesusahan pada hari pertamanya bekerja. Stiker kertas yang ditempel Nona Zhou membuat teman sekamarnya murka sehingga ia memanggil Lan Xu, sang agen rumah, dan Wang Haiyang, seorang polisi, untuk meminta tolong. Polisi Wang yang menahan Li Can merasa khawatir akan An An yang ditinggal sendirian di rumah, namun begitu banyak hal lain yang harus ia urus, sementara Lan Xu tidak dapat dihubungi.

Director’s Filmography

2020: Long Day (feature)

Contact: Yumo Luo :

In My Dream

100 minutes | Fiction | DCP | Colour| O.v. Turkish | sub. English

Director:  Murat Ceri

Tarık is an urban child about 8 years old. In a car accident, his father dies, he suffers from memory loss. Her mother is in a coma in the hospital. Since he has no one, he is sent to the village with his grandparents. Tarık does not remember anything, but dreams constantly. He connects himself to a little donkey who lost its mother in a car accident in the village.
Tarik adalah seorang anak berumur 8 tahun yang hidup di perkotaan. Sebuah kecelakaan mobil menyebabkan ayahnya meninggal, ibunya terbaring koma di rumah sakit, dan ia mengalami gegar otak. Karena tak memiliki siapa-siapa, ia dipindahkan ke pedesaan untuk tinggal bersama kakek dan neneknya. Tarik tidak mengingat apapun, namun dia selalu bermimpi. Ia melihat dirinya bagai seekor keledai yang ditinggal mati ibunya karena sebuah kecelakaan mobil di desa.

Director’s Filmography

2020: In My Dream (feature)

The Tremor

71 minutes | Fiction | DCP | Colour | O.v. Tamil 

Director:  Balaji Vembu Chelli

A rookie photojournalist sets off to report on a massive earthquake that has allegedly destroyed an entire village. Being his first major assignment, he is anxious to reach the disaster site before anybody else. But soon, he finds himself lost in the desolate mountains amidst uncanny locals with cryptic clues that do not match the disaster he was craving to witness.
Seorang jurnalis foto muda ditugaskan untuk melaporkan sebuah gempa besar yang diduga telah menghancurkan sebuah desa. Kepergiannya ke situs gempa sebagai tugas perdana membuatnya amat gugup. Namun, sesampainya di sana ia mendapati dirinya tersesat di antara pegunungan, ditemani para warga lokal yang misterius beserta tanda-tanda tersembunyi yang tak menunjukkan adanya bencana yang ia pikirkan.

Director’s Filmography

2019: The Tremor (feature)

Production Company: Fly On The Wall Films

The Love of Tapang Tree

87 minutes | Documentary | DCP | Colour| O.v. Mandarin, English, Malay | sub. English 

Director:  Nova Goh

With her days numbered, Madam Ong decided to unveil her deepest secret to her son — Ming. With the camera all setup, she spoke of her early life as a wife of the commander of a guerrilla force during the British colonial era in Borneo, Sarawak. A love story in times of war. She was one of the only two survivors to live to tell the tale. Moved by Ong’s story, her son decided to teamed up with the Director and contemporary dancer — Kuan, to retrace Ong’s footsteps, in hope to know more about her personal story as well as the untold history during the era. Along the journey, Kuan got more and more attached to Ong’s story, being a women herself, she was particularly moved by the love that Ong showed for her former husband — Commander Yong, whom Ong would symbolise as a Tapang Tree, the strongest tree in Borneo rainforest, a tree that gave her all the support she needed in life. The day Yong was shot death, the Tapang Tree fell, Ong’s world collapsed.
Dengan waktu hidup yang tersisa sedikit, Madam Ong memutuskan untuk membuka rahasia terdalam miliknya kepada sang anak — Ming. Di depan kamera, ia menceritakan kisah masa mudanya sebagai seorang istri dari komandan pasukan gerilya pada masa kolonial Inggris di Borneo, Sarawak; sebuah kisah cinta di zaman perang. Ia merupakan satu dari hanya dua orang yang selamat dan dapat menceritakan kisah ini. Tersentuh oleh kisah Ong, Ming pun tergerak untuk membentuk sebuah tim bersama seorang sutradara serta penari kontemporer — Kuan, bersama-sama menelusuri jejak Ong dengan harapan dapat mengetahui lebih dalam mengenai kisah hidup Ong dan sejarah yang luput dari media kala itu. Selama perjalanan, Kuan merasa semakin jatuh hati dengan kisah Ong: sebagai seorang wanita ia tersentuh akan cinta yang Ong berikan untuk mendiang suaminya — Komandan Yong, yang Ong ibaratkan bagai sebuah pohon ketapang, pohon terkuat di hutan hujan Borneo yang memberinya seluruh sokongan yang dibutuhkan di dunia. Di hari di mana Yong tertembak mati, pohon ketapang itu tumbang, dan dunia Ong pun runtuh.

Director’s Filmography

2020: The Love of Tapang Tree (feature)

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