The growth of Indonesian films in 2022 has disproven the fears of some predictions about the difficulties Indonesian films would face when the pandemic figures start to slow down. Expected to start with a stagnation and progress slowly, Indonesian films actually accelerated. The number of viewers slightly exceeds the record audience in 2019. The percentage of Indonesian film viewers has also exceeded the number of non-Indonesian film viewers. The record for the largest audience was broken with “KKN di Desa Penari” reaching more than 9 million viewers. The very optimistic atmosphere was immediately reached.
Success without visible and traceable consistency is artificial. Consistency can be realized if the ecosystem, not only in production, and not only for feature-length fiction films, progresses well. In previous years, especially last year, the number of applicants for Indonesian feature films was large and varied. This year the number is lower and has challenged the program team even more, to determine which films to also include in the competition program for the Indonesia Screen Awards.
We are also including several feature documentaries in this program. The decision to combine fiction and documentary is common in world festivals, so it’s not wrong for us to try and include them. There are two documentaries in this program. Talking about the events of 1965, and those who lost their citizenship to the point where they couldn’t return to their home country, is nothing new in the series of films about 1965. These exiles then recorded the current situation of those who were abandoned by their country. “Roda-roda Nada” from Yuda Kurniawan captures events in a suburban area about dreams, love, and music.
When it comes to music, “Galang” from Adriyanto Dewo also discusses the same thing. The underground music scene and the pain of loss both make an appearance in the film. Loud music also accompanies the film “Balada Si Roy” from Fajar Nugros. This adaptation of a popular story from almost five decades ago is told in a modernistic style complete with the look and sparks of the era. “Stealing Raden Saleh” from Angga Dwimas Sasongko is a very modern film. A new form of drama about a theft, set in a wider space and a narrower situation, with a race against time.
Two films position the sea as a story. “Cross the Line” from Robby Ertanto takes place on a ship. The story displays the hope of reaching a better destination even when caught in an unavoidable vortex. “Sound from the Sea” by Khusnul K Hitam uses a child’s perspective in seeking freedom and chasing their dreams. A horror film from Ismail Basbeth, “The Portrait of a Nightmare”, has been chosen to join the pack in the Indonesia Screen Awards program. It’s a journey through darkness searching for a glimmer of light.
Three films from three different cities have also been selected. The labyrinth between imagination and reality, dreams and reality about a little boy and his grandmother are explored in “History of Untellable Tales” from BW Purbanegara, shot in Bali. There is an adventure to find a cow considered a family asset in the film from Makassar, “Sahara”, directed by Zhaddam Aldhy Nurdin. Finally, there’s a journey about Papuan women reaching for their dreams, directed by a Papuan director Theo Rumansara titled “Orpa”.
Hopefully in the future Indonesian feature films will also maintain or even be more vibrant in their diversity. Of course, we hope that physical and non-physical infrastructure will continue to receive support. Enjoy the diversity of Indonesian feature films at the Indonesia Screen Awards program.