Flourishing and growing taking strides towards maturity, Community Forum (Community Forum) Jogja NETPAC Asian Film Festival is a space which facilitates the growth and development of film communities in Indonesia as a pillar of the Indonesian film scene. Like the Sakura flower cycle which starts with its blooming and lasting until it falls, this cycle also occurs in all walks of life. It may seem monotonous, but what makes each cycle different is what is experienced within. The 17th JAFF’s presence in this cycle provides the impression and even encouragement to do something meaningful before this cycle ends.
Reflecting on the past 2 years, the pandemic has changed every fundamental habit in all segments of society, including restrictions on space and encounters. However, it did not limit the creativity of film activists working, adjusting to new government regulations, innovations in production, exploration of artistic space, expression, and exhibition, as well as the emergence and spread of new talent in the Asian cinema landscape.
Film events are not only about spectators, screens and projectors. It is the meeting between fellow film activists that we have been waiting for, greeting each other, getting acquainted, hugging, and providing solutions to each other which is what we have been missing for 2 years. As we have only been able to meet face to face through gadgets, direct communication and outreach have become bridges of ideas and fluency for community members through the Community Presentation and Community Screening programs, to nurture people’s longing to express their ideas and emotions to one another from the 56 film communities participating in JAFF Community Forum #17.
Relationships and encounters have started to return to normal, and small notes from the journey and experiences in responding to the space have been recorded in writing and films. Art exchanges or residencies took place in the Socio Culture Practitioner and Participator of the Thailand International Destination Film Festival programs.
This new embryo needs to be equipped with all competencies. The socio-cultural aspects within the scope of Asian cinema need to be discussed amidst film exposure from outside. Educators need to work hand in hand to carry out this mandate to be passed on to young people so that they perpetuate Indonesian film on the international stage and respond to the challenges of the times through presenters giving presentations from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture Program and the Indonesian Film Agency. They will share their experiences on how to deal with challenges working in the Asian and World film environment.
JAFF has become a film literacy space for activists with countless film screenings since 2006. There is a demand for archiving and management in the digital era to develop and advance. This year JAFF has a new division at the Yogyakarta Cinema Foundation, namely the JAFF Archive which will explain film archiving management and its function for films selected and screened as well as films submitted to the festival.
Distribution and exhibition have always been separate issues for filmmakers. Film distribution is something that needs to be done, and thus more often brought up in discussion. The professionals at STRATEGY OF FILM DISTRIBUTION FESTIVAL & SURPRISE SCREENING provide a solution for filmmakers to distribute and enter films into a festival. Apart from that, films need alternative screening spaces to grow their economic value. Solutions have emerged from various VoD and OTT platforms, one of which is Bioskop Online, a platform to look out for, especially for young filmmakers looking to screen their work.
The critical role of networks between film communities can be a bridge for exchanging various ideas, as well as the knowledge of how to build an efficient film community in the form of a program carried out by the Indonesian Film Community Network (IFCN).
Especially for this year, JAFF invites 17 films directed by women. Gender equality is important and one way to monitor the growth of female directors is to provide space for their expression.
Valuable lessons for Indonesian football from the Kanjuruhan Stadium incident on October 1 2022 which claimed hundreds of human lives will be addressed with the “Football for All” program – screening 7 films which makes a theme supporters as a form of sympathy – the empathy to voice anxiety over the tragedy and the hope that films can be a medium of reconciliation and a unifying tool for Indonesian football supporters.
For filmmakers who have experienced sweet memories from previous JAFF, hopefully we can bring festival vibes to their respective communities and regions. This year’s Community Forum seeks to bring together a more diverse film community than before. From this, it is hoped that friends from different communities can collaborate to make some art together. See you there!
Arief Akhmad Yani
Muhammad Isba Alwi Purnama
Arsyadi Rinuaji Fadilah,
Mahdi Muhammad Shiddiq