Indonesia’s go-it-alone film makers
An Indonesian film festival is running this week in Australia, highlighting a surge of creativity which, despite a lack of industry and government support, has found ways to produce internationally acclaimed movies.
One film Batas, or Border – the story of a village on the border of Indonesia and Malaysia – touches on social, cultural and political problems.
The main actress and producer is Marcella Zalianty, who was in Melbourne for the international premiere.
She told Radio Australia’s Asia Pacific program: “I’m trying to photograph a social order and community, life in a border region, in Indonesia, which still holds a sense of Indonesian nationalism.
“Although in reality, the reality of life in remote areas of Kalimantan and the hinterland, there are so many problems . . . human problems, trafficking problems.”
Marcella Zalianty started her acting career in a film called Bintang Jatuh, the Fallen Star. It was one of only 11 films produced in Indonesia in the year 2000.
Nevertheless, says Ekky Imanjaya, a film lecturer at Bina Nusantara university and an editor of rumahfilm.org, after the “reformasi” period of 1998, “it is . . . way easier for directors, young film-makers, to make films.