The 28th Singapore International Film Festival’s Focus series this year shines spotlight on the practice of filmmaking in Indonesia as an embodiment of the spirit of independence and community and has as its theme “Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesian Cinema after the New Order”.
Adopting the post-Suharto Reformasi movement in the late 1990s as a point of departure, the series of films being featured explores diverse trajectories within Indonesian independent cinema as a vibrant agent of change, through the dissemination of knowledge and engagement with social reality.
In this section, the first shorts programme, “Redefining Togetherness”, seeks to expand on the idea of collective gatherings, from revolutionary groups to the public observer, the people in unity. Among the selected short films to be screened are “The Nameless Boy” that was shot during one of the biggest demonstrations against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Jakarta’s former governor who was charged for blasphemy; and “Along the One Way”, depicting the run up to Election day and how the future leadership of Surakarta is at stake, especially with religious issues being propagated in certain circles.
The other part, Grassroots Cinema, showcases the building of the film community, empowering youths and telling the stories of the people. The feature films reflect the diverse regional and stylistic characteristics of the archipelago’s burgeoning new era. Among the films are “Trading Places”, “Mirror”, “The Tale of Urut Sewu”, and “Drowned Eyes”.
The 28th SGIFF, which runs from November 23 to December 3, will take place across various venues, including Marina Bay Sands, Shaw Theatres Lido, National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, The Arts House, Filmgarde Bugis+, Objectifs and SCAPE.