For the first time in Australia, this year’s Adelaide Film Festival features the works of a father and daughter in the same competition. The filmmakers, Garin Nugroho (Memories Of My Body) and Kamila Andini (The Seen and Unseen) are two of Indonesia’s finest, with awards from a plethora of international festivals between them.
Excitingly, both filmmakers are on their way to Adelaide for this year’s festival! Here’s the lowdown on these intergenerational masters of Indonesian cinema.
Before her filmmaking work in Indonesia, Andini was in Australia studying Sociology at Deakin University in Melbourne. Upon graduating, she worked in Indonesia on music videos for talents such as Ungu and Slank, one of Indonesia’s biggest musical talents. In 2009, she helmed her debut film The Mirror Never Lies. The movie received critical acclaim, and earned Andini the award for “Bright Young Talent” at the 2011 Mumbai Film Festival.
In 2015, Andini returned to short films with Finding Diana. The 40-minute movie details a man who desires to share his little family with another woman. Andini’s next film, The Seen and Unseen, is an 80-minute feature has received critical acclaim so far, and won the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival (and it’s coming to Adelaide Film Festival!) Like her father’s Opera Jawa, Andini’s The Seen and Unseen is one of the very few feature films that hold 100% on American review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 9.3/10.
Proceeds from the presentation of The Seen and Unseen will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Indonesian earthquake and tsunami appeal.
Nugroho rose to prominence in Indonesia thanks to his 2006 feature Opera Jawa. This was the director’s first foray into ‘epic’ filmmaking. Inspired by the “Abduction of Sita,” from the Hindu epic Ramayana, the film is a trippy musical extravaganza which remains one of the only films to score 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Since then, the director helmed the more mainstream Under the Tree in 2008 and the epic history film Soegija, which details the story of Indonesian national hero Albertus Soegijapranata, who was the first native Indonesian bishop. Like all of Nugroho’s work, Soegija received critical acclaim. Nugroho’s latest offering, Memories Of My Body (which screens at this year’s festival), is a poetic tale about the encounter between masculinity and femininity in a human body.
“Adelaide Film Festival 2018: Indonesian Showcase” is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-Indonesia Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.