` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

Indonesian Films Bring Social Relevance to ASEAN Film Awareness Month

Indonesia contributes a diverse set of socially relevant films to the lineup of ASEAN Film Awareness Month. The first film is Ody Harahap’s When Will You Get Married tackles the topic of being an unmarried woman in your 30s. Dinda is considered successful when it comes to her career but a failure according to her parent’s standards.  They desperately want her to be married and Dinda responds to the pressure by hiring a street actor to play her boyfriend. She regrets her decision when she discovers the actor has a mind of his own and her parents have set out to test their relationship. The film features two of the biggest young stars in Indonesian Contemporary Cinema – Reza Rahadian and Adinia Wirasti- whose chemistry is lauded as riveting in this film.

The Indonesian filmmaker Angga Sasongko contributes two of his films. Filosofi Kopi is a coming-of-age tale between childhood friends who grew up to become business partners. Inspired by the original short story of the same name, Filosofi Kopi follows Ben and Jody as they struggle to keep their business afloat while also searching for the perfect brew of coffee. They take a road trip to find the humble farmer who harvests the best coffee beans. Through this lighthearted story, Sasongko is able to raise questions about the chase for perfection and true friendship. Socially relevant topics are also mentioned such as estranged family ties, land acquisition and the oppression of farmers. Sasongko calls Filosofi Kopi the first ‘user generated’ film in Indonesia because he enlisted the input of individuals outside the film’s production team.

Sasongko also directed We Are Moluccans an inspiring film that follows the journey of a small island soccer team. Based on a true story, the film’s protagonist is Sani, a father and motorcycle courier. The growing conflict between Muslims and Christians in the area spurs Sani to start a soccer school for the local youth. Originally, Sani hoped this would serve as a mere distraction from their violent environment but when he is asked to enter the team into the national tournament , the stakes are raised. Sani realizes the team can be a symbol of unification for the fragmented island locals. It was important for Sasongko to show that a forgotten individual has great power in affecting society. He shares, “This story makes me believe that peace, humanity and tolerance is something that may not be giving up to struggle. This movie is the way I pass on that belief to people.”

The last Indonesian film  is Before Morning Returns by Lasja Fauzia Susatyo. The film is a serious family affair that shows how corruption starts and ends in the home. Yan is a civil servant and his wife, Ratna, is a philosophy lecturer. Though their middle income family seems perfect, their public image is thrown into question after a series of investigations. The film’s producer Abduh Azis explains, “The movie is not a narrative of a particular case or a visualization of an investigation. It goes deeper, questioning our integrity and human values when facing difficult choices”. The film was meant to raise public awareness on the ills of Indonesian society such as nepotism, corruption and collusion.

The films will be shown free of charge along with other Southeast Asian film selections from March 1 to April 3, 2016, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, and screen with English subtitles. Certain films will be shown at an outdoor screenings, and some will be graced by the presence of their filmmakers for a Q&A session. Film schedules and details are available on our social media channels and on the FDCP website, http://www.fdcp.ph/contents/view?id=cinemathequemanila.


Film Development Council of the Philippines