BALI – Bali International Film Festival 2018 wraps up another great year of gathering together films and filmmakers from around the world. The week-long Festival known as Balinale welcomed over 100 filmmakers, celebrities and industry professionals, showcasing 107 documentaries, shorts, and features from 30+ countries and recognizing winners of its films in competition.
The Festival kicked off with its annual BalinaleX Industry Forum, gathering together various professionals in the film and television industry. Balinale Special Guest Roland Joffé participated in a Director’s Dialogue recounting his experiences and wisdom gained through decades of filmmaking, giving insight into evoking empathy in the general audience in order to tell culturally-specific stories.
Panels addressed various topics including co-production opportunities in Indonesia, translating local stories onto a global stage, and project financing challenges and schemes.
In Competition Winners Balinale 2018 featured a strong In Competition segment with 17 films by regional and international emerging filmmakers: six features, six documentaries, and five shorts. The Jury consisted of Dutch Indonesian-based filmmaker Orlow Seunke, Indonesian screenwriter Rayya Makarim, Taiwanese producer Jeane Huang, and Indonesian writer Marinta Serina Singarimbun.
After much deliberation, the Jury agreed on winners for the three main categories. Irish film Michael Inside (director Frank Berry) won Best Feature Film. The Jury felt the film was “A powerful and heart wrenching gaze into the prison system and a teenager’s gradual fall into a world of destruction.”
Invisible Hands, directed by Shraysi Tandon, won Best Documentary for its unveiling of the “naked horror truth to the modern day slavery, child labor.”
Switzerland’s Punchline (director Christophe M. Saber) nabbed Best Short Film, the Jury calling it “…a clever and entertaining piece; a modern-day comedy of manners mafia-style, if you will.”
In addition to these, Emil Heradi’s Night Bus was awarded with a Jury Award for its “excellent tension and emotional build-up of the story line by the non-stop chaos and conflict.”
Finally, Festival Founder Deborah Gabinetti announced a new award in appreciation of long- time friend and supporter of the Festival, Gary L Hayes. “Gary was instrumental in nurturing talent across the archipelago, giving many now prominent filmmakers their big breaks as well as guiding whole generations of talent toward the fulfillment of their potential. It is therefore our deepest honor to announce the establishment of the Annual Gary L Hayes award for Emerging Indonesian Filmmaker.Recipient of this first Gary L Hayes Award for Emerging Indonesian Filmmaker was Hitlove director Ibn Rusd Larantuka.
Roland Joffé was awarded the Festival’s first Bali Taksu Award for his inspired creativity in exposing audiences to cultures and worlds beyond their own.
Roland Joffé Weighs In On Indonesian Potential Academy Award Nominee Roland Joffé was present for the duration of Balinale. The producer / director had a chance to see Indonesian films and converse with local filmmakers.
When asked his opinion on the films he has seen, Joffé provided constructive feedback, pointing out the apparent struggle of Indonesia wrestling with its history and figuring out how to tell their story in a voice that is uniquely their own. He also noted the “certain visual lushness” in these movies and acknowledged that Indonesia is certainly catching up with technology, as seen through impressive cinematography.
Joffé expressed his enjoyment being in Indonesia, saying that the country “embodies everything that is rather beautiful about South East Asia, with its own particular spice.” He shared his excitement in bringing his latest project of Mata Hari forward, extending his stay in Indonesia to scout filming locations in East Java.
Festival Activities Throughout the week, local and global filmmakers came to immerse themselves in the variety of stories presented.
On top of film screenings, Balinale hosted free events and workshops encompassing archival film restoration, special effects makeup, indigenous stories in filmmaking, and auditioning on camera. Balinese creative community shared basics of filmmaking.
The Festival’s annual children’s program took place on Saturday and Sunday with screenings of seven Free Family Films. Together with Conservation International, Balinale also opened to the public a captivating virtual reality showing of Valen’s Reef, a short film about protecting coral reefs in the Raja Ampat islands.
Balinale closed with the Japanese film and Cannes Palme d’Or 2018 Winner, Shoplifters directed by Hirokazu Koreeda.
About Balinale – Bali International Film Festival BALINALE – BALI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL was established in 2007. Organized by the Bali Film Center, the festival has screened numerous local and international films for thousands of film enthusiasts, while also attracting leading directors, actors, and producers from Indonesia and around the world.
Official Festival Partners include Cinemaxx Theaters as Official Venue Partner, Aryaduta Bali and Ayodya Resort Bali as Official Hotel Partners, and Bank Rakyat Indonesia as Key Festival Sponsor. Variety, All Film Magazine, Now! Jakarta, and Now! Bali are Official Media Partners. Sony Pictures, The Walt Disney Company, and 20th Century Fox are the festival’s Studio Supporters. Balinale’s Institutional Partners are Taipei Economic Trade Office, Jakarta, Embassy of Ireland, Institut Français, and Japan Foundation.(*)