In recent years Indonesian cinema has enjoyed great success and acclaim at international film festivals around the world. In 2017 Mouly Surya’s film 'Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts' was met with rave reviews when it premiered at Cannes Film Festival and last month Edwin’s 'Vengeance Is Mine, All Other’s Pay Cash', based on the novel of the same name by Eka Kurniawan, took out the top award at the Locarno Festival in Switzerland. This so-called Indonesian New Wave is made up of a generation of filmmakers in their 30s and 40s who have come of age in post-New Order Indonesia. Their films tackle weighty themes like gender identity and inequality, historical injustice, sexual violence, family tragedy and the tensions between youth culture and tradition. Themes that transcend and translate for audiences around the world. Meanwhile, films including Joko Anwar’s suite of commercially successful and acclaimed horror and action flicks are also finding international audiences on streaming platforms around the world.

What is behind this new wave of cinema in Indonesia? What is behind this international success? Is that being translated into audiences for these films at home and what are the challenges facing this industry in a pandemic?

My guest today is Yulia Evina Bhara a film producer and founder of KawanKawan Media, a Jakarta-based film production house that focuses on international co-production. Yulia is also a member of the Jury for the ReelOzInd! Australia Indonesia Short Film Festival. Jemma Purdey is director of ReelOzInd!

Image: @yuliaevinabhara | Instagram

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