The tenth annual Bali International Film Festival, Balinale 2016, proudly drew the curtain open for more than 100 independent movies from 31 countries, including Indonesia, as it presented a carefully curated list of fiction, romance, documentary and short films.

The movies shown at the festival included Hunt for the Wilderpeople (New Zealand), Daughter of the Maya (US), Early Winter (Canada/Australia) and Indonesia’s Negeri Van Oranje, The Promise and Copy of My Mind. Thanks to a partnership with The Japan Foundation Jakarta and Institut Français d’Indonésie, the festival also managed to add Fukigen na kako (Kako: My Sullen Past) and La Tête Haute (Standing Tall) to its show list. Movie lovers in Bali enthusiastically grabbed the 6,800 tickets provided for screenings held in the last week of September at Cinemaxx, Lippo Mall Kuta. In addition, there was also an open-air cinema (layar tancap) that allowed the audience to enjoy the movies against the backdrop of gorgeous Bali sunset. The crowd was also invited to attend the Student Film Programme and the annual Children’s Charity Event for free.

The running theme for this year’s Balinale is No Boundaries. By pushing for no limits to creativity or the means of expression, the organisers hoped to turn the festival into an effective means to transcend borders and bridge the gaps in the global communities through artwork. Balinale’s founder and director Deborah Gabinetti, prominent producer Inneke Indriyani, actor Ferry Salim and actress Wulan Guritno were among the speakers at the official press conference in September at Cinemaxx FX Sudirman, Jakarta.

“We have a special team that decides if a film is qualified for the festival. The team is composed of Sidi Saleh (Indonesian top film maker) and Debbie (Deborah), to name some. They have watched the movies one by one, and as long as it has little to no violence, is educative and conveys positive morals of life, it might make it to our festival,” Indriyani said. “Approximately 350 films from all over the world, including Indonesia, were submitted but we carefully selected only 105 of them based on those criteria. Not only are they entertaining, but they’re also out of the box and share a good message to the audience,” adds Gabinetti.

But selecting and screening movies were not the only items on the agenda for the festival organisers. The idea of bringing the world to Bali also hangs closely in mind. “Hopefully Balinale will attract international film makers, script writers, producers, actors and directors to Indonesia to shoot their movies here given its beautiful nature. We also need the local government’s support to become as big as the other international film festivals,” said Gabinetti.