From 14 to 29 February, Festival Sinema Australia will be screening eight films in six different cities across the archipelago for FREE!. Still photos of the movie Emu Runner/NOW!JAKARTA

Festival Sinema Australia returns this month with top list films to be screened in six cities, including Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, Mataram, Bandung and Yogyakarta. Entering its fifth edition, Festival Sinema Australia will be screening a total of eight films, from feature-length film to documentary, from 14 to 29 February.

As a part of Australian Connect, a cultural programme from the Australian Embassy in Indonesia, the annual film festival put a spotlight on indigenous and environmental issues on screen, aimed to invite audiences to be aware of the current urgent global conversation. The festival will kick off with the screening of Top End Wedding, a romantic comedy set in the northern territory of Australia, which narrates a unique interracial love story and visualisation of the indigenous community in Australia.

The face of native Australians can also be seen from the movie directed by Imogen Thomas Emu Runner, which tells the story about the impact of a mother’s death on an indigenous family living in an isolated community. The story is seen through the eyes of Gem, a spirited nine-year-old girl, who deals with grief by forging a bond with a wild emu, a mythical bird of her ancestors. Imogen Thomas, who is also the writer and the producer of the movie, is expected to have a special session with moviegoers in Indonesia where the audience could discuss anything about the movie with the cinematographer during the screening in Jakarta and Lombok.

There are also movies that will challenge the audience’s adrenaline, such as the psychological thriller, Angel of Mine and horror movie The Babadook.

2040 is a hybrid feature documentary that looks at the future from the perspective of vitally important issues currently happening in the world. The 2040 journey began with award-winning director Damon Gameau. Motivated by concerns about the planet his 4-year-old daughter would inherit, Damon embarked on a global journey to meet innovators and changemakers in the areas of economics, technology, civil society, agriculture, education and sustainability. “It is a positive vision of what ‘could be’, instead of the dystopian future we are so often presented,” Damon Gameau said during release.

As a part of the tradition, Festival Sinema Australia also screens the movie created by Australian Indonesian alumni. This year’s festival features the movie Susi Susanti – Love All produced by Daniel Mananta, Indonesian presenter and founder of Damn I Love Indonesia. Susi Susanti was launched in 2019 and narrated the biography of the legendary female badminton player.

Prolific Indonesian producer Mira Lesmana presents two of her latest films, titled Bebas (Glorious Days) and Kulari Ke Pantai (I Run to the Beach).

Australia’s Chargé d’affaires to Indonesia, Allaster Cox stated that the festival has been campaigning the intercultural understanding between Indonesia and Australia and develop as a platform for sharing ideas and culture, “This year's selection of Australian and Indonesian films shows the diversity of both countries that we love., as well as the wealth of homegrown creative talents. FSAI 2020 is the highlight of our exciting Australia Connect program series,” Cox said.

The ticket for the screening is free. The audience could book their seat on

Rintang Azhar

Rintang Azhar

Rintang is a previous staff writer for NOW! with experience in hard news and lifestyle journalism. He specialises in art, design, culture, fashion, environmental, and urban issues.