This year, Plaza Indonesia Film Festival will screen 9 feature films and 4 short movies along with movie clinic with Indonesian filmmakers during the 2020 event. Still Photo of The Science of Fictions/NOW!JAKARTA

Plaza Indonesia Film Festival (PIFF) returns in February with a theme “Color of Love”, becoming the tradition to highlight the most romantic month of the year through cinematographic experience. Entering the eighth edition, the annual film festival will be screening 9 feature films and 4 short movies directed by foreign and homegrown filmmakers slated from 24 to 28 February at Cinema XXI Level 6, Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta.

In the last two years, PIFF has succeded attracting moviegoers through screening of award-winning movies that affected across different demographics of Indonesian audiences. Setting up the benchmark for quality commercial theatre, the movie screened at PUFF last year including Ave Maryam, 27 Steps of May, and Memories of My Body stole public attention through its socio-political narrative as well as issues around tolerance and diversity.

Curated by Sugar Nadia, the film festival in 2020 will be debuting the movie The Science of Fictions directed by Yogyakarta based director Yosep Anggi Noen. Received Honorable mention during Busan Film Festival in 2019, The Science of Fictions is inspired by the true event that happened around the 1960s in Bantul, Yogyakarta. Siman, a solitary farmer, came to Gumuk witnessing a shooting of a fiction film about a man landing on the moon. It was an unlucky day for him, Siman was caught by the army and got his tongue chopped off. Siman was then being named as an insane person because he often moves stupidly, acting as if he is walking on the moon.

The movie with original title Hiruk-pikuk si al-kisah has a relation to the political regime in Indonesia during Soekarno and New Order when the country is led by authoritarian President Soeharto. The movie starring Asmara Abigail, Lukman Sardi, and Marisa Anita is the depiction of world obsession about a space mission, sci-fi, and propaganda.

“This festival is very important to see the initial reaction from the audiences before it will be released in commercial theatre soon in Indonesia. Through the movie, I directed telling about the truth of reality and propaganda, it’s also our imagination to Indonesian history to this specific topic, — so discussion and dialog from audiences coming to festival helps us to identify what the public thinks about the movie,” Anggi Noen said.

The movie directed by Palu-native Yusuf Radjamuda The Mountain Song is also worth watching because of its story that narrates the life of the indigenous community on an isolated island. Through the power of the song, the story about a kid named Gimba will inspire people about the equity of access, tribal survival, faith, and of course the diversity of this archipelago nation.

This year’s festival also feels special with a tribute to legendary director and screenwriter of Italian classic film, Federico Fellini. In collaboration with Instituto Italiano di Cultura, PIFF will be screening two renowned movies directed by Fellini, La Dolce Vita (1960) and  (1963) to celebrate the 100 years of maestro career in the film industry.

“Federico Fellini is an Italian pride. Both Fellini’s films that will be screening at PIFF can be a reference for young filmmakers in this county from the perspective of classic cinematography, art direction, and acting,” said Maria Battaglia, the director of Istituto Italiano di Cultura who attended the event.

The first time collaborating with the Italian cultural center in Indonesia, PIFF also holds the tribute exhibition to Federico Fellini at Plaza Indonesia where moviegoers could have access to the life history of Italian filmmakers through the unseen archive of photographs and documents by Poul Ronald and Annamaria Gradara.

Aside from the four feature films, there is also another foreign movie to be screened at the PIFF 2020 including House of Hummingbird (South Korea), Monos (Columbia), The Lighthouse (USA), and System Crasher (Germany). Directed by Tamara Kotevska

Ljubomir Stefanov, Academy Awards nominated film Honeyland (Macedonia) is the only documentary to be screened at PIFF 2020.

Cinephiles also get a chance to watch indie short movies created by Indonesian and Indonesian filmmakers. Through the partnership with Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (JAFF), the film festival will be screenings Asian short movies including movie Bura directed by Eden Junjung and Adam directed by Shoki Lin.

21-minute Short film directed by award-winning filmmaker Wregas Bhanuteja Tidak Ada Yang Gila di Kota Ini (No One is Crazy in This Town) will also highlight the screening at JIFF this year, following by the movie from Reza Fahriansyah, Kembalilah Dengan Tenang (Rest in Peace). Both indie films capture the social phenomenon in Indonesia with Bhanutedja brings up the story about the removal of the mentally ill people from the streets in East Java while Fahriansyah depicts the conflict of the community who struggle to find a graveyard for the family who passed away.

“This movie will be screened for the first time in Jakarta.  Along with Adi Ekatama, we produced the movie which is inspired by a true story. Every city has a specific character of its audiences and I hope people could appreciate it,” said Banutedja who just came back from Sundance Film Festival 2020 in Utah, USA.

Press conference of Plaza Indonesia Film Festival 2020.

Young filmmakers will not miss PIFF’s movie clinic where the participant could directly learn from the experts coming from the Indonesian film industry. In collaboration with independent screening house Kinosaurus, this year movie clinic will be featuring a line up of masterclass from Chitra Subiyakto (Costume Designer), Riri Riza (Director), Joko Anwar (Director), Mira Lesmana (Producer), Tara Basro (Actress) and Ical Tanjung (Cinematographer). The movie clinic will be hosted at Disrupto Society at Atrium level 4 Plaza Indonesia, Central Jakarta.

For more information and a ticket to the movie, visit The movie is free of charge.

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.