Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jakarta International Film Festival lives, has Uncle Boonmee, S-Express shorts

The 12th Jakarta International Film Festival begins this week, but almost wasn't held this year because organizers couldn't find the money. They put out a public appeal for donations and got a major boost in sponsorship from Nokia, which agreed to "present" the festival.

The program provides an idea of what this year's Bangkok International Film Festival might have been like, had it actually been held and not fallen by the wayside due to Thailand's political problems and violence this year.

Jiffest's selection includes many marquee titles, opening with Waiting for Superman, the education documentary by An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim. The closer is Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu's drama starring Javier Bardem.

The heart of the festival though, is a big helping of local films making their premieres, documentaries and the Indonesian Feature Film competition. Film Business Asia has a rundown on those.

There's also a strong slate of Southeast Asian programming, which includes Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Cannes winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. It's playing in the View from the SEA selection.

And there are the S-Express shorts packages from Indonesia, Malayasia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and "Chinese" filmmakers.

You can download the schedule PDF at the festival website. Jiffest runs from November 25 to December 5.

Update: Uncle Boonmee's November 26 screening at Jiffest was canceled because the print was still at the International Film Festival of India in Goa. Jiffest now aims to show Boonmee on December 3 to what's sure to be a packed audience.

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