It's still some months until the 11th Jakarta International Film Festival (JIFFest) but already it's got people talking with a couple of surprises to take it to another level - not least by putting its homeland front and center.
For the first time since JIFFest began in 1999, an Indonesian movie will open the show. The movie, Sang Pemimpi (The Dreamers), which is the sequel to the biggest Indonesian box-office hit of all time Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Warriors), is expected to be the talking point of the festival.
And it's about time this move was made, given that the Indonesian film industry has been progressing in leaps and bounds, gaining high recognition both at home and abroad, the festival's organizers point out.
"We have witnessed how Indonesian movies have come to dominate the local theaters recently," JIFFest manager Nauval Yazid says. Statistically speaking, he adds, "Indonesian films are currently controlling around 65 percent of the total market share of the local movie industry. The number of Indonesian films has also been increasing."
In addition, Nauval points out, more and more Indonesian movies are of a world-class filmmaking quality, meaning they can hold their own alongside foreign films.
JIFFest will run from Dec. 4 to 12. For more information, see www.jiffest.org.