Together with American-Indonesian Cultural & Educational Foundation (AICEF), Balinale has created the AICEF Prize for Cross-Cultural Filmmaking to a pair of first or second-time feature filmmakers whose work robustly embraces cross-cultural themes either in the narrative or documentary genre.
Balinale has selected “Empu – Sugar on the Weaver’s Chair” as its inaugural AICEF Prize winner. The film is directed by Harvan Agustriansyah. The narrative film portrays women in three different regions of Indonesia facing entrenched obstacles in a male dominated society. Through necessity and their own personal convictions, they find the strength to address the social inequality, challenge the rigid boundaries of traditional rights and imposed limitations and, as a result, transform and empower themselves and those around them. Film director Harvan Agustriansyah attended the screening of “Empu” at Middlebury New Filmmaker Festival in Vermont, USA, on August 27, 2021.
Each year, one Indonesian filmmaker will be selected to present their work at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF), Vermont USA and one filmmaker will be selected by MNFF to present their work at the Balinale. The feature-length films selected by each festival tackles subjects that cross cultural lines and advances our understanding of the issues, challenges and realities that people face in living in countries or communities that are unfamiliar to them.
MNFF has selected “Nomad Meets the City” directed by Anji Clubb. The documentary tells the story of former goat herder Tumurbaatar who now works tirelessly as a garbage truck driver in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, striving to better his daughter’s education, the pressures he faces of distance and separation take a heavy toll.
This exciting program will enable young filmmakers to increase skills, strengthen cultural links, and understanding and share experiences with other creatives from the USA and around the world.
Funding for this exchange program is provided through a generous grant from AICEF. The Foundation is devoted to fostering closer cultural and educational ties between the people of the United States and the Republic of Indonesia.
Empu: Sugar on The Weaver’s Chair
This Indonesian film selected by Balinale International Film Festival (BIFF) tells the moving story of three women from three different regions in Indonesia and their journey to determine their own future amidst the harsh reality of a male dominated society and challenging economic situation.
Nomad Meets the City
Selected by the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF), the film is an intimate portrait of one family navigating a changing world. Former herder Tumurbaatar, a garbage truck driver in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar faces the pressures of distance and separation.