BALI, Indonesia — The 14th edition of the Bali International Film Festival (Balinale) has selected “Empu: Sugar on the Weavers Chair”,, directed by Harvan Agustriansyah, as its inaugural American-Indonesian Cultural & Educational Foundation (AICEF) Prize winner. Meanwhile the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) in the U.S. has named “Nomad Meets The City”, directed by Anji Clubb, as its AICEF honoree.
The AICEF Prize was created to recognize a pair of first or second-time feature filmmakers whose work robustly embraces cross-cultural themes either in the narrative or documentary genre and from it has sprung an exchange program whereby “Empu: Sugar on the Weavers Chair”, will be screened at MNFF in Middlebury, Vermont, followed by a Q&A with director Agustriansyah.
And the MNFF-selected American filmmaker, Clubb, will be in Bali this September, circumstances permitting, to present his film, Nomad Meets The City, at Balinale.
“Empu: Sugar on the Weavers Chair”, a 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.
“Nomad Meets the City” is a documentary that 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.
Balinale has a history of supporting important cultural programs that benefit thousands of aspiring Indonesians and of fostering relationships between Indonesia and the rest of the world through the outlet of film. “Balinale’s goal is to continually strengthen ties with the global film community while exciting imaginations and interest in Indonesia’s visual culture,” stated Deborah Gabinetti, festival founder.
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