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Bali International Film Festival (or Balinale), was founded in 2007 by Deborah Gabinetti of the Bali Film Center (BFC), a private company providing professional services for film and television production throughout Indonesia since 2002.

The festival location is Park23 Creative Hub, Cinema XXI, Tuban Kuta, Bali. There are also a number of pre-events held at various Bali venues as part of the ‘Road to Balinale’ program.

Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Location Managers Guild International, ATA Carnet Film Organization, Founding Member of Asian Film Commissions Network (18 countries), Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Sundance Film Forward, American Film Showcase, HK International Film Festival, Asian Film Awards Academy, American-Indonesian Cultural and Educational Foundation, and Art of the Score -The Juilliard School, Center for Innovation in the Arts.

International recognition for the diversity of Balinale programming, top quality associated events where local and international filmmakers discuss films, trends, co-production opportunities, and the demands of a growing, fast-paced industry.

Balinale is known for its specialized knowledge and importance in promoting Indonesian cinema, art, and culture, acting as a platform for education and filmmaker development for aspiring locals with workshops and seminars, plus a special preview of upcoming Indonesian releases.

Programs include

  • Art of the Score, The Juilliard School – Center for Innovation in the Arts creative collaborations between Juilliard student musicians and composers and student filmmakers from Indonesia.
  • American-Indonesian Cultural and Educational Foundation (AICEF) Prize for a first or second-time Indonesian feature filmmaker.

The festival has a long history of supporting established filmmakers and creatives in all aspects of the entertainment industry.
Bali Governor’s Office, Badung Regency Bali, and the Ministries of Industry, Tourism, Education, and Culture have endorsed Balinale in recognition of its proven efforts to deliver cultural, social, and economic benefits to the country. The Indonesian Film Boards & Associations have endorsed Balinale for encouraging the growth of the domestic film industry.

As a community-based event, the festival strongly supports the community with its children’s charity program and student workshops as an important part of the program.

For all Balinale 2023 movies, pre-registration is required: opens 21 May on Townscript https://www.balinale.com/festival/

Films are In Competition this year (4 Categories)

1. Short Narrative in Competition:

  1. Witness: Iran, Islamic Republic, Directed by Aida Tebianian
  2. Kama (An Eternity): Indonesia, Directed by Esra Desvita Siagian
  3. Playground: United States, Directed by Yaxing Lin
  4. Shut: Netherlands, Directed by Niels Bourgonje
  5. Please Hold the Line: Malaysia, Directed by Tan Ce Ding
  6. Las Visitantes: Spain, Directed by Enrique Buleo

2. Short Documentary in Competition:

  1. Lolitha: Indonesia, Directed by Azalia Muchransyah
  2. Behind the Seen: Indonesia, Directed by Robin Gurney
  3. 50 Years Around the Sun: United States, Directed by Wyatt Daily
  4. Forgotten: Indonesia, Directed by Roberto Natali
  5. Under Your Feet: Indonesia, Directed by A.J. Kelly
  6. The Spider Whisperer: Indonesia, Directed by Amélie Jaya
  7. Achewiq, the Song of the Brave Women:  France, Algeria, Directed by Elina Kastler

3. Feature Documentary in Competition:

  1. Crows are White: Ireland, Directed by Ahsen Nadeem
  2. The Tone Wheels: Indonesia, Directed by Yuda Kurniawan
  3. Turn Every Page: United States, Directed by Lizzie Gottlieb
  4. Big Waves Guardians: United States, Directed by Luke Stirtz

4. Feature Narrative in Competition:

  1. Sisu: Finland, Directed by Jalmari Helander
  2. Klondike: Ukraine, Directed by Maryna Er Gorbach
  3. Where the Wind Blows: Hong Kong, Directed by Philip Yung
  4. Women Talking: United States, Directed by Sarah Polley

Official Selections 2023 (not in competition):

  1. A Distant Call: Indonesia, Directed by William Adiguna
  2. Outside the Frame: Indonesia, Directed by Micko Boanerges Ferdinandus
  3. Kala (Before it Rains): Indonesia, Directed by Giannina Trixie Lapian
  4. Impostor In The Last Dance: Indonesia, Directed by Harvan Agustriansyah
  5. The Sprayer: Iran, Islamic Republic of Directed by Farnoosh Abedi
  6. Acung Memilih Bersuara: Indonesia, Directed by Amelia Hapsari
  7. Red Lake: Ireland, Directed by Shaun Dunne
  8. The Chicken Who isn’t There: Indonesia, Directed by Hadafi Raihan Karim
  9. Split ends: Iran, Islamic Republic of, Directed by Alireza Kaemipour
  10. Victim: Australia, Directed by Robin Summons
  11. The Art of Giving: Indonesia, Directed by Mickael Couturier

Special Section on Hong Kong Cinema:

  1. The Sparring Partner: Hong Kong, Directed by Ho Cheuk-Tin
  2. The Sunny Side of the Street: Hong Kong, Directed by Lau Kok-rui
  3. A Guilty Conscience: Hong Kong, Directed by Jack Ng
  4. Where The Wind Blows: Hong Kong, Directed by Philip Yung
  5. Cyber Heist: Hong Kong, Directed by Wong Hing Fan
  6. Vital Sign: Hong Kong, Directed by Vincci Cheuk
  7. Mad Fate: Hong Kong, Directed by Soi Cheang

Special Presentation:

Art of the Score, The Juilliard School – Center for Innovation in the Arts:

  1. Gadis dan Penatu: Indonesia, Directed by Alam Alghifari
  2. A Batik Shawl: Indonesia, Directed by Nada Leo Prakasa
  3. Asa by Prisca Devani. Featuring original music by Benjamin Pawlak.
  4. Now (here) by Noah Tehusijarana. Featuring original music by Benjamin Pawlak
  5. Sunday by Ezra Cecio and Elvina Kurniawan. Featuring original music by JP. Redmond

American-Indonesian Cultural & Educational Foundation Prize:

  1. Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest: United States, Directed by Nancy Svendsen
  2. Orpa: Indonesia, Directed by Theo Rumansara

The festival has a juried competition with awards presented in several artistic and technical categories for Narrative Features, Documentaries and Short Films.

2023 Jury Members:

Michela Scolari
Michela is an Italian filmmaker, producer, activist, Ph.D. Film and Theatre Scholar collaborating on Oscar-winning movies and shows with Giuseppe Tornatore, Terry George, Roland Joffé, David Lynch, Adam Leipzig, Umberto Eco, Robbie Little and many others. She has won numerous awards for her acclaimed documentary’ Paolo Rossi, The Heart of a Champion’. Her latest documentary “The Jokers” will be released later this year. “Sicilian Holiday” is her debut narrative feature film.

Awarded at the Cannes Film Festival with “Lady of the Year 2021” by The World Peace and Tolerance Institute.

Richard Todd

Richard is an Australian documentary filmmaker producing provocative factual films that have a positive impact on people, society, and the environment. His internationally recognized films include “Dying to Live”, “Frackman” awarded in Australia and at Doc NYC, BOFA, Human Rights Film Fest Toronto, New York & London, and Balinale. “God Made Them Blind” awarded Best Documentary Sun Valley Film Festival USA., along with “Whaleshark-Gypsy of The Deep” winner of IFF Rolex Grand Prix French Maritime Film Festival.

Recipient of Australasian Underwater Cameraman of the Year; ScreenWest New Producer Fellowship. Richard holds a Master’s Degree WA Screen Academy ECU.

Jason Allan Neal

Jason is General Manager of Original Content and Innovation – Fremantle Indonesia. With a career spanning nearly three decades and a background in producing, writing, editing, and development, Jason has worked in Indonesia, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia to deliver hundreds of hours of prime-time television, features, documentaries, and podcasts for a variety of clients, platforms, and broadcasters.

Jason has an extensive and impressive list of credits that include projects with Fox, AXN, HBO, STAR World, MSNBC, PBS, USA Networks, Netflix, Lifetime, BET, Fine Living, Spotify, MTV, and Amazon Prime.

Djenar Maesa Ayu

Djenar is a published award-winning author and has produced, written, and directed five feature films. ‘They Say, I’m a Monkey!’ won a Citra Award for Best Adaptation Scenario and Special Jury Mention for Best New Director, Indonesian Film Festival and TEMPO Awards for Best Film and Best Director. ‘NAY’, won NETPAC Award for Best Asian Feature Film, Jogja NETPAC Asian Film Festival and her first short ‘TRIS’ won Best Picture & Favorite Short Film at Melbourne IFF Short Film Competition. Her recent work ‘LOOK AT ME TOUCH ME KISS ME’ with Ho Yuhang (Malaysia) and Kim Tai-Sik (South Korea) screened at Busan International Film Festival and Jogja NETPAC Asian Film Festival. 

Djenar won Best Supporting Actress at Bandung Film Festival 2017.

Jomon (Joe) Thomas

Joe is a producer (P.G.A) born in India and raised in the U.A.E. Executive Producer on ‘Poker Face’, which stars Russell Crowe in his second directorial feature. Producer of the short films ‘Roborovski’, which won Best Animation, Flickerfest International Short Film Festival, and ‘Home Shopper’ nominated for Short Film Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. His credits include ‘Hotel Mumbai’ premiering at TIFF and winning AACTA for Best Editing. ‘Damascus Cover’ won at the Boston Film Festival and Manchester International Film Festival and the critically acclaimed ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’. 

Consultant with S’YA Concept, a content development company that focuses on acquiring content, and cultivating original ideas that have the potential to become films. He also sits on the board of the Australia – India Film Council.

Joe is currently in post-production on ‘Monkey Man’ starring Dev Patel in his directorial debut.