Bali International Film Festival Announces the AICEF Prize for Cross Cultural Filmmaking and New Partnership with Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, USA

posted in: Press Release

For immediate release: 9 March 2020
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Bali International Film Festival (Balinale) is truly pleased to announce the creation of the AICEF Prize for Cross Cultural Filmmaking and an exciting new partnership with USA’s highly regarded the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival USA. The AICEF Prize will be presented to a pair of first or second time feature filmmakers whose work robustly embraces cross-cultural themes either in the narrative or documentary genre.

One filmmaker will be selected by the Balinale to present their work at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival (MNFF) in late August 2020 and one filmmaker will be selected by MNFF to present their work at the Balinale in September 2020.  All the funding for this exchange of filmmakers will be provided through a generous grant from the American-Indonesian Cultural & Educational Foundation [AICEF].

The feature length films selected by each festival to receive the AICEF Prize will tackle a subject that crosses 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. The film could embrace a dramatic or comedic story of individuals or families confronting the challenges they face in sorting out their cultural differences or a documentary that examines the clash or marriage of cultures not indigenous to the filmmaker.  Whether the story takes place in a distant land or a neighborhood just a few miles away, the medium of film is uniquely suited to illuminating both the beauty and the struggle of achieving cultural co-existence.

AICEF is a New York City based 501c3 not-for-profit corporation founded in 1971. The Foundation is devoted to fostering closer cultural and educational ties between the people of the United States and the Republic of Indonesia.  As part of its mission to bridging this cultural gap, AICEF supports film screenings, music performances, art exhibitions and symposiums by organizations of distinction whose programs benefit and appeal to a wide range of audiences.

“AICEF is pleased to be working with two film festivals, separated by a great distance, that share common values of inclusion, innovation, and sustainability.  Each has the scale and cultural sensitivity to make this collaboration successful”, stated Wayne Forrest on behalf of AICEF.

The Bali International Film Festival [Balinale] is well known in the Indonesian film community for its specialized knowledge and its importance in supporting and promoting filmmakers and independent cinema.  The Festival is recognized globally for the diversity of its programming, comprised of Indonesian, Pan-Asian and broadly international independent and award-winning narrative and documentary features and short films.

Each year through its Founding Partner Bali Film Center, Balinale provides Submissions Waiver Grants to encourage aspiring Indonesian filmmakers to tell their stories through film and submit them for consideration in the festival program. This year sees a record number of submissions so far.

“Bali International Film Festival has a proud history of supporting important cultural programs that benefit thousands of aspiring Indonesians and fostering relationships between Indonesia and the rest of the world through its creative outlet of film,” noted Deborah Gabinetti, Executive Director of the Balinale. “Our goal is to further strengthen our ties with the global community, and this new filmmaker exchange program with the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival does exactly that. We look forward to having an MNFF-selected American filmmaker with us in Bali this coming September.”

“The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival is incredibly grateful to be part of this terrific filmmaker exchange program that AICEF has made possible,” remarked Lloyd Komesar, MNFF Producer.  “Deborah Gabinetti and her team at the Balinale have been producing outstanding festivals for the past thirteen years and we anticipate welcoming a talented new Indonesian filmmaker to Middlebury, Vermont USA for our 6th Annual event 27-30 August.”

The 14th annual Bali International Film Festival takes place 8-13 September 2020 at its Official Venue Partner Cinepolis Cinemas two Bali locations – Sidewalk Jimbaran and Plaza Renon. Complete festival program will be available later this year at

The American-Indonesian Cultural & Educational Foundation provides overseas research grants in addition to its cultural grants.  More information about the organization can be found at