TAKE 01: The Inaugural Bali Taksu Film Festival & Awards

posted in: Press Release

The Festival is ready to rollout on 30 November to 04 December where an eclectic mixture of documentaries, short and feature films, “celebrating the planet and her people” will be shown at the centrally located Galeria 21 Cineplex in Simpang Siur, Kuta, half way between Nusa Dua and Sanur.

Founded on the belief that films are a valuable key to promoting awareness of locations and their cultures, the Festival has a mission to increase cultural exchange, understanding and collaboration between Indonesia and the world, develop understanding and respect for freedom of expression, human rights and intellectual property rights.

The foundation will foster cross-cultural respect and tolerance through script-writing and film-making workshops, seminars and film festivals in cultural centers, museums and other community, educational and cultural venues in Indonesia and abroad. This is their first Film Festival and is destined to become an annual event.

Educational and vocational opportunities are rare for young people in Indonesia and the film industry offers a potential world of employment for both skilled and unskilled labor.

“It is a well known fact that feature films hire a huge number of people both behind-the-scenes as well as on screen,” says Director of the Film Festival Deborah Gabinnetti. “Not only as extras, but also as set-builders, porters, camera assistants, etc. The entire community benefits when a film crew comes to town.”

However, many young potential film-makers are sadly lacking in confidence and opportunities for work experience.

With the support of the American Embassy in Jakarta and the benefit of Gabinetti’s contacts in the film world, the foundation is arranging free workshops for beginner Indonesian film-makers, and bringing award-winning international film-makers to Bali to coach these young people.

The need to raise funds for ongoing workshops, and the wish to share the work of these talented visiting film-makers with local audiences have conspired, resulting in the inaugural Bali Taksu Film Festival & Awards. This festival will celebrate the early days of film-making in Bali, bringing back the romance of the silent movies. It also offers a rare opportunity for local and expatriate movie-goers to enjoy documentaries and feature films on the big screen of the Galeria 21 Cineplex.

Jean-Pierre Dutilleux’s award-winning ethno-documentaries of the last tribes from the remotest regions of Indonesia will be shown for the first time in Bali, as will Les Guthman’s forays upriver into Vietnam and Cambodia to the great ruins at Angkor.

The film festival opens with the wonderful early film-makers TH. Wistrand and Miguel Covarrubias, who filmed Bali in the 1930’s. The Bali Film Center and South East Film & Video Archive (UK) sponsored the restoration of Wistrand’s 16mm Kodachrome color footage, and the Embassy of Mexico in Jakarta presented the original Covarrubias film. Together with TJ’s Mexican Restaurant and Bali Moon Liqueurs they will host a Reception on the opening night, and guests are invited to wear their most glamorous, traditional attire to share in the romance of Bali on this special occasion.

To cap off the Opening Night there will be an International Premiere of “The Rites of Peace” filmed in Bali in 2006 by Marcus Sean McBain, narrated and co-written by Dr. Lawrence Blair. The festival honors this documentary for its role in furthering the awareness of the gargantuan efforts of the Hindu Balinese in seeking to restore harmony between man, his world and his Gods.