International Conference on Indonesian Film - Association of Indonesian Film Scholars (KOFI KAFEIN) II

  • Supported by the Indonesian Film Board (BPI) and the Ministry of Education and Culture
  • Institut Seni Indonesia Surakarta (Indonesian Institute of The Arts Surakarta - ISI Surakarta)
  • 28-30 Agustus 2019
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  • Coverage

Call for Papers

Film and “Indonesianess”: Redefining Indonesia in Cinema

The right local element increases the significance of the film and provides greater attraction for local film viewers. Political reform in 1998 reduced government control of political and cultural content. The Indonesian government has been more lenient in accepting different cultural values. Society have more freedom to do film activities, produce and discuss films with representation of local values. Increased media technology sophistication, increased access to digital filmmaking equipment, and various video activism projects, film workshops and media literacy programs have created an increasing number of film communities throughout the archipelago, bringing more films with local content and exploring local ways of doing film production and distribution.

At the beginning of the rise of Indonesian films, one of the most intense discussions was the discussion of how to produce films that are uniquely Indonesian, due to differences in special conditions, for example tropical and humid cinematography, or how to do production without a complete film infrastructure. Another intense discussion at the time discussed the few films that found their inspiration in local social, political and cultural specificities. Such discussions usually conclude that widescreen film production in Indonesia at that time followed a simple market logic. This is the same assumption that big film companies in the world have in pursuing a global audience market: that viewers prefer light entertainment and universal values, and therefore they produce more films with universal content and fewer films with local stories. However, several years later some of Indonesia’s best-selling films have used local (Indonesian) issues to attract more viewers. On the other hand, how to make films and how to ensure films reach their audiences, have also found ways, that are uniquely Indonesian, adding strength to local films. We have also heard success stories from Bollywood, Korea and China, where local products beat imported products. This all supports the idea that local content and methods are right for both the business and the significance of the products. However, the limited place to sell – in this case the cinema – and less favorable policies make the film industry still prefer more universal content and production methods, which are considered safer.

The KOFI KAFEIN II Conference is investigating various issues related to the locality of Indonesian cinema, trying to answer the big question: “What makes a film unique to Indonesia and what builds Indonesian cinema?” Exploration of this theme invites topics related to film economics, exploration of traditions, local film production, choice of language use, local audience studies, adaptation of non-film works to film, film history and archiving, actor studies, community and film festivals, studies film forms and film genres, distinctive film production techniques, exploration of new technologies, national cinema concept discourse, study of political economy and film policy and infrastructure, and others, which are related to Indonesian cinema. Possible topics include: Local traditions and local languages ​​in Indonesian films Regional film production Review of film viewers Films and adaptation of local works. Indonesian film in its specific historical situation Filing the film and its challenges Study of filmmakers and studies of film stars Community studies and local film festivals Study the typical Indonesian film forms and film genres The techniques and methods of making films typical of Indonesia Study of the political economy, policy and infrastructure of Indonesian films Study of exploration of new technologies and new media Film and tourism studies Discourse on national cinema in transnational and global contexts

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Program - KOFI

10th Biennial Association for Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference (ASEACC X)

Call for Papers
The Politics of Faith, Spirituality, and Religion in Southeast Asian Cinemas
In Southeast Asia, the tropes of faith/belief, spirituality and religion are frequently inseparable from the political––whether specific regimes, groups, movements or longer ‘undercurrents’––in a way that challenges post-enlightenment, rationalist/secularist conceptions of the political and the modern. As the products of these rapidly changing societies with diverse and long-historical philosophies and practices of faith, religion and ritual, Southeast Asian cinemas have often occupied disputed theoretical and aesthetic ground, particularly in their engagements with politics. Local cinematic forms have consistently resisted any absolute break with the power structures and attendant narrative and aesthetic discourses that link the regional past to its national presents. The resultant connection drawn by many local films between modernism and approaches to life, politics and representation that eschew Western secularism have frequently served as a source of consternation or dismissal from both local and global audiences and critics.
In the decades since 9/11, however, as religion has become ever more visible and the post-European Enlightenment ideal of separation between public and private spheres has been increasingly destabilized throughout the world, films engaging with the profound continuity of local aesthetic and spiritual pasts in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere have also begun to gain more regular acceptance in the foremost bastions of cinematic legitimacy in Europe, East Asia and the United States. How might works like these––and perhaps more important, those less universally appreciated offerings that preceded them––challenge and expand our understanding of what cinema is and does? How might the analysis of Southeast Asian cinemas, genres, or particular films inspire a critical rethinking of the position and role of religion, faith and other “old” systems of belief in processes of regional transformation and decolonization, and the production and spread of modernity and nationalism they fostered?
Perhaps the most pressing question in this context: in light of the alarming contemporary expansion of politico-religious conservatism and authoritarianism throughout the region, might Southeast Asian films, filmmakers and theorists be especially well positioned to formulate a critical response that elides the polarizing valorization of secularism so often deployed by Western critics?
Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:
  • Representation of religion, religious themes, and spirituality in cinema Faiths, identity-based politics, sectarianism.
  • Cinema as a vehicle for the adaptation and continual development of religious or traditional ideologies and systems of thought.
  • Cinema as a mediator between religious and political authorities and the public.
  • Cinematic reference to, or quotation of, traditional systems of belief and forms of expression.
  • Cinema and Institutional investment in defining and promoting tradition.
  • Faith/religion and reception, exhibition, distribution (ex. themed festivals).
  • Films as interventions into religious politics/cultures and sectarian politics.
  • Faith/religion/spirituality, film, and consumer culture Religion and censorship Islamic themed films as a contemporary phenomena in Indonesia and Malaysia (and elsewhere).
ASEACC welcomes presentations related to the conference theme or to Southeast Asian cinemas more broadly. Past conferences have included site visits, screenings, and presentations from academics, critics, filmmakers, archivists, and others interested in Southeast Asian screen media.
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Program - ASEACC 2018

International Conference on Indonesian Film - Association of Indonesian Film Scholars (KOFI KAFEIN) I, and First KAFEIN Congress

  • Supported by the Indonesian Film Board (BPI)
  • Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta
  • 29-30-31 Agustus 2017
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Call for Papers
KAFEIN will hold an interdisciplinary academic conference on Indonesian film in August 2017. This is an invitation to send an abstract and present a paper for about 20 minutes that introduces the interests, specialties and strengths of the speakers related to the study and research of Indonesian film. On August 31, the conference concluded with the first plenary meeting of the association, which could be attended by all members and participants who were interested in becoming members. This conference will bring together academics, researchers, and cross-disciplinary students who work on topics and issues related to Indonesian cinema. The theme of this conference will be opened as wide as possible to open up the possibility of members and prospective members of the association to exchange ideas regarding their studies and research.

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