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
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.