Documentary filmmaker Amelia Hapsari is the first Indonesian to be invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the annual awards we all know as the Oscars.
Amelia is among 819 new invitees comprising artists and executives from around the world “who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures,” and are therefore able to vote for the Academy Awards starting next year should she accept the invitation. She is listed under the Academy’s documentary branch.
Amelia was a producer of Rising from Silence (2016), a short documentary about Dialita, a choir group formed by the female survivors of Indonesia’s 1965 communist purge, and the director of Fight Like Ahok (2012), a short documentary that documented the rise of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama AKA Ahok from his hometown of Belitung to the post of vice governor in Jakarta.
Directed by Shalahuddin Siregar, Rising from Silence won best short documentary film at the biggest Indonesian film awards, Indonesian Film Festival (FFI), in 2018.
Born in Semarang, Amelia’s experiences prior to documentary works include managing a non-profit production house in East Timor and as an editor at China Radio International in Beijing.
Since 2012, Amelia has been the program director of In-Docs, a non-profit institution based in Indonesia that connects Southeast Asian and Indonesian documentary films to the international film industry as well as creating talent development and incubation programs. She’s responsible for fundraising and partnerships, in addition to designing strategies and programs for the organization.
It’s worth noting that this year’s class comprises 45 percent women, 36 percent underrepresented ethnic or racial communities, as well as 49 percent international members from 68 countries. In a statement released this week, the Academy claims to have surpassed the goal to double the number of women and underrepresented ethnic or racial communities. The goal was set back in 2016 following the #OscarsSoWhite backlash that criticized the obvious lack of non-white nominees at the 2015 Academy Awards.
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