Plaza Indonesia Film Festival returns on Feb 24-28, featuring award-winning indie films ‘The Science of Fictions,’ ‘The Lighthouse’

Robert Eggers’ psychological horror film ‘The Lighthouse’, starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, will be screened at the upcoming Plaza Indonesia Film Festival (PIFF) on Feb. 24-28. Photo: Instagram/@a24
Robert Eggers’ psychological horror film ‘The Lighthouse’, starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, will be screened at the upcoming Plaza Indonesia Film Festival (PIFF) on Feb. 24-28. Photo: Instagram/@a24

Cinephiles, the season for film festivals is right around the corner with Plaza Indonesia Film Festival (PIFF) slated to return to the capital on Feb. 24-28.

Held annually by the high-end shopping mall, the festival has been known for screening award-winning and indie hits from Indonesia and around the globe. The lineup for the eighth edition of the festival was announced just yesterday, and after seeing the selection, we’re pretty sure fellow film nerds will scramble for tickets, seeing as how most of the films haven’t been screened in regular cinemas in the country. 

PIFF will open on Feb. 24 with 1960 comedy-drama film La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life) from legendary Italian director/screenwriter Federico Fellini. The next day, PIFF will screen the debut feature length film by Palu-based filmmaker Yusuf Radjamuda, Mountain Song, and war drama film Monos by Colombian-Ecuadorian director Alejandro Landes. 

Also on Feb. 25, the much-anticipated The Science of Fictions (Hiruk-Pikuk si Al-Kisah) by Yogyakarta-based director Yosep Anggi Noen will be screened along with German drama film System Crasher (Systemsprenger) by director Nora Fingscheidt.

It’s worth noting that Mountain Song and Science have received accolades in the international film festival circuit — the former won Best Scriptwriter Asian New Talent Award at Shanghai International Film Festival 2019 while the latter received a special mention at Locarno Film Festival in August of last year.

Next up, Robert Eggers’ psychological horror film The Lighthouse, starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, is slated for a screening on Feb. 27, followed by Fellini’s 1963 surrealist comedy-drama film 8 ½ (Otto e mezzo). The Lighthouse was recently awarded Best Supporting Actor for Dafoe and Best Cinematography for Jarin Blaschke at the Independent Spirit Awards, as well as getting an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography.

On the last day of PIFF, festival goers can watch selections of short films from the previous Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival, in a program called JAFF Selection: Asian Short, which will be followed by South Korean drama House of Hummingbird (Beolsae) written and directed by Kim Bora and Academy Award-nominated Macedonian documentary Honeyland.

House of Hummingbird won the Grand Prix from the Generation 14plus International Jury for the Best Film at Berlin International Film Festival and Best Screenplay at South Korea’s renowned Blue Dragon Film Awards, beating Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (which just made history at the 92nd Academy Awards yesterday by becoming the first film not in English to win Best Picture).

On the other hand, Honeyland made history as the first film to be nominated in both Best International Feature Film and Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards, and the only film to win three different categories at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

As per usual, all films will be screened at the mall’s Cinema XXI on the 6th floor and tickets are free of charge, provided on a first come, first serve basis. The festival will also hold the PIFF Movie Clinic, consisting of special talks and workshops by leading figures in the Indonesian film industry such as Gundala and Perempuan Tanah Jahanam writer-director Joko Anwar and actress Tara Basro, producer Mira Lesmana, and cinematographer Ical Tanjung. More information about the festival is available on Plaza Indonesia’s official Instagram page.


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