‘Rendang of Death,’ a hyper-violent ode to Indonesia’s beloved beef dish, makes SXSW film festival

A still from animated short ‘Rendang of Death.’ Photo: Percolate Galactic
A still from animated short ‘Rendang of Death.’ Photo: Percolate Galactic

Like most people, we’ve all had beef with someone over the last piece of rendang. In an ideal world with no laws or customs, we’d do absolutely anything to get our spice-covered fingers on the coconut milk-simmered beef chuck. We’d even kill for it.

And that’s exactly the kind of world created by the warped minds at Jakarta-based creative studio Percolate Galactic, who has made history after its short film, Rendang of Death, became the first-ever animation from Indonesia to be accepted to the SXSW film festival. 

Rendang of Death, released in 2020, depicts a battle royale-style brawl among patrons for the last piece of rendang at an ordinary Padang restaurant. The animation is as hyper-violent as its title suggests, but beneath the gore is a loving tribute to the beloved dish and uniquely Indonesian idiosyncrasies, like a handwritten sign on the wall reminding people to wear sandals while using a squat toilet.

You can watch the short here:

Being accepted to SXSW is a huge achievement for Percolate Galactic, and the studio is hopeful that Rendang of Death will pave the way for widespread recognition of animation from the region.

“Being selected for SXSW has been an amazing experience for our entire studio. We hope that our selection paves the way for more adult animation to come out of Southeast Asia, and we believe that this is just the beginning of Indonesian animation’s journey to world domination,” Percolate Galactic co-founder Ryan Jackson said.

“None of this would have been possible if we didn’t have the most incredible team of creatives — animators, artists, writers, and more — who are willing to go along for the ride when a crazy bule suggests creating something like Rendang of Death. I owe special thanks to Yujin, who directed this short, and Mika, who produced this short, for wrangling the entire studio together to make Rendang of Death a reality.”

Co-founder Samantha Jackson said Percolate Galactic aims to serve up even more animated features in the future.

“We have two large network projects in production that we’re incredibly excited about — one for an Asian audience and one for a global audience — we can’t say more (yet!) because if we break the NDAs, the lawyers might feed us to wolves,” she said.

“Creating our own shorts is always fun, but what we really want is for Indonesian animation to reach the entire world. Whatever that takes, that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Rendang of Death is Percolate Galactic’s fourth animated short. You can watch the studio’s previous works on its YouTube channel. 

Also Read — Ren-Dang! Viral video of 2 ladies fighting over the world’s best dish all but confirmed to be marketing stunt

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