The Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (JAFF) celebrated its 10th anniversary during its 2015 edition in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. JAFF was founded in 2005 by Garin Nugroho and Budi Irawanto with the collaboration of NETPAC. It is the only film festival that carries NETPAC’s name in which NETPAC has a direct presence, usually through NETPAC vice-president Philip Cheah, who is the festival’s program consultant. JAFF is also the biggest film festival in Indonesia. The festival in 2015 recorded a total of 7,500 spectators and screened 159 films from 23 countries. The festival consisted of six main programs: Asian Feature, Light of Asia, The Faces of Indonesian Cinema Today, Open Air Cinema (5 locations), Focus on Chinese Cinema and Asian Docs. There were also 10 special programs: Special Screening Project, Films by JAFF Persons, Short Film Showcase, Gotot Prakosa Retrospective, Cinema Jogja, Japan Days, Teddy Soeriaatmadja's Way, Short Film Splashes, Korean Cinema Splash, and IFI Collaboration (film and discussion). The competition results showed a surprising slant towards Indonesia: 3 of the awards in the six categories were won by Indonesian films.
JAFF was conceived from a “desire to organize a film festival with a focus on Asian cinema” (Garin Nugroho). The challenges of creating a film festival though daunting were confronted head-on; JAFF was “born to resist”, first by going ahead as an act of faith and hope despite the devastation caused by the earthquake and the eruption of Mt Merapi; secondly by succeeding in the early years against the dearth of resources and facilities; thirdly by focusing on non-mainstream films and creating a desire for them. Ten years on, the results are palpable: JAFF is the only sustainable film festival of any size in Indonesia; it has added a new dimension to Jogja’s reputation as a leading centre of culture; enhanced the community’s level of cinematic and media literacy; inspired festival volunteers and activists to become filmmakers with international participation; and connected Jogja to the world’s big film festivals. “What amazed me was the short films became the festival’s forte...as a result JAFF has become an open university of Asian films…through screenings, workshops, discussions and publications” (Garin Nugroho). In JAFF, NETPAC sees a manifestation of those qualities which have enabled it to thrive and grow over 25 years to become a leading champion of Asian cinema.
JAFF Competition results
Golden Hanoman Award Cambodian Son (dir Masahiro Sugano; Cambodia-USA-France, 2014) Silver Hanoman Award Swap (dir Remton Siega Zuasola; Philippines, 2015) NETPAC Award Nay (dir Djenar Maesa Ayu; Indonesia, 2015) Geber Award A Copy of My Mind (dir Joko Anwar; Indonesia, 2015) Light of Asia Blencong Award The Incredibly Strange Tale of the Man Who Lost His Love but Bought it Back with a Packet of Duck Rice (dir Gavin Yap; Malaysia, 2015)
Jogja Student Film Award
The Fox Exploits the Tiger's Might (dir Lucky Kuswandi; Indonesia, 2015) Lifetime Achievement Award
JAFF conferred a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award on Indonesia’s legendary artist, writer, animator and experimental filmmaker Gotot Prakosa (1955-2015).
JAFF Festival Jury
Alia Swastika Teddy Soeriaatmadja Wong Tuck Cheong
NETPAC Award Jury
Ashley Ratnavibhushana Hizkia Yosie Polimpung Tetsuya Takahashi
Djenar Maesa Ayu, seated centre, talks about her NETPAC Award winning film Nay with the audience after the screening. There’s a strong community spirit about JAFF, and this location Taman Budaya provides the perfect setting for cinephiles to meet filmmakers and production crew before, during and after screenings. At top left holding camera is David Hannan, an Australian scholar of Indonesian cinema.