Jakarta International Film Festival

Even a year after the demise of the New Order (May 1998), there was still a spirit of change in Indonesia. For Jakarta-based film aficionados like Shanty Harmayn and Natacha Devillers, working together in Salto Films at the time, there was still one disturbing question as to: “When will Jakarta have a film festival of an international scale?”
The Singapore Film Festival (SIFF) was already 12 years old, while Pusan International Film Festival (Korea), in its third year, had already gained attention from the Asian and World film community.
Thailand and the Philippines had also launched their own international film festivals: Bangkok International Film Festival (September 1998) and Cinemanila (July 1999). Shanty Harmayn and Natacha Devillers therefore introduced the Jakarta International Film Festival (JIFFEST) in November 1999.
In 8 days (November 20–28, 1999), JIFFEST featured 65 films from various countries including Indonesia.
Shanty Harmayn and Natacha Devillers wrote in their foreword: “Dear audience, you are the future of Jakarta International Film Festival and the key to the resurrection of the national film industry, because good filmmakers can only come from a good audience.”
JIFFEST records in its history book that no less than 18 thousand viewers came and saw the selected films from 25 countries. At the end of the festival, Jalan Raya Pos, a Dutch-produced documentary on Indonesia and directed by Bernie IJdis was chosen as the crowd's favorite.


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