February 23, 2019

Indonesian films at SCENECS

H.E. Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Ambassador of Indonesia at SCENECS International Debut Film Festival.

 By Carl van Denzen.

SCENECS International Debut Film Festival, which has been a recurring event since 2006, has been established and organized over the years thanks to the efforts of a number of volunteers, professionals, and sponsors.

For additional images by Hester Dijkstra, please open the link below: https://www.flickr.com/photos/109407424@N02/albums/72157698463939094

H.E. Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Ambassador of Indonesia, and H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam.


The Festival “offers new directors and producers from all over the world the opportunity to show their first or second film in the cinemas,” and it has become over the years an important venue for debuting directors to make their work known.

On Friday June 22nd, 2018, the 12th edition of SCENECS started, with an opening ceremony at the VUE Cinema Hilversum.

The hundreds of guests who attended the event were welcomed with a drink, and the opening ceremony started with four Indonesian dancers in colourful costumes.

Indonesian dancers at SCENECS.

Mr. Arya Tariverdi, Festival Director and founder of SCENECS, welcomed all the guests, thanking in particular H.E. Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja, Ambassador of Indonesia, and H.E. Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam.

Following this introduction, Ron Sterk, CEO of VUE Cinema and long time partner of SCENECS, explained the relevance of SCENECS for VUE. While his organization is usually more focused on big productions (such as that of, for example, Jurassic Park), Mr. Sterk noted that every film maker, even Spielberg himself, has to start from a debut film.

“The debut movie makers of today can be the important movie makers of the future,” hence the importance of festivals such as SCENECS. Then, Mr. Wimar Jaeger, Alderman of Media and Culture at the Hilversum Municipality, praised Hilversum as the “city of the storymakers.”

In this city, he said, it is vital that story makers train new people who can tell new stories.

After this introduction, H.E. Mr. Wesaka Puja was invited on the stage. The Ambassador revealed his movie preferences, naming One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest as his favourite movie, and he stressed the educational nature of movies, from which everyone can learn a lot. A movie, the Ambassador said, “is a small mirror that can change your life.”

H.E. Mr. Wesaka Puja praised SCENECS, because the Festival builds bridges between different cultures and different directors. As for Indonesia, given the increasing popularity of movies, the plan is to increase the number of screens, from the current 1500 to up to 5000 screens. This would be surely an improvement for the Indonesian people, because as Steven Spielberg once said: “Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.”

Mr. Wimar Jaeger and Ambassador Puja officially opened the festival,

The Ambassador and Mr. Jaeger then officially opened the festival, pushing a red button in the midst of paper golden garlands flying in the air. This year’s edition of SCENECS started with the Indonesian film “Posesif,” from producer Muhammad Zaidy and directed by Dhani Awan.

The movie revolves around the issue of love and its difficulties. These problems are experienced by everyone: not only teenagers, but also teachers and parents. The focus of the movie is on teenager experiences in Indonesia, and it is not much influenced by mainstream cinema. In the Top 100 ranking of Indonesian movies, Posesif ranks 35th, and it is a clear example of the growing Indonesian movie industry, which started its growth after the 1980s and 1990s. After the movie, Jacques Happe interviewed Muhammad Zaidy, producer of the film, who explained some of the film’s features.

 The opening ceremony ended with drinks and Indonesian snacks. In the rest of the festival, which has lasted from June 22nd to June 29th, several movies have been screened.

In the 2018 edition, SCENECS has received more than 800 applications from 71 different countries, and it has screened 130 (inter)national fiction films and documentaries. Also, the Festival has offered, to both film makers and the audience, a series of workshops and masterclasses on film and media, thus contributing to the spread of the “cinema culture” in the Netherlands.



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