10 CinemAsia Doc tips to get through Quarantine

Martijn van VeenCinemAsia Update

CinemAsia has had the fortune to hold its 2020 edition of CinemAsia Film Festival this past March. More than a month later such an event has become unthinkable. Words such as social distancing and self isolation have entered our daily lexicon and people who do not practice a crucial profession are adviced to work from home and everyone is asked to stay home as much as possible.

Even though being couped up at home might be trying, it also offers opportunities. For instance it grants the possibility to fill your appetite for Asian Cinema. In the last two weeks we have shared 10 filmtips and 10 tips for asian series, but of course there are also wonderful Asian documentaries to explore. That’s why we follow up with a list of 10 documentaries to lift your spirits and help you get through this period of self isolation.

1. Tokyo Idols

52 min – Miyake Kyoko
UK/Canada/Japan, 2017
NPO Start

Girl bands and their pop music permeate every moment of Japanese life. Following an aspiring pop singer and her fans, Tokyo Idols explores a cultural phenomenon driven by an obsession with young female sexuality, and the growing disconnect between men and women in hyper-modern societies.

2. Jalanan

107 minDaniel Ziv
Indonesia, 2015
Vimeo on Demand

The captivating story of three gifted and charismatic bus musicians in Jakarta as they perform songs of social angst, get caught in political unrest, face family crises and get locked up by police.

Jalanan was screened at CinemAsia Film Festival 2015.

3. Please Remember Me

78 min – Zhao Qing
China, 2015
IDFA Collection

87-year-old Alzheimer’s patient Lou has forgotten everyone but her husband Feng, who has been her only caretaker for the past 10 years. Yet after a medical check-up, Feng was diagnosed with a pancreas mass. The man who went through a life of hardship in good spirits finally bursts into tears. Before going to the hospital, he takes her out shopping and makes her pretty. Does it mean their time of separation is coming near? Can they still live a life with dignity and freedom?

4. Ramen Heads

93 min – Shigeno Koki
Japan, 2017
Itunes, Youtube or Google Play

Osamu Tomita, Japan’s reigning king of ramen, takes us deep into his world, revealing every single step of his obsessive approach to creating the perfect soup and noodles, and his relentless search for the highest-quality ingredients. In addition to Tomita’s story, the film also profiles five other notable ramen shops, each with its own philosophy and flavour, which exemplify various different aspects the ramen world. Mixing in a brief rundown of ramen’s historical roots, the film gives viewers an in-depth look at the culture surrounding this unique and beguiling dish.

Ramen Heads was screened at CinemAsia Film Festival 2018

5. Position among the Stars

112 min – Leonard Retel Helmrich
Netherlands / Indonesia , 2010
NPO Start

Through the eyes of grandmother Rumidjah, a poor old Christian woman living in the slums of Jakarta, we see the economical changing society of Indonesia and the influence of globalization reflected in the life of her juvenile granddaughter Tari and her sons Bakti and Dwi. Director and DOP Leonard Retel Helmrich follows this family in a unique way with his breathtaking Single Shot Cinema-technique. Without interviews and voice-overs, Leonard will bring you closer to Indonesia than you will ever get.

6. A Foley Artist

100 min – Wang Wan-jo
Taiwan, 2016
Vimeo on Demand

The story of a professional Foley artist, Mr. Hu Ding-Yi, to trace the history of sound-production in Taiwanese films, while extends to a broader view of the entire Chinese-speaking film industry (including Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai.)

A Foley Artist was screened at CinemAsia Film Festival 2018.

7. Planet of Snail

87 min – Yi Seung-jun
South Korea, 2011
Itunes or Google Play

Young-Chan comes from planet of snail where deaf blind people live slow and quiet lives. Then an angel walked into his life. Soon-Ho knows how it is to be lonely and soon becomes an inseparable part of his life. However, Soon-Ho cannot always be there for him because of her own problem of spine disability. The couple now should learn to survive alone. While Soon-Ho uneasily spends her first day waiting for his return, Young-Chan goes out for the biggest adventure of his life.

8. Placebo

94 min – Abhay Kumar
India, 2014

In one of the toughest undergrad schools in the world, a film maker infiltrates a complex mindscape of ambition and restless youth. In the hallways of excellence, something sinister is at work- and those who inhabit them, must fight these monsters within.

9. Made in Korea

73 min – In-Soo Radstake
Netherlands, 2006
Amazon Prime

Adopted from Korea as a baby by a Dutch couple, Radstake is now searching for his true identity. He joins other adoptees from the same Holland flight and visits the orphanage in Seoul where he once lived. At first, he focuses on his fellow adoptees, but as his search progresses, his story gets more personal as he tries to find his biological mother.

10. Silk Road of Pop

53 min – Sameer Farooq, Ursula Engel
China, 2012
Vimeo on Demand

On the distant northwest edge of China lies Xinjiang, a vast region of snow-capped mountains, barren deserts and gritty market cities. Here, along the ancient Silk Road, music is one of the hottest commodities. Yet, around the music lies a troubling reality. Engaged in an identity tug-of-war, the region’s main population – the Uyghur Muslims – are gradually watching their populations dwindle as they are engulfed by a predominant Han Chinese settlement.  The Silk Road of Pop captures the challenges of a minority group in China and the explosive music scene it results in.

Silk Road of Pop was Screened at CinemAsia Film Festival 2013


10 Asian Series to get through Quarantine

Martijn van VeenCinemAsia Update

CinemAsia has had the fortune to hold it’s 2020 edition of CinemAsia Film Festival this past March. A litte over a month later such an event has become unthinkable. Words such as social distancing and selfisolation have entered our daily lexicon and people who do not have a crucial profession are adviced to work from home and everyone is asked to stay home as much as possible.

Even though being couped up at home might be trying, it also offers opportunities. For instance it grants the possibility to fill your appetite for Asian Cinema. Last week we shared 10 filmtips, but great Asian storytelling is not limited to the cinemascreen. That’s why we follow up with a list of 10 series to lift your spirits and help you get through this period of self isolation.

1. Itaewon Class

1 Season – 16 Episodes
South Korea, 2020

Park Saeroyi’s life has been turned upside down after he gets expelled from school for punching a bully and his father is killed in an accident. Following his father’s steps, he opens a pub named “DanBam” in Itaewon and, along with his manager and staff, strive towards success and reaching greater heights.

2. Made in Heaven

1 Season – 9 Episodes
India, 2019
Amazon Prime

It is the story of two wedding planners in Delhi, where tradition jostles with modern aspirations against the backdrop of big fat Indian weddings revealing many secrets and lies.

3. Meteor Garden

1 Season – 50 Episodes
China, 2018

A woman wants to reorganize her house and convert it into a home office. She will throw anything that has been lying around unused. However, she faces a great challenge when she comes across some items that belonged to her ex-boyfriend.

4. She was Pretty

1 Season – 16 Episodes
South Korea, 2015

When Ji Sung-Joon was young, he was ugly. As he grew up, he began to have an attractive appearance. When Kim Hye-Jin was young, she was pretty. As she grew up, she became ugly. Ji Sung-Joon tries to find his first love.

5. The Stranded

1 Season – 7 Episodes
Thailand, 2019

When a tsunami strands dozens of teens on an island at their private school, they soon realize no rescuers are coming and they must save themselves.

6. Tokyo Vampire Hotel

1 Season – 10 Episodes
Japan, 2018
Amazon Prime

Manami is captured by blood thirsty trigger happy vampires, and taken to their hotel, where they keep prisoners as future meals. They are all instructed to find a partner to survive, when a vampire clan from Transylvania interferes.

7. Kingdom

2 Seasons – 12 Episodes
South Korea, 2020

While strange rumors about their ill King grip a kingdom, the crown prince becomes their only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land.

8. Mirzapur

1 Season – 9 Episodes
India, 2018
Amazon Prime

A shocking incident at a wedding procession ignites a series of events entangling the lives of two families in the lawless city of Mirzapur.

9. Crash Landing on You

1 Season – 12 Episodes
South Korea, 2019

The absolute top secret love story of a chaebol heiress who made an emergency landing in North Korea because of a paragliding accident and a North Korean special officer who falls in love with her and who is hiding and protecting her.


10. Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

2 Seasons – 12 Episodes
Japan, 2019

An anthology of human relationship stories connected by the only open in the wee hours diner the characters frequent. Resolutions are often facilitated by the owner/chef.



10 CinemAsia Film Tips to get through Quarantine

Martijn van VeenCinemAsia Update, Tip

CinemAsia has had the fortune to hold it’s 2020 edition of CinemAsia Film Festival this past March. Less than a month later such an event has become unthinkable. Words such as social distancing and selfisolation have entered our daily lexicon and people who do not have a crucial profession are adviced to work from home and everyone is asked to stay home as much as possible.

Even though being couped up at home might be trying, it also offers opportunities. For instance it grants the possibility to fill your appetite for Asian Cinema. That’s why we thought we’d share a list of 10 filmtips to lift your spirits and help you get through this period of self isolation.

1. Tune in for Love

122 min – Jung Ji-woo
South Korea, 2019

In 1997 during the IMF crisis, two people meet while exchanging stories on a radio program. They fall in love, but can’t quite seem to get the timing right.

2. October

115 min – Shoojit Sircar
India, 2018
Amazon Prime

Dan’s, is as life of any carefree 21 year old, revolving around a bunch of friends and fellow hotel interns who feed off each other’s everyday moments, ups and downs. Shiuli is one such intern at the same hotel, who at times is at a receiving end of Dan’s audaciousness. Life goes on until a sudden turn of events smashes Dan and Shiuli’s lives together in a bond that’s unlike any 21 year olds.

3. Happy Old Year

113 min – Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
Thailand, 2019

A woman wants to reorganize her house and convert it into a home office. She will throw anything that has been lying around unused. However, she faces a great challenge when she comes across some items that belonged to her ex-boyfriend.

4. One Cut of the Dead

95 min – Ueda Chinichiro
Japan, 2017

Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility, when they are attacked by real zombies.

5. Posesif

101 min – Edwin
Indonesia, 2017

Lala is a platform diving athlete in her final year of high school when she meets Yudhis, a transfer student. The initial romance blossoms, but something about Yudhis is unfolding one by one

Posesif was screened at CinemAsia Film Festival 2018

6. A Sun

156 min – Chung Mong-hong
Taiwan, 2019

A family of four fractures under the weight of unmet expectations, unexpected tragedy, and uncompromising pride.

7. The Wild Goose Lake

113 min – Diao Yi’nan
China, 2019

A gangster on the run sacrifices everything for his family and a woman he meets while on the lam.

The Wild Goose Lake screened at CinemAsia Film Festival 2020

8. When Marnie was there

103 min – Yonebayashi Hiromasa
Japan, 2014

Due to 12 y.o. Anna’s asthma, she’s sent to stay with relatives of her guardian in the Japanese countryside. She likes to be alone, sketching. She befriends Marnie. Who is the mysterious, blonde Marnie.

When Marnie was Here screened at CinemAsia Film Festival 2015.

9. Dot 2 Dot

89 min – Amos Why
Hong Kong, 2014

A girl from Northern China, who comes to Hong Kong for teaching Putonghua, starts exploring the surrounding and history of her new city when she determines to find out the boy behind the mysterious dot to dot graffiti outside every subway station.

Dot 2 Dot screened at CinemAsia Film Festival 2015.


10. Along with the Gods:
The Two Worlds & The Last 49 Days

139 min & 141 min – Kim Yong-hwa
South Korea, 2017 & 2018

After a heroic death, a firefighter navigates the afterlife with the help of three guides.



Team CinemAsians wins at 48 Hour Project Pink Edition

Martijn van VeenFilmLAB Screening, FilmLAB Update, Nieuws

Team CinemAsians, Consisting of FilmLAB Alumni André Kloer (Director), Priscilla Rasyid (Producer), Terry Tao (Floor manager), Fawad Nahimi (Editor), Jimmy Tai (Script Advisor), Alex Lai (Set dresser), Aaron Wan (Actor) and actors Charlotte Ha & Michael Schnörr with support from FilmLAB Network Coördinator Daan Vree and many others, has won several awards last week during the 48 Hour Pink Edition Ceremony.

During the 48 Hour Project Pink Edition for film festival de Roze Filmdagen team CinemAsians has created the short film ‘In Lockdown’. Because of the Corona pandemic it wasn’t possible to screen all submissions live in the customary 48 Hour Film Project screening  therefore the organisation had decided to watch the submissions together with the Zoom Tool. After the viewing the awards ceremony followed. Not only did team CinemAsians  won the award for best poster, a special mention for best actrice Lena Burger, the award for best script and for best use of character,  but they also won the biggest prize of the night: for Best Film. That’s why the film (likely) will compete on the national level, for best Dutch 48 Hour Project film. Congratulations to the team for all their hard work. May many films and awards follow!

Soon one of the participants of team CinemAsians will share a report on their experience so keep an eye out for it on our website.

Do you have an Asian Background or would you like to join team CinemAsians for the next 48 Hour Project that the team will participate in, then send an email to FilmLAB@cinemasia.nl with your information and what roles you would like to potentailly join the team in and we will let you know the next time team CinemAsians will participate.


CinemAsia FilmLAB @ CinemAsia Film Festival

Martijn van VeenCinemAsia Update

CinemAsia Film Festival 2020 was a succes! In what, without knowing, turned out to be the last week to organize a festival irt the current Corona pandemic, CinemAsia has experienced a great and well visited edition.  FilmLAB Activities are also always a staple at the festival with this year activities such as the intruiging Industry Panel ‘Producing in a Time of Flux’ , the interesting FilmLAB Jam Session, the last FilmLAB Distribution meet-up, The FilmLAB Panel Recipes for Success on Saturday, Premiere of the documentary The Ugly Model, The FilmLAB drinks and the CinemAsians team that participated in the 48 Hour Project Pink Edition.

Industry Panel

In this interesting panel in Pakhuis de Zwijger moderator, CinemAsia board member and producer, Lorna Tee spoke with Producer of the Dutch Netflix Series Ares Pieter Kuijpers and producer of the Netflix series Nowhere Man Aileen Li about the ins en outs of producing a series for Netflix and how this influences the production. During the panel we discussed everything from timelines and pitching, deadlines, views and marketing and the audience had plenty opportunity to ask their questions.

FilmLAB Jam Session

This time the FilmLAB Jam Session submissions consisted of a mixed group of both FilmLAB Alumni and filmmakers who are joining a FilmLAB event for the first time. Their ideas for Documentary and fiction projects were shared and especially for this festival Jam Session we had invited the director of the CinemAsia Film Festival openingfilm  Mrs. Noisy Amano Chihiro and Documentary maker, producer en director of a.o. A man called Ahok Putrama Tuta to share their insights and feedback on the participants projects which they have done extensively. It meant that the FilmLAB Jam Session ran late. But this shows only how involved all people at the session were. Our thanks go out to all participants for sharing their stories and projects and also to Amano Chihiro and Putrama Tuta for sharing their insights.

FilmLAB Distributie Meet-up

The Saturday of the festival FilmLAB started at 11.00 with it’s distribution meet-up, which CinemAsia FilmLAB organizes every quarter, in which particpants of the last edition of the FilmLAB Shorts program get together to give and get updates on the distribution of their documentary shorts. We discussed what screenings have taken place in the last quarter, what film festivals the films have been selected for and what film festivals still have to make their selection. Aside from this we discussed what screenings CinemAsia FilmLAb will  help with from its own network and contacts. Lastly we asked them for tips on how to improve our distribution meet-ups. An article containing these tips will soon come online on our website.

FilmLAB Industry Panel

The Distribution meet-up was followed by the FilmLAB Industry Panel in which Moderator, Film critic and CinemAsia Programmer, Hugo Emmerzael conversed with TV Journalist and programmer Leo Soesanto, Revolver Executive Producer Germen Boelens, project director of De Ontmoeting Sacha Gertsik en Director Shariff Nasr  about their tips and recipes for success. They shared their tips and examples on the best opportunities for filmmakers and filmprofessionals with an Asian background to realize their own film projects and further their carreers.

The Ugly Model Première

After the FilmLAB Industry Panel came the première of the documentary feature The Ugly Model. This film, that has been director by CinemAsia Head of board Doris Yeung and has been produced by boardmember Bianca Kuijpers deals with representation of Asians in media and what its influence is on people like Korean adopted model Kevin Kreider who wants the conquer the worls as a fitness model, but doesn’t know how to reach success. The screening was sold-out and was joined with an extensive Q&A with director Doris Yeung who was joined by Journalist and author of the book The Bananageneration  Pete Wu om te spreken over representatie van mensen met een Aziatische achtergrond in de media.

FilmLAB Borrel

Saturdays FilmLAb Activities were concluded with the FilmLAB Drinks that had Filmmakers and Film professionals meet each other and talk enjoying a drink at the bar of Studio / K. Even we had the opportunity to talk to new people to help grow the FilmLAB Network.

48 Hour Film Project

Lastly this quarter we formed a CinemAsians team to participate in the 48 Hour Project Pink Edition.The CinemAsians team is a chance for FilmLAb Alumni and other interested filmprofessionals with an Asian Background to join forces and have fun in creating a short in 48 Hours. This edition there were at least 6 FilmLAB Alumni joining forces! Not only were they able to realise a short films in a difficult time surrounding the Corona pandemic, but they also won the prize for the best short film for this edition of 48 Hour Project. So congratulations to the team! Soon we will share a more detailed article on the 48 Hour Film Project, so keep an eye on our website.

Teaser Presentation from Haider Hussain

Martijn van VeenEvent tip, Nieuws

You are invited to the presentation from FilmLAB participant of 2019 Haider Hussain who will share the mood teaser of his upcoming short film, Honeycomb. The teaser was made with the help of the ZOZ Academy Fund. The short event will entail a small presentation of the journey of the film, a small talk by the writer-director (Haider Hussain) and the lead actress (Ayisha Siddiqi). This will be followed by a screening of the teaser, and then a discussion with the audience.

The teaser presentation will be Saturday March 21 , 18.00 – 19.00 at Mono in Rotterdam. You can share you attendance on facebook.

About Honeycomb:

Mariyam, a twenty-year-old Dutch Muslim heavy metal vocalist, realises
she might be pregnant. How does she reconcile this news with her
different cultural identities and, above all, tell her mother?

The film deals with the larger theme of identity and in particular its
malleability and fluidity. With the overconfidence that accompanies the
follies of youth, Mariyam thrives on keeping her two identities separate.
Mariyam’s central struggle is not so much with her pregnancy and how it
might affect her social life within the conservative bubble she lives in, but
rather what it means for her control over her worlds.



Het Land van Toen in LUX Nijmegen

Daan VreeEvent tip, Nieuws

Het Land van Toen

Op zondag 8 maart om 14.30 uur is het weer tijd voor IndoFILMCafé. Met dit keer de voorstelling Het land van Toen van filmmaker en muzikante Amber Nefkens; een luchtige voorstelling met humor, waarin het verlangen naar een mooie tijd en een land dat niet meer bestaat centraal staat: Het land van Toen.

Amber vertelt het verhaal van haar Indische oma Erna Smith-Broers, geboren en opgegroeid in het voormalige Nederlands-Indië. Van haar jeugd in Semarang tot haar bruiloft in Batavia, de geboorte van 3 dochters, waaronder de moeder van Amber, het afscheid van Indië en de tijd in Nederland.

Het land van Toen
De voorstelling is een mix van filmbeelden, muziek en theater in de vorm van verhalen. Oma heeft in de loop der tijd gedichten en verhalen geschreven, waarvan Amber liedjes heeft gemaakt. Bovendien is Amber in mei 2018 naar Java gereisd om daar meer te weten te komen over haar Indische roots. Voorafgaand aan de reis heeft ze haar oma gefilmd en geïnterviewd en tijdens de reis heeft ze veel gefilmd en haar eerste liedjes over Indië geschreven. Kortom: een voorstelling voor alle generaties.

De Twee Hondjes

Still uit “De twee hondjes” van Jana Kaminski.

In de voorstelling is ook de prachtige animatie “De twee hondjes” te zien van Jana Kaminski Animation & Illustration. Een verhaal over het verlies van geliefden tijdens de oorlog.

“Levendige herinneringen, doorspekt met humor, aan een sprookjesachtig leven in een land van vroeger, maar dat nog bestaat in zielsverband: Het land van toen.”

De voorstelling duurt 60 minuten; daarna is er een nagesprek met het publiek (Q&A).

Tickets: Lux Nijmegen


Still uit “Indië op een bord”

ndië op een Bord
In 2014 maakte Amber de CinemAsia FilmLAB documentaire Indië op een Bord waarin zij op zoek gaat naar haar roots tijdens een bezoek aan haar oma en opa.

Indian documentary “An Insignificant Man”

Daan VreeEvent tip, Nieuws

Film, food and drinks at Studio P1 in Amsterdam at March 7 from 15:30 to 20:00. Free entry.

A chronicle of the spectacular rise of the Common Man’s Party (AAP) in India. The party’s logo, a broom, symbolizes it’s battle against the political establishment. Activist Arvind Kejriwal established the AAP in 2012 after the India Against Corruption protest movement failed to get an anti-corruption law passed.

The film’s directors Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla follow the campaign from it’s early beginnings and document the transformation of a grassroots movement into a significant political force – with all the internal conflicts that can entail.

A non-fiction drama chronicling the most outrageous political debut in the largest democracy in the world, “An Insignificant Man” follows Arvind Kejriwal and his insurgent party as they look to shake up Indian politics while struggling to keep their own idealism alive.

Duration: 1h 36min
Spoken languages: Hindi, English
Subtitles: English

3:30 PM – Doors Open
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM – Discussion with an invited guest
5:00 PM – 6:40 PM – Film Screening
7:00 PM – 7:45 PM – Aftertalk with Khushboo Ranka (director) via Skype

Food and Drinks will be served during and after the program. Please bring cash!
Donations will be accepted (cash only).

Studio P1,
Oostelijke Handelskade 12,
1019 BM Amsterdam

Still uit “An Insignificant Man”

About producer/director Khushboo Ranka
Khushboo is a producer and director who has co-directed the acclaimed film An Insignificant Man. She is now working to put together a documentary film fund in India with Doc Society as a knowledge partner. She directed the first VR documentary to come out of India, called Right to Pray and headed the VR platform ElseVR as Editor in Chief, where she produced several other VR films.


About Vinay Shukla
Vinay Shukla is an Indian filmmaker whose co-directed debut feature documentary “An Insignificant Man” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. After being initially banned by the Indian government, the film subsequently went on to become a runaway box office success. Vinay is also an actor who has played several characters in fiction films and plays. His work has been supported by organisations such as Sundance, DocSociety, NFDC India, Asian Network of Documentaries, IDA and IDFA Bertha.

Rinku Kalsy

Filmmaker Rinku Kalsy

Rinku Kalsy is a filmmaker, storyteller and the director of the well-received documentary “For the love of a man” that premiered at the 72nd Venice Film Festival and later was bought by Netflix in 2015.  She runs her production house in Amsterdam called “Anecdote Films”.

Abhishek Thapar is a theater maker, performer, puppeteer and artist currently based in Amsterdam.
Together they run “Khopcha”, where they curate independent films. Khopcha as a space also offers a deeper insight into world of independent cinema by cultivating a dialogue between the viewer and the maker.

Carve Out at Ambacht in Beeld

Daan VreeEvent tip, FilmLAB Screening, Nieuws

Carve Out

De documentaire Carve Out van Ami Tsang is te zien op maandag 9 maart om 18:30 uur in LAB111. De film is te zien tijdens het Ambacht in Beeld Film Festival in Amsterdam, samen met andere korte films.

De film is ontwikkeld tijdens het CinemAsia FilmLAB Documentaireprogramma. Het thema van deze editie was Ambacht en cultureel erfgoed. Ambacht als een creatief proces, hoe ambacht als cultureel erfgoed een rol kan spelen in de ontwikkeling van identiteit en hoe deze waarden worden doorgeven aan toekomstige generaties.

In China wordt voedselbeeldhouwen erkend als een belangrijke kunstvorm, maar in Nederland is dat anders. Na jaren geleden hun gereedschap te hebben opgeborgen, besluiten de migranten en voormalig voedselbeeldhouwers Chen Mo en Awan weer de uitdaging aan te gaan om hun vaardigheden te testen.

Carve Out

Still uit de documentaire Carve Out van Ami Tsang.

CARVE OUT (2018)
Regie: Ami Tsang, Fay Teo
Jaar: 2018
Duur: 12 minuten
Taal: Mandarijn, Kantonees, Engels, Nederlands

Meer informatie vind je op de website van Ambacht in Beeld.

Jakartan stories

Priscilla RasyidNieuws, Verslag

Producing workshop adventure in Indonesia

How to become a producer? After participating in CinemAsia’s FilmLAB workshop for scriptwriting, Priscilla Rasyid wants to learn everything about producing. She decides to combine a holiday in Jakarta with a film producing workshop.

It has been over a year since I finished CinemAsia’s FilmLAB workshops for scriptwriting and documentary. I have never had a formal film education nor do I have a lot of experience in film at all. After my student film which is part of my MSc Anthropology programme I found out that there is more to film than I had previously known. Armed with knowledge and a base after FilmLAB I set out to learn more and grasp knowledge from wherever I can.

I had booked my vacation to Indonesia, Jakarta, where my family lives. I would stay there from December till halfway January. After I had booked my flight my friend from Jakarta told me “I’m joining a producer workshop in Jakarta, Kemang area. A really cool producer will give the workshop in January!” Coincidence? Maybe, but I decided that this was meant to be. Though my Indonesian is good, it was no way near perfect, but I wanted to give it a shot anyway.

Enter Kinosaurus
The Producing workshop is one of the three workshops from the Cinema Crash Course (C.C.C.), the others are directing and scriptwriting. I chose producing because it exactly matched with what I want to be more skilled in and matched my vacation period in Jakarta. It was the first time for me to visit a local cinema, named Kinosaurus. The cinema I usually visit is called Cinema XXI, a cinema giant which is located all over Indonesia and mainly screens major productions with high profiled actors, actresses, directors and writers. Kinosaurus is different. It is small, cozy and definitely most of the cool kids hang out there.


Meiske Taurisia, a producer of Palari Films

Meiske Taurisia
The workshop was given by Meiske Taurisia, a producer of Palari Films who was in charge of films such as Posesif (2017) and Aruna & lidahnya (2018) from director Edwin.

From the beginning she made clear that this workshop is for students and young professionals, for people who know a bit about cinema and film, and those who know nothing at all.

I felt that this was a good base for me to understand more about Indonesian film production and cinema, because all I know is mainstream Indonesian cinema while there is so much more to this diverse country that I also call my home.

The first weekend was focused on getting to know the film industry and the process of making a film better. Meiske showed a basic map of how film production works. This part was already quite familiar to me but what really got my attention was the experiences Meiske shared with us on how she started producing films at the age of 33 and what actions she took to make the best possible films.

Adapt well
Meiske’s first advice was ‘know what you are making’. A person would never go to a bakery for a piece of satay, but maybe that person wants to go to food court where there is both cake and satey. After setting the goal, the strategy needs to adapt to this. Secondly, you also need to adapt to the people you are working with, either a partner or investor. Meiske shared with us a story when she was visiting Europe for a film festival.

A French producer wanted to work with her but she did not feel the right connection with him. As she spoke to him after she had declined his offer, his polite demeanor had changed. “I cannot imagine that I would had to work with this guy for another five years or so. Vibes don’t lie.”


Nothing in this world is for free
The third advice was: if there is no way, then you will make a way. Meiske has always treated her investors as equals and not as superiors who fund the films. For one film where the budget was low, Meiske had a meeting with one investor from whom she could borrow equipment. “He was very kind and really wanted to help us. But he told me this one thing: nothing in this world is for free. I will give you a deal. You can borrow my equipment but you will pay me back when the film is making money, bit by bit.” And so she did.


Participants and Meiske (sitting in front) watching a pitch

Pitch Perfect
The second weekend was focused on practical skills. Participants had to give a pitch so that Meiske and the other participants could share feedback. This weekend was equally exciting because the participants had so many great and vibrant ideas.

I had always felt that most Indonesian films seem to be too similar to each other these days, but after watching the pitches of the other participants I realized that there is so much more than only the mainstream Indonesian films.

One participant showed a very funny stop-motion film to pitch his film idea. Another participant showed his film about the friendship between dog and human. I cannot wait for my next vacation in Jakarta, because maybe by then I might see one of their films on the silver screen.


Pictures by:
Meiske Taurisia
Dwitri Amalia
Vanessa Wong