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Kalimantan film festival to speak up on behalf of indigenous people

/ 11:47 AM August 08, 2019
Kalimantan

Real talk: The 2019 Kalimantan Indigenous Film Festival (KIFF) aims to speak up about the issues faced by indigenous people. Ranuwelum.org via The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

JAKARTA – The Kalimantan Indigenous Film Festival (KIFF) returns this year to amplify the voice of the often marginalized people.

A lineup of 21 films, mostly documentaries, will be screened in Cinema XXI in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, on Aug. 9 and 10. The curated films come from local filmmakers in Kalimantan, Papua, Yogyakarta, Bali, as well as Thailand, India, Africa and Malaysia.

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“We have had enough of filmmakers trying to depict indigenous peoples in a certain frame or even associating a certain stigma with us. It is time for us indigenous peoples to show who we really are, our cultures and beliefs. Not only to correct what has been presented before, but it should also be seen as self-empowering and self-discovering for us as well,” said Emmanuela Shinta, the founder of Ranu Welum Foundation, which organizes the festival.

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Although only in its second year, the foundation began to hold film screenings in the villages of Dayak ethnic groups in Kalimantan in 2014. Emmanuela, also a Dayak filmmaker, founded the International Indigenous Film Festival and held an international tour last year.

“We’re going to screen the films in Yogyakarta and Jakarta later this year,” she said.

The opening of the festival is set to coincide with the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

The films have themes ranging from profiles of local organizations working on the education of indigenous peoples, environmental protection and health care, to the Kayans in North Thailand.

One of the films to be screened was produced by Central Kalimantan’s Komik Production. The film, Di Atas Milenialitas (Beyond Millennial Mentality), tells the story of Isen, a Dayak boy who tries to preserve his heritage dance.

Another one is Kuku (Fingernail), produced by Harian Si Anang production house in South Kalimantan, which follows Aspi who finds that strange things happen around him after he cuts his fingernails at night.

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TAGS: Asia, film festival, Indigenous People, Indonesia, Kalimantan
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