Ucita Pohan is a radio broadcaster for Cosmopolitan FM, an MC, an author, the host of the podcast ListenUp, and now a ReelOzInd! 2020 judge.

One of Indonesia’s most followed social influencers, Ucita is a communications graduate and an early adopter of blogging. She’s passionate about fashion, art and the empowerment of women.

On creating film and other art during a pandemic, Ucita believes the new challenges and pressures “could be taken as an opportunity to come up with new ideas in creating new forms of art”. She, like us, is excited to see what this year’s entries have in store.

We’re pleased to welcome Ucita to the ReelOzInd! 2020 judging panel and invite you to read the Q&A below to get to know her better.

Q&A with ReelOzInd! 2020 judge Ucita Pohan

How do you see the role of storytelling in the Australia-Indonesia relationship?

I think storytelling holds a big part in creating any kind of relationship. Someone’s first impression about something is sometimes not only from what they see. It’s also about how they themselves put meaning into it. This enables us to generate a perspective about something even before we have the chance to see or experience it first-hand.

Do you remember the first short film that made an impression on you?

I have been a fan of animation since I was little, so I think the answer is one of Pixar’s short films. To me, some of their most memorable short films are Lava and Bao. They’re not just cute animations, but ones presented with a catchy musical style and plot twists.

What was the first thing you ever learnt about Australia?

In my opinion, Australia is a country with many differences to where I live, Indonesia. As a little kid, I had always wanted to travel to Australia and go visit its various theme parks. As an adult and after a few trips to Australia, I learnt that the country gives high appreciation towards the Arts and as I observed more, it also takes modern art seriously. It has become a melting pot to artists from so many communities; a venue and a home to modern art activities, allowing them to grow vastly.

What has been your closest interaction with Australia?

I’ve had plenty of interactions with Australia: to watch a concert and visit a friend, to attend my best friend’s wedding, to see my cousin who studied there, and to watch the New Year’s fireworks in Sydney. Last but not least, I had a trip to visit Canberra and Melbourne together with my colleagues and explored all forms of art growing there. I enjoyed absolutely everything.

What has the pandemic changed about the world of Arts? Has it shifted your plans/priorities?

The pandemic is a shocking and unpleasant situation for us all. There are obviously many plans to be changed, put on hold, reorganised, or dismissed. From the art perspective however, I believe this time full of challenges and pressure somehow could be taken as an opportunity to come up with new ideas in creating new forms of art. As we’ve learned from the past, many times art was created out of a restless mind wanting to be expressed.