Opening speech by festival director, Jemma Purdey at ACMI cinema, Federation Square, Melbourne/Naarm
Selamat datang! Welcome everyone to the Australian Premiere of the 8th ReelOzInd! Australia Indonesia Short Film Festival.
My name is Jemma Purdey and I am Director of ReelOzInd! an initiative of the Australia-Indonesia Centre.
I begin by acknowledging the peoples of the Kulin nations, the Wurundjeri people, on whose lands we are meeting today, and their ancient and continuous storytelling traditions that reach across generations and cultures. I would also like to pay respect to the Elders both past and present of the Kulin Nation and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians here tonight.
Thank you to you all for being here to celebrate the short films judged best in our competition in 2023 and launch the Festival!
I offer a particularly warm welcome to Bapak Kuncoro Waseso, Consul General for Victoria and Tasmania, Republic of Indonesia, and members of his staff; Fawwaz Farid and his party; our friends from the Australia Indonesia Youth Association and Blue Boat Agency, my Indonesian and Melbourne-based colleagues from the AIC, Peter Krausz and our wonderful filmmakers, who you will meet after the screening in a Q&A.
In a few hours from now, our Indonesia Festival will premiere in Yogyakarta, hosted by our wonderful partners at Sekolah Tinggi Multi Media MMTC. We are so grateful to the team led by Ibu Ratri Nugrahini and Mas Dery Prananda for their fabulous support and friendship, which truly symbolises what ReelOzInd! aims to foster – closer connections between our two peoples.
In this year’s festival we pay a special tribute to one of our strongest supporters and best friends, Dr Lily Yulianti Farid, who passed away earlier this year. Lily first came to Australia as a postgraduate student many years ago, and in more recent years was based here in Melbourne. But her heart was always in her hometown Makassar, and she has left enduring legacies there through the Makassar Writers and Readers festival and the Rumata’ Artspace she co-founded with film director, Riri Riza. Lily was unrivalled in her passionate drive to find ways to bring Australians and Indonesians closer together, including and especially, through storytelling. Lily was in the room with me and a few others in early 2016 when a binational short film festival was just an idea – Lily literally put the ! in ReelOzInd!. With her help, the festival was born and nurtured and we are still here 8 years later. I am very grateful to Lily’s family, Farid and Fawwaz, for allowing us to celebrate Lily by awarding a prize in her name this year – the Lily Yulianti Prize for Best Fiction Film. As a writer of fiction herself, we think she would have loved it!
The films you will see this evening are those judged best by our esteemed Jury, which this year includes Riri Riza, Sieta Beckwith, Aryo Danusiri, Karlina Utomo, Ursula Tumiwa, Richard Frankland, Damian Hoo and Monalisa Sembor. You will see fiction, documentary, and animation films and the best in our young filmmaker category.
The beauty of short film is its ability to condense and convey in a very limited time (for us it is a max of 10 minutes) powerful, funny, moving and wonderous stories that stick with us long after we leave the cinema. This year is no exception!
Our festival theme this year is pencarian/quest.
In the films you’ll see tonight a young woman searches for meaning after the loss of her father; and a boy for his long-lost brother; there are, of course, quests for love, for creative inspiration, for ways to live lightly/sustainably on our planet; to navigate through the red tape of institutional bureaucracy; and to adapt to change impacting the way we work and earn a living for our families. Our filmmakers also remind us of the power of storytelling in the search for truth about the past, as we seek to understand the present and what lies ahead.
We are so pleased and excited to be able to bring them all to you this evening.
The festival film reel will also be available to view on our website and YouTube channel, and you can also watch all 24 shortlisted films and vote for your favourite!
Our travelling festival of pop-up screenings will now head off around Indonesia and Australia. Look out for dates and venues on our website and social media.
Please enjoy ReelOzInd! 2023. Selamat menonton!
19 October 2023