Indonesian film director Wregas Bhanuteja’s latest production Tak Ada yang Gila di Kota Ini (No One is Crazy in This Town) has been selected for the short film competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and will be his first work to get a premier in North America.
The announcement was made on Wednesday by the prestigious film festival, which has been held since 1978 in Park City, Utah, United States. Next year’s festival will be held from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2.
The film has been screened at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, the Winterthur International Short Film Festival in Switzerland, the Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival (JAFF) in Yogyakarta and the Singapore International Film Festival.
It recently won the Citra Award for Best Short Film at the Indonesian Film Festival 2019 on Dec. 8.
The short film was selected from 10,397 submissions, 5,405 of which were international films – a record for Sundance.
“[Sundance] will be a new experience because audiences in the US have different perspectives compared to audiences in other countries. [My film] could open up a discussion about how my storytelling is informed by my Indonesian heritage, or my Javanese heritage to be more specific,” Wregas wrote in a press release made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
“Learning from the different perspectives of the audience will enrich my own perspective as I make my next films.”
Wregas, 27, is a rising star in the film world, having won the Leica Cine Discovery Prize at the 55th Semaine de la Critique at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival in France for his short film Prenjak (In the Year of Monkey).
His new 20-minute film is an adaptation of a short story of the same title by Eka Kurniawan, the author of Cantik Itu Luka (Beauty is a Wound), Lelaki Harimau (Man Tiger) and Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas (Vengeance Is Mine All Others Pay Cash). The short story was published last year in compilation book Cinta Tak Ada Mati (Endless Love).
The story follows Marwan (played by actor Oka Antara) who follows the instruction of a hotel owner to rid the streets of the mentally ill so they will not scare tourists. However, Marwan and his friends have another plan.
The film was produced by Adi Ekatama from Rekata Studio and the script was cowritten by Wregas and Henricus Pria.
Joko Anwar’s horror/thriller Perempuan Tanah Jahanam (Impetigore) will also be screened in the festival’s non-competition Midnight program. (ste)