LVH exclusive - Bali for Film Buffs

The 6th annual BALINALE International film festival takes place from 8-14 of October at the Galeria 21 Cineplex, located 20 minutes north of the island's international airport.

Established in 2007 by Bali Taksu Indonesia Foundation, the festival offers foreign filmmakers the chance to screen their latest work to audiences on Bali, while also providing Indonesian filmmakers the chance to present their films to a global audience and meet, share ideas with their international peers.

One of the main attractions for film buffs is that most of the movies selected for the festival must have been completed after 1 January 2011, and have yet to receive significant commercial or broadcast exposure. This makes for an inspiring line-up of exiting new celluloid experiences for the audience, who are also asked to rate the movies by awarding a Balinale Audience Choice Award for Best Overall Film, Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Short Film. Last year, the Indonesian film Catatan Harian Si Boy, a film about a circle of friends risking their friendship, trust, love and hope in search of a legend, directed by young filmmaker Putrama Tuta was named Best Feature Film by the audience members, while long time resident of Bali, Carl Valiquet won the the Best Short Film award for Day in Day out.

In June, BTIF co-founders Christine Hakim, one of Indonesia's most celebrated and internationally acclaimed film actresses and producers, and Deborah Gabinetti, director of the Bali Film Center, travelled to Los Angeles to meet with major studio executives and independent filmmakers, many of whom are keen to discover Indonesia's potential as a set location, as well as to explore the potential Bali and its sister islands offer in terms of story ideas and creative resources. In fact, Deborah is also credited with suggesting to Paramount pictures' executive producer Stan Wlodkowski that he should film segments of the movie Eat Pray Love on Bali, a move that certainly established the island as a key player on the movie making stage. According to local press reports, in June, movie big wigs such as Sony Pictures Entertainment president Gary Martin, Twentieth Century Fox International Production president Sanford Panitch and Warner Bros Pictures executive VP Mark Scoon also met with the festival organisers, as did big name directors Rob Cohen and Oliver Stone, who had both been filming in Indonesia recently.

In addition to film screenings, workshops and free seminars are also an integral part of the Bali International festival and a number of  these offer Indonesian students and young filmmakers an opportunity to learn from established Indonesian and international professionals. Award-winning filmmakers from Oscar®, Emmy®, BAFTA® and Cannes have been instrumental in bringing together films and their creators in what has become an annual celebration of global creativity.

Balinale’s Young Indonesian Film Circle Educational Programmes also host creative workshops for thousands of Indonesian secondary school students to promote creativity and learning within the Indonesian film industry. The seminars, many of which are offered free of charge, cover scriptwriting, producing, editing, acting and filmmaking.In 2011, international premieres at Balinale included some high profile movies such sd Indonesia’s They Live to Die and Bali-Island of the Dogs, as well as Billy T: The Movie from New Zealand, Another Earth from the US and the Indonesian premiere of Puss in Boots. In August, the Balinale Selection Committee started the process of watching a record number of films submitted for the 2012 Bali International Festival and around 30 films will be included in the official selection.

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