Posted by: mel | December 10, 2009

Busy city residents find time to flock to film festival

Jakarta Post | Prodita Sabarini , Jakarta | City | 10 November 2009

Busy Jakartans try to squeeze in time between work and school for the 11th Jakarta International Film Festival (JiFFest) as free movie screenings are held during office hours.

Risma Huli Butar Butar said she chose to take a day off from work Wednesday so she could attend the screening of Cin(T)a: God is a director, a 2009 Indonesian movie recounting the love story of two people with different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

“I could only pick one day of the week for my day off and I chose today so that I could go to JiFFest,” Risma said at the Blitz Megaplex in Grand Indonesia shopping mall, where the festival is being held.

Risma said she missed yesterday’s screenings because of work. She said because the time of the screenings and her work collided, she missed Letters to the President, a film about Iranians sending letters to their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

She compensated for the loss by spending Wednesday at JiFFest. “I’m going to watch three films today,” she said.

However, not all festival enthusiasts had flexible schedules. Verena Streitferdt said she could not watch the short films because they were on during working hours.

“I like to watch short films and I want to watch them but I can’t,” she said.

She said in general, the JiFFest was great “because it’s the only time we can watch films other than Hollywood movies”.

“But I can’t [see the movies] because of work. And that’s sad,” she said.

She said there should be more short films shown in the evenings and on weekends. She also suggested the festival run longer than the current nine days.

JiFFest, which runs from Dec. 4 to 12, is screening films from Indonesia and around the world. International short films are screened at 4 p.m. Feature length free screenings start at 12.30 p.m.

Last year’s JiFFest was cut short to only five days as the global financial crisis affected the festival’s funding.

Design student Rasyid Hamid said he too felt the films that interested him were screened at inconvenient times.

“I had classes yesterday, so I couldn’t watch the films that I’m interested in,” he said.
Rasyid said since he had free time, he came to Blitz Megaplex to watch a short Chinese animated film.

“Some of my friends canceled because of fears of violence during the antigraft rally. But I thought the rally would not cause much disturbance, so I decided to come,” he said.

Thousands of people rallied at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to commemorate the UN’s International Anti-Corruption Day.

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