World films link Jakarta to Cannes

Category: Dear Frankie News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: December 18, 2005 | Publication: Jakarta Post | Author: Kenny Santana, Contributor
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Every May, the biggest film festival in the world, Festival de Cannes, opens to offer great films, international stars and glamour. In the past two years, the festival has premiered what have come to be remembered as some of the world's great, if not best, cinematographic achievements: 2046, Fahrenheit 9/11, Hidden and A History of Violence, to name a few.

Aside from films, Cannes -- the second most covered media event after the Olympics -- is about the stars sashaying down and posing on the red carpet, and opening nights. Journalists around the globe flock to the French Riviera city for news and a glimpse of their faves, from Charlotte Rampling to Sharon Stone, from Zhang Ziyi to Natalie Portman.

Bill Murray, who appeared at Cannes this year to promote Broken Flowers, commented on the madness: "I came in here from the feeding pan of the photographers out there. It's a kind of delirious experience that all people should be allowed to participate in, you know? I think each and every one of you (reporters) should be allowed to go out there and be screamed at while being photographed. So just put a happy face on."

The global stars, the media frenzy and the hectic film market make the festival a total zoo -- it's hard to imagine having a festival like Cannes in a city like Jakarta.

We don't have grand, 3,000-seat movie theaters, beach-weather, or dozens of venues that are accessible by foot -- more to the point, we don't have strong government support.

Yet, it must be said, it's not fair to compare a 58-year-old tradition like Cannes to the Jakarta International Film Festival (Jiffest), which celebrated its seventh birthday just this past week -- Jiffest has all the time to grow.

Closing today, this year's Jiffest has shown much development and expansion since its birth. The year 2005 marked the festival's biggest event ever with over 200 screenings that boasted a highly impressive array of award-winning films, great documentaries and a wide selection of world-class filmmakers' works.

For the past week, Jakartans have been bedazzled by the presence of -- at least on celluloid, if not in flesh -- Gerard Butler, Tommy Lee Jones, Bill Murray and Tony Leung in films that premiered at Cannes, respectively Dear Frankie, Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Broken Flowers and 2046.

The Jakarta Post looks back at Cannes' best moments featuring international stars, a hardcore fan and one Indonesian director whose films were screened at this year's Jiffest.

Broken Flowers, 2046, Dear Frankie, The Sea Inside and Kara Anak Sebatang Pohon, all of which premiered at Cannes, were screened at Jiffest. Broken Flowers will be shown at 21 Cineplexes in 2006.