15th Bali International Film Festival – Awards 2022

We present the winners of the 15th Bali International Film Festival which took place from June 9 – 12, 2022.

Short Documentary

Homebound by Ismail Fahmi Lubis – Indonesia | 17 minutes

Tari longs to return home to Indonesia after more than 10 years working abroad in Taiwan. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck her plans unravel, revealing a lack of rights for vulnerable migrant workers and systemic misinformation. Homebound is an intimate portrayal of a migrant worker’s experience abroad and is an urgent wake-up call for those who have contributed to a system that takes advantage of 1000s of women each year. (Balinale 2022)

Jury statement:
The film, in a simple but intimate way, presents a character with the complexity of problems ranging from living as a migrant worker, COVID19, single mother. The use of animation in the documentary, which is quite new among Indonesian documentaries, becomes an effective form and a clever choice as a solution to the problem of limitations for having real footage during the pandemic.

Special Mention

Dusk Till Dawn (Da Boca da Noite à Barra do Dia) by Tiago Delácio – Brazil | 18 minutes

In Pernambuco’s Zona da Mata, dream and reality are blended. Among the sugarcane fields, the colors, the dances, the theater, and the music reveal a not-so-distant past, question the present, and shine a light on the future challenges of a game that begins at night and ends at daybreak. (Balinale 2022)

Jury statement:
An interesting film about a spiritual journey, a life transformation of a modest farmer, which also can change our perception of life after we watch it. The richness and personality of the storytelling and performance draws the viewer in. The film opens a window on a culture in an approach with seems to echo the playfulness of the content. 

Best Short Narrative

Murder Tongue by Ali Sohail Jaura – Pakistan | 17 minutes

It is May of 1992. The state-sanctioned “Operation” has put the city of Karachi at constant unrest. Abdul Aziz Ansari wakes up at night and is informed by his daughter-in-law, Naseema that his son hasn’t returned home.

As a knock on their door late at night summons them to the hospital, what they witness along the way is known today as the most brutal chapter of the city’s history, a sentiment of systematic deep rooted hatred towards their race. (Balinale 2022)

Jury statement:
This is a beautiful short film packed a lot of punch, especially with the numerous ways the topic was explored through the metaphors of speech and silence. Through a proper cinematographic treatment, this film becomes an affecting look at violence against marginalised communities thatmakes a strong statement about ethnic politics in South Asia while transcending the cultural context in which it takes place, in an universal language. 

Best Feature Documentary

My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan by Phil Grabsky and Shoaib Sharif – United Kingdom | 90 minutes

A real-life epic of boyhood and manhood – filmed across twenty years in one of the most embattled corners of the globe – the feature documentary My Childhood, My Country: 20 Years in Afghanistan is the life story of Mir becoming a man in this extraordinary country is interwoven with the broader context of the nation’s recent history. (Balinale 2022)

Jury statement:
An interesting film about a spiritual journey, a life transformation of a modest farmer, which also can change our perception of life after we watch it. The richness and personality of the storytelling and performance draws the viewer in. The film opens a window on a culture in an approach with seems to echo the playfulness of the content. 

Best Feature Narrative

Inside a Funeral Hall by Ho-hyun Lee – South Korea | 62 minutes

Sang Eun, who’s been fighting cancer secretly behind his family’s back, goes to his grandmother’s funeral where he sees his family members focusing more on how much money they’ll inherit instead of remembering his grandmother. That makes him imagine what his funeral would be like. (Balinale 2022)

Jury statement:
It’s a terrific script, and shows an impressive directorial ability to keep us deeply engaged with a great myriad of characters and stories at once. The unique claustrophobia of the funeral hall setting is used perfectly, and the fine balance of emotion, intrigue and humour are a treat.

Special Jury Award

Mentawai: Souls of the Forest by Joo Peter – Germany | 50 minutes

The last indigenous people of the archipelagos of Sumatra: culture on the verge of extinction – with the latest geopolitical developments, the destruction of their habitat reaches the point of no return. The film portrays indigenous culture, history, and resistance up to the most recent developments in geopolitical of Indonesia’s growing environmental degradation. The daily life of the indigenous tribe, their spiritual cosmos, and their commitment to preserving their own culture and natural habitat is seen through rare historic footage and archive material telling the story of decades of oppression of the indigenous culture – but also of the resilience. (Balinale 2022)

Committee statement:
Mentawai invites us to a world so few have experienced. A world of depth and beauty that is under enormous threat. This deeply moving perspective comes from a talented writer and director, Joo Peter of Germany, who through footage he’s created and gathered gives us access to the stunning physical world, the cosmology, and the courageous heart of the Mentawai people, the last Indigenous inhabitants of Sumatra’s archipelago.  

Committee Choice Award 

Preman by Randolf Zaini – Indonesia

A deaf criminal with a traumatic past and his son must fight their way out of their small Indonesian village after witnessing a horrible murder, pitting the gangster against the mob outfit that employed him.

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