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Oscars: Indonesia Selects ‘Marlina the Murderer’ in Foreign-Language Category

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts,” an action story and powerful female empowerment drama, has been named by Indonesia as its contender for the Academy Awards foreign-language Oscars race. It was directed by musician turned film maker Mouly Surya.

Set on the island of Sumba in eastern Indonesia, and starring Marsha Timothy, the film follows a young widow who embarks on a journey seeking justice and empowerment after being attacked by robbers and killing several men. The selection was made by a committee headed by veteran actress Christine Hakim.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in the 2017 edition of the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar. It also played at Toronto and Palm Springs festivals that year and claimed the NETPAC award for new Asian cinema at Poland’s Five Flavours Asian festival. Its commercial release in Indonesia began in November 2017.

“Marlina” was produced by Indonesia’s Cinesurya and Kaninga Pictures with France’s Shasha & Co Production, Thailand’s Purin Pictures, Malaysia’s Astro Shaw and Singapore-based streaming platform HOOQ. Sales agent, Asian Shadows has sold the film to more than 40 territories, including theatrical release in U.S., U.K., Italy, Benelux and Canada.

Surya directed her first feature “Fiksi” in 2008 and followed up with “What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love” in 2013, which won the NETPAC award at the Rotterdam festival.

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