Indonesian production house KawanKawan Media is in Busan with two projects. “The Science of Fictions,” directed by Yosep Anggi Noen, premiered at Locarno where it won a special mention. It is playing at the Busan International Film Festival as part of the ‘A Window On Asian Cinema’ strand. The film is essentially a history of Indonesia told through the memory of a mute man.
“I am talking about how big political events give an impact to personal bodies,” Noen told Variety. “This film is also telling the story about the relevance of the camera as a tool to share the truth, but also create the fiction. But in this contemporary era, we can not make a bold line between truth and fiction, they are shadowing each other.”
KawanKawan co produced “The Science of Fictions” with fellow Indonesian outfit Angka Fortuna Sinema. China’s Rediance is handling international sales.
KawanKawan is at Busan’s Asian Project Market with “Silah and the Man with Two Names,” to be directed by Noen. The film will be about a mature woman who has a virtual love affair via a dating app. After exchanging several nude pictures, her lover disappears, and she and her elderly husband travel around Bali trying to find him.
“This is a new era,” says Noen. “We now start to find a lot of new definitions of everything. This film will bring us into the question of loneliness but also try to question the meaning of connection. Simply also to find the meaning of cheating. Does a virtual relationship betray the commitment? This could be funny question but also dark.”
“We have just started this project and this is our first international project market after participating in the Akatara Financing forum in Indonesia,” KawanKawan founder Yulia Evina Bhara told Variety. Around 10% of the $825,000 budget has been raised so far, and the project is seeking a sales agent and potential partners from Asia, Europe and North America at the APM.
Bhara is also working on Makbul Mubarak’s debut feature “Autobiography” where a military general becomes a surrogate father to an 18-year-old boy. It won the Locarno Open Doors production support grant of CHF 50,000 ($50,215) and also the co-production prize at the FDCP Project Market in the Philippines. In addition, she is on board debutant Bayu Prihantoro Filemon’s “The Songsmith” where a singer tries to survive by praising the government, even as the government begins to fall apart.
Next up for Noen is a musical documentary about a teenage girl rock band from a village.