The news was announced by the Indonesian Academy Awards Selection Committee on Tuesday. Anwar quickly retweeted the information, adding: “Hopefully this film can be a good representation and raise the international audiences’ interest in Indonesian films.”
The film, which premiered at the Sundance festival in January this year, tells the story of two women who are not making a great success of big city life, and who return to their home village. While promised an inheritance there, they encounter numerous strange events.
“Impetigore” stars Marissa Anita, Tara Basro, Christine Hakim and Asmara Abigail, who was last year named as an Asian Star Up Next by Variety and the International Film Festival and Awards Macao. The film is handled in the U.S. by Shudder.
While “Impetigore” (aka “Perempuan Tanah Jahanam” which has the English-language meaning ‘Women of the Damned Land’) is a horror film, art house director and committee head Garin Nugroho praised the film’s “cultural background regarding mysticism in Indonesia,” calling that “the film’s strongest element.” Neighboring Malaysia has also selected a horror film “Roh” as its national contender.
Variety’s review of “Impetigore” called it “creepy eye-candy, with a sumptuous yet ominous look,” notable for its “widescreen compositions and Frans Xr Paat’s production design,” and “flavorful” original score and sound design, that added up to “good, sometimes grisly fun.”
“Impetigore” recently earned 17 nominations at this year’s Indonesian Film Festival (FFI). These includes nominations for best feature, cinematography, editing, makeup, and music.
Production was by Indonesia’s Base Entertainment and Rapi Films, Los Angeles-based Ivanhoe Pictures (“Crazy Rich Asians”), and South Korean’s CJ Entertainment (“Parasite”).
Impetigore (Perempuan Tanah Jahanam) is Indonesia's official submission for the 93rd ACADEMY AWARDS. pic.twitter.com/ud7KTVUKsL
— Joko Anwar (@jokoanwar) November 10, 2020