The Faces of Our Film Distribution: A Collective Restlessness


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On the sixth day, DocTalk program of FFD 2019 opened a discussion session about the film distribution and financing entitled “Distribution, Market, and Film Politics Economy: The Faces of Our Film Distribution“. Held on Friday (Dec 6) at 1.30 p.m. at Kedai Kebun Forum, this session presented Karolina Lidin (Nordisk Panorama, Denmark), Nia Dinata (Kalyana Shira Films), Matthieu de Faucal (Institut Français d’Indonésie (IFI) Jakarta) and Yuke Sri Rahayu (Financing Access Deputy of BEKRAF).

Moderated by Amelia Hapsari (In-docs), the discussion set from a kind of discomfort over the problems with film distribution and funding. Amelia noted that the supports could be raised from independent documentary platforms or communities. Film distribution, in practice, was intertwined and inseparable from the funding aspect, she asserted.

Next, Karolina shared her experience in the world of documentary film, in which she faced similar restlessness about the distribution and funding issues. She agreed that the financing aspect was indispensable, however, the real challenge was to get financiers who share the vision of the filmmakers. This issue be tackled by running and networking within professional documentary forums.

Meanwhile, Nia Dinata shared her experience as a documentary filmmaker. She highlighted that the documentary format had not yet been widely accepted in Indonesia, at least according to her own experience.

Matthieu de Faucal added that in France, documentary films were distributed systematically under Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), an institution of France Ministry of Culture.  Screenings were held from city to city and the profit was shared on a 50:50 basis between CNC and filmmakers.

Yuke Sri Rahayu talked about the banking financial scheme for filmmaking. She viewed that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of banking institutions could be a solution to the funding issue. The direct financing scheme was not feasible yet, as bank saw films as intangible products.

However, Yuke hoped that under the newly formed ministry, films could have more involvement in supporting tourism sector, especially under BEKRAF, that listed film as one of the 16 subsectors of creative economy. BEKRAF also included film as one of priority subsectors due to its multiple effect on the other economy sectors.

DocTalk and Public Lecture is an annual discussion program of Festival Film Dokumenter (FFD) that talks about critical and contemporary discourses of the film ecosystem.

Written by Tony Firman

Translated by M. Hafidh Al Mukmin