It is the month of September again. The month when most of all the precious souls I've ever known were born: my mom, my besties, myself and a little baby that I helped to deliver fourteen years ago, Q! Film Festival.
Yes, I'm being super nostalgic now as we are opening the 14th edition of the annual Q! Film Festival on Friday, Sept 11 2015. It is pure coincidence that the opening of the most controversial film festival in Indonesia falls on the same date as the fatal twin-tower attack on the other part of the world [AHMURICA!].
Does this mean that Q! Film Festival will build another pillar of history? I leave that for you to answer, but I know for myself that it has scratched a history of fourteen years in me. It has been the longest relationship I've ever had in my life. Trust me, I have tried to break up with it before, but here I am, still dealing with all the drama of creating a film festival and writing an article about it. In the famous words of Carrie Bradshaw, “I can not help but wonder, what were you doing 14 years ago?”
I remember that I was starting a career in journalism and trying to feed my movie hunger by attending all films screening in J-town. Fourteen years ago, every cinema was dominated by Hollywood films. Now we have more cinemas offering choices of movies from India, France, Korea, Thailand etc. Also, today there is an opening of film festival in Jakarta every week, some fall on the same week. Compare this to back then, when you would be lucky enough to find two openings of film festival in a year.
So I attended Q! Film Screening at Italian Cultural Center to catch good films. But a friend, Rizal Iwan, pulled me out from my seat in panic and asked me to help him usher since the assigned-person was not coming.
I said, “As long as I can still watch the film, why not?”.
And TADAAAA…14 years later I'm still watching films (mostly for Q! FF), and each time on opening night I always blame Rizal Iwan for my 14-year long relationship with Q! Film Festival.
This year’s festival will screen more than 110 films. Opening the festival is the latest work of dearest friends, Josh Kim and Edward Gunawan, “How To Win At Checkers (Everytime)” at Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Jakarta (Jakarta's School of Theology). It is the second time that STTJ is welcoming us with open arms to show that everyone is 100 percent Human in front of God, and that is something endearingly warming when you live in a society in which religions play such an important role. Q! Film Festival has grown up into a teenager, due to remarkable support system of friends, and each year they open their doors to welcome us home.
This year the movies will be screened on Sept. 11 – 20 2015 at Institut Francais Indonesia (our very oldest friend who has supported us from the beginning), Kineforum, Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Jakarta, Goethe Institut, Komunitas Salihara, Angsa Merah, Paviliun 28, Bina Nusantara University, Arus Pelangi, Kontras, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (LBH). Do click our website for schedule www.qmunity-id.org
For 10 days, you can watch for free good films like Futuro Beach (nominated in 2015 for Berlin International Film Festival, Chicago and Palm Spring International Film Festival), Breathe (Nominated at Cannes Film Festival 2015 for Queer Palm), and To Be Takei, a fun documentary about the brain behind Star Trek's success. There will also be short films from local or international film festivals like Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival.
For non-movie events, come to Q-Exhibition: “Straight To The Heart” with new uprising artists. There will also be three different kinds of Q-Gossip where you can talk about your exes, the most up-to-date dating apps, or your best memories of Q! Film Festival during the “attack” back in 2010.
For book lovers, catch the launching of three new novels in its genre and do not miss also our Q-On Stage: Musicology and Q-Mart: “Pasar Barang Mantan”, where you turn your past into cash! Last but not least, get yourself tested at the HIV test facility for free of charge offered by Angsamerah Clinic during the festival.
Back to the first question: “What were you doing 14 years ago?”. You can tweet your answer and tag @qfilmfestival or post it on our Facebook fan page: Q! Film Festival or on Instagram: @qfilmfestival to remind us of the time you’ve shared with us.
As for me, 14 years ago I was experiencing the moment of falling in love again with the magic of motion pictures, and meeting people who would become friends or foes, paving the life path I would take to become who I am today.
Maybe that's why Q! Film Festival has always been the longest relationship I've ever had. And to celebrate that, I will hug you all at the biggest film festival reunion ever: 14th years of Q! Film Festival 2015.
Meninaputri Wismurti has been involved with Q! Film Festival since 2002, first as audience, then volunteer coordinator, head of programming, operational manager, all the way to the festival director. Now she is the festival advisor and programmer and she deals with volunteers again. She feels strange to be called a human rights activist, and calls what she does a “Happy-Go-Lucky Activism”.. During the day she works in the film industry as a daydreamer, cat-lady, monster-geek, festival organizer, media relation, a freelance writer and an avid-traveler.