Creative People: Joko Anwar

You guys must be wondering, “Who’s that guy?”. You might be unfamiliar with his face, but not his works I bet.

Joko Anwar.

Joko, or Bang Joko is one of Indonesian most creative filmmaker. He’s a director, scriptwriter, and also cameo-specialist on some movies. For me, he’s my idol, my favorite filmmaker, my mentor (even he doesn’t remember me, I guess). Yeah, I knew him when I was in high school, when I tried to invite him for some school events. Okay, BTT.

At first, he was a journalist for The Jakarta Post. But his passion for movie was so big and he met Teh Nia (Nia diNata, movie director and producer) who then asked him to join her in Kalyana Shira Films, Teh Nia’s production house, as a scriptwriter.

What I like about him is he always create an edgy concept on his works.

Arisan! was his first screenplay. I really love this one cause it exposed issues which are still labeled as “taboo” at that time; homosexual, adultery, infertility, high society life, and so on. But the interesting part is he made that big issues into satire-comedy, and it was fun to watch!

Later, on 2004 he made a mockumentary (fictional documentary) about beauty pageant titled Ajang Ajeng. It was aired on MTV Indonesia. Bang Joko created the fictional beauty pageant and captured all the things happened before the show, especially the relationship among contestants. Once again, it was satire. He tried to satirized the blossoming of reality show craze which started from that year.

His big screen directorial debut, Janji Joni, is a movie about movie reel delivery boy. No one noticed that job, but Bang Joko did. He created the movie with witty and satirical ambiance (again). He mixed up every surreal things that exist on this earth onto that movie. It will become a cult classic on Indonesian movie history.

His another remarkable work is Kala. It is Indonesian first noir movie. Noir is a movie genre which usually describes crime drama on 40s-50s Hollywood era with a black-and-white or silhouette-esque pictures. He created a twist on Kala’s noir style; he mixed the western style with Indonesian urban legend. It tells story about a journalist who accidentally involved into nation’s biggest conspiracy about first president’s treasures. Interesting, huh? No wonder, Kala bags many awards from local to international film festival.

Now he’s working on his third movie, an adaptation from Sekar Ayu Asmara’s novel titled Pintu Terlarang.

Oh! I learned from Bang Joko that education background isn’t a label that make you work stick on your background. FYI, he was graduated from ITB, aeronautical engineering. And now he works as a filmmaker. It motivates me to also work on movie industry; even I’m not an art student.

Joko Anwar’s Filmography:

Pintu Terlarang (Director) – 2009
Fiksi (Writer) – 2008
Quickie Express (Writer) – 2007
Kala (Director/Writer) – 2007
Jakarta Undercover (Writer) – 2006
Janji Joni (Director/Writer) – 2005
Ajang Ajeng (Director/Writer) – 2004
Arisan! (Writer) – 2003

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