Indonesia Submits ‘Autobiography’ For Best International Film – Deadline

September 13, 2023 - Culture

Indonesia has selected Makbul Mubarak’s award-winning drama Autobiography as its submission in the Best International Feature category of the Oscars

Selected from a pool of 100 films, Autobiography was handpicked by a nine-person committee, established by the Indonesian Film Companies Union. 

Set in a rural Indonesian town, the film tells the story of a young man who works as a housekeeper in an empty mansion belonging to a retired general. When the general returns to the town to start his mayoral campaign, an act of vandalism triggers an escalating chain of violence. Kevin Ardilova and award-winning veteran actor Arswendy Bening Swara head the cast.

The film had its world premiere at the Venice film festival in 2022, where it won the FIPRESCI award, then went on to screen at more than 50 international film festivals. It also won awards including the Grand Prize at Tokyo Filmex, Best Screenplay at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Best Directorial Debut at the Stockholm International Film Festival, and Best Actor for Arswendy Bening Swara at the Marrakech International Film Festival. 

Produced by Yulia Evina Bhara from KawanKawan Media and distributed by Alpha Violet, Autobiography is a collaborative effort involving seven countries (Indonesia, France, Singapore, Poland, Philippines, Germany and Qatar). 

The film was released theatrically in Indonesia in January 2023 and is now streaming on Prime Video in the Southeast Asia region.

Indonesia has submitted 25 films to Oscars, including notable titles such as Yuni and Missing Home, but has yet to secure a nomination.

Yulia Evina Bhara, producer of Autobiography, said: “There are more than a hundred features made in Indonesia every year. Therefore, to receive this trust is such a massive honor as well as a great opportunity to show the world what Indonesian cinema feels and looks like.” 

Mubarak said: “As a perennial student of cinema, I always look up to the films chosen to represent their countries at the Academy Awards. For me, they represent the best of their own respective national cinemas. To be able to participate in the Indonesian submission this year is truly an honor.”

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