‘Asean Movie Night’– fusion of cinema, cuisine

Published June 15, 2024
Ambassadors of Asean-member states join hands at the ‘Asean Movie Night’ at the Indonesian embassy on Thursday night. — White Star
Ambassadors of Asean-member states join hands at the ‘Asean Movie Night’ at the Indonesian embassy on Thursday night. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: The ‘Asean Movie Night’ event featuring the award-winning Indonesian film was a delightful fusion of cinema and cuisine, celebrating the rich cultural ties and immense similarities between Indonesia and Pakistan.

The Indonesian embassy, in collaboration with the Asean Committee in Islamabad, organised the ‘Asean Movie Night’ showcasing the film ‘Ngeri-Ngeri Sedap’ (Missing Home Red), directed by producer Bene Dion Rajagukguk.

Indonesia’s Charge d’ Affaires Rahmat Hindiarta, in his welcoming remarks, informed the distinguished guests from the diplomatic and Pakistani community that the ‘Asean Movie Night’ reflected the spirit of continuously bolstering friendship among Asean family members.

“Moreover, I also wish to transfer the spirit of friendship among us to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan and beyond,” he added.

Mr Hindiarta called on Pakistani filmmakers to ‘look east’ to further explore potentials of creative economy in Indonesia and Asean region.

Elaborating the huge economic potential of Indonesian creative industry, he said: “The film industry is currently the fastest-growing sub-sector of Indonesia’s creative economy. The number of moviegoers in the country was more than 55 million in 2023.

And in 2023, the local film industry in Indonesia set a new record with 20 movies, attracting over one million viewers each.

In recent years, the film and entertainment industry in Asean countries has experienced robust growth.”

Released in 2022, ‘Ngeri-Ngeri Sedap’ is a comedy film that told the story of an elderly couple from the Batak tribal family in Toba Lake, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Known for their rich customs and social structure, the Batak community placed a strong emphasis on patriarchal hierarchy and respect for elders.

The film portrayed the couple’s three sons who had left home to pursue their careers far away from their village. In a humorous twist, the parents pretended to divorce to compel their sons to return home.

The movie was pasteurised in the breathtaking backdrop of Lake Toba — the largest volcanic lake in the world, recognised as a Unesco Global Geopark since 2020.

The audience also savoured a variety of mouth-watering Indonesian dishes, including bakso (meatball soup), chicken satay (sweet saucy BBQ), onde-onde (glutinous rice balls dessert), and much more on this occasion.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2024

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