East Cinema

Presenting the East World Through Cinema


East Cinema for me is a representation of my journey. This program was born from my trip to Pakistan two years ago—a country I had never thought I would visit. I got the chance to become one of the curators of films at the Asia Peace Film Festival (APFF), Pakistan, a festival that screens films from Asia of which the themes are diversity and human rights issues. I visited Pakistan and watched hundreds of films from the Middle East, more precisely films from countries in conflicts. Returning from Pakistan I was restless, unable to stop thinking about films from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. The experience of watching hundreds of films from these conflicting countries has opened my eyes.


Films from the said region are worth to watch and to appreciate. These films tell a lot about death, certainly because death is something very close to them. Even a friend of mine from Afghanistan said, “When we leave the house, we never know whether we can return or not.” It means they must be ready to die at any time since bombings can happen anywhere and at any time. In such circumstances of the state, these directors are not afraid to carry their cameras, spreading what they see to the world, translating it into a film.


We are very happy that East Cinema becomes a part of this year’s Madani Film Festival. I chose five films from Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Papua. From Iraq, two films talk about death due to a war and the friendship of a Muslim child and an old Jewish man. From Afghanistan, a film tells about the search for a mother who loses her child due to a Taliban crime. From Palestine, a film portrays the innocence of children absorbing the surroundings, while from Papua a film raises the Muslim community there.


East Cinema for me is not just a film screening. It is a movement to provide a new reference for Indonesian audiences, building a mutual understanding and the spirit to spread peace through films.


Enjoy the East!


Sofia Setyorini

Film Programmer, East Cinema


Screening Schedule:




16.00-18.00 East Cinema Film Screening: “Venice of the East” (2017), “Mary Mother” (2016), “Reporter Suspended” (2019), “Papua Calling” (2012), & “Arrival” (2018) + Discussion with the programmer



Discussion: Unheard stories from unheard places

List of Films


Bahaa Alkadumy   2017 | 26 min | Iraq An old Jewish man had the…

Sadam Wahidi 2016 | 20 min | Afghanistan Mary and her daughter live in a…

Mustafa al-JanabiSalam Yahya, Sanabel Al- Hut, Rinad Naser 2019 | 5 min | Palestine A…

Mustafa al-Janabi   2018 | 14 min | Iraq This film tells the story of…

FX Making, Yuliana Langowuyo   2012 | 5 min | Papua Papua is changing in…