The Madani Film Festival this time is so special. The global situation related to the Covid-19 pandemic has adjusted everything, including the film festival. The world today applies all things that are new normal, related to new normal and new habits. In terms of fiqh, new norms, for me, can also be equated with “ma’ruf”, the good things that are generally known if they are good. Of course it is difficult to adapt to the new norm, with a new ma’ruf. Including the “taste online” film festival. But a health economics approach must be applied, and online screenings have become the choice of many film festivals, including us. For its big theme, re(dis)covery, it was deliberately designed so that all of us could see how the world, including the world recorded in the universe of film con-artists, performs recovery, discovery, and rediscovery.

Regarding rediscovery, one of the important programs this year is the “rediscovery” of the Rhoma Irama films. According to a famous director, one of the characteristics of a good film is that it feels like we are watching a new film when we watch the second time. This, for me, is because we can find new meanings and interpretations in the same film. It is hoped that the audience can find new frames of meaning and interpretation when watching (again) films from The King of Dangdut.

The selection of the Rhoma Irama program also affirms our political position: that The Madani Film Festival does not create a dichotomy between commercial films vs art-house films. Our approach is: how important a film is to the audience; In this context, it is related to our vision and mission, which is the representation of living Islam, muslimness and civility. In short: how civilized are these films to study and enjoy. This is also reflected in the selection of films in other programs, which can be explored on a special channel in Kwikku. We want to celebrate the diversity of the Muslim world, including all genres and styles.

This time, like in 2018 and 2019, we invite all of you to various parts of the Muslim country. From conflicted countries like Afghanistan to Muslim minorities in Thailand. Hopefully this will allow us to (re) recognize the areas in cinema that are presented on the menu this time.

And of course, this festival is designed for everyone, not just Muslims. Because we believe that civil and Islamic values are also human values that can be enjoyed (and absorbed) by anyone and should not be claimed by any particular group.

Hopefully the film festival that was held in the New Normal era could bring us all to reflect and re(dis)covery related to the film, and, if lucky: finding yourself, finding our own humanity. It is similar to a mystical adage, which I modified: “He who knows (back) itself, will undoubtedly know God”.


Ekky Imanjaya
Festival Board
Madani Film Festival