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Nia Dinata about Indonesian Trans Shorts

She has built up an impressive name in the Indonesian film world and is known for her films in which she addresses sensitive themes like homosexuality and polygamy.

We think it is special that we can welcome director and producer Nia Dinata as jury member and moderator at World Cinema Amsterdam this year!

Together with her we present Indonesian Trans Shorts, two short films about transgenders. We asked her more about this subject:

Why do you think it is important to pay attention to the subject of transgenders?

Their history is the oldest in our traditional dance, traditional opera and spiritual figures, like the ila galigo legend in Sulawesi. But in the modern days of Indonesia, they are marginalised.

You address different sensitive themes in your films. What motivated you to do this?

I have the urge to give voice to the voiceless and to just to be truthful to my instincts.

Do you think there is sufficient attention in Indonesia on the theme of transgender people? If not, in what way should it get more attention?

The attention is big only from the point of view of the far right groups who consider them sinners. We should give them attention in a more positive light as human beings.

Can you tell a little bit more about the two films that will be screened at WCA this year?

Both share similar issues from the trans women’s point of view. That is to struggle to get acceptance from the society and the family, especially the mothers. But one character, Ulfie is also struggling more because of her HIV status.

What do you want to achieve with making these films?

I just want to amplify their voice and to have more Indonesians to have more compassion towards fellow humans.