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Tying The Knots of Togetherness

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

Madani International Film Festival 2023 (Madani IFF 2023) returns for its 6th year to celebrate the heterogeneity of Muslims across the globe. Through the screenings of films depicting Muslim’s cultures and experiences from all over the world brought by numerous filmmakers from various backgrounds, we proudly champion the spirit of diversity in independent cinema.

This year, we unify this diversity in “Knots”, a theme we selected for Madani IFF 2023 to forge the feeling of solidarity and togetherness, to foster an understanding, and to grow our compassion. In the past few years, we’ve been seeing escalating conflicts and natural disasters in many countries, such as Palestine, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Turkey, and Morocco. Muslims around the world have been subjected to so many adversities. In France, Muslims aren’t allowed to wear hijab freely, and public schools forbid its fashioning. In Sweden and Norway, Qurans were set on fire. And now that Indonesia is inching closer towards the political year of 2024, our camaraderie needs to be secured with a strong knot, lest we’ll be swayed in conflicts propagated by political agendas. Such provocations have so often broken up even families and friends. Therefore, more than ever do we need to rely on our bonds to find an understanding and to respect diversity. By fastening a knot with each other, with nature, and with God, we can nurture our humanity.

With the support from Culture Director General, Film, Music, and Media Director, Ministry of Education and Culture, and Jakarta Arts Council, Madani IFF once again managed to be actualised this year. 1,707 titles were submitted during the open submission period in May-July 2023. After careful curation by a judging panel of professionals, Madani IFF 2023 is set to bring 75 films from 26 countries, as well as 16 Indonesian and international speakers and performers.

The opening and closing of Madani IFF 2023 will be held in Epicentrum XXI, where we will be screening R-21 AKA Restoring Solidarity (Palestine, 2022) as the opening film, while the science-fiction Animalia (Morocco, 2023) by a young woman filmmaker Sofia Alaoui will close this festival. Madani Misbar returns in this year’s festival, an outdoor screening to introduce these selected films to a wider audience in a more casual setting. The festival’s programmes also include Focus Country: Palestine, Puan Madani, Tenggara, In This World, Madani Classic, Madani Kids, as well as tens of short films from Egypt, England, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Turkey, and more. Road to Madani IFF 2023 collaborated with film communities in Aceh, Tubaba Lampung, Riau Pekan Baru, as well as campus and communities in Jakarta, where screenings and talks took place from February-August 2023. The support of our partners in East Cinema, Relax, It’s Just Religion,, and Binus University had also enriched our festival programmes.

Let’s inspire a madani space and conversation as we tie knots to connect our humanities through our diversities. We are infinitely grateful for everyone who had contributed their time and thoughts to make this festival possible, including our advisors, supporters, curators, contributors, committees, and volunteers.

Let’s fasten the knots and bond in togetherness!

Enjoy the festival.

Sugar Nadia Azier

Direktur Festival
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