Filmmakers’ aesthetic strategy against the politics of taste of european film festivals

Rista Ihwanny, Manneke Budiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


European film festivals today are not only exhibitors but also film producers and distributors. Festivals perform these roles by providing funding for films created by Third World filmmakers through separate bodies set up for such a purpose. Such funding programs often come with strings attached. Unequal power relations between First World film festivals, as benefactors, and Third World filmmakers, as beneficiaries, often exist. This ultimately promotes a politics of taste at film festivals. These festivals are believed to have extensive power to select the films that qualify for funding. Furthermore, the compromises and negotiation between filmmakers and film festivals are cause for concern. This article examines the aesthetic strategies of funded Indonesian filmmakers in response to the politics of taste in film festivals. Following a textual and visual approach, this study found that, although Indonesian filmmakers cannot completely break free from the dominant politics of taste of film festivals, they are capable of negotiating their positions and offering different kinds of aesthetics. This study also presents Indonesian filmmakers as active and flexible agents in the international film industry, despite their position as beneficiaries restricted by the rules of their benefactors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalKasetsart Journal of Social Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Aesthetic strategy
  • European film festivals
  • Film funding
  • Indonesian filmmakers
  • Politics of taste


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