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  Riri Riza
Meet Riri
Q You graduated from Jakarta Institute of Artís film department in 1993. Whatís one lesson youíve learnt in school that youíve consistently applied in your work?
 
A Always believe that you should prioritize visual information over audio. And make the visual interesting and usual.
   
Q Your first full length feature film, Sherinaís Adventure (2000), was credited for reawakening Indonesiaís film industry. Why do you think that was the case?
   
A I think it was mainly because we tried to push the quality of the film to be in the top form of filmmaking, in terms of story telling and technology. In addition to that, the film was seen by 1.5 million audience in the cinema only. Thatís something that never happen in the history of contemporary Indonesian cinema.
   
Q You actually shot Eliana Eliana (2002) purely with a single hand-held DV camera. What made you do that?
   
A Well Eliana is part of a movement by 13 young Indonesian directors in year 2001 called I SINEMA, we we're inspired by the purist movement in filmmaking, the way Lars Von Trier did with Dogma 95 movement. Indonesia is a country struggling with economic difficulties and political problems; we have to create films that are sensible to the situation. Digital medium is in a way democratize filmmaking; you don't need expensive equipment to make films nowadays. I want to explore that with Eliana, which is my first I Sinema film.
   
Q So you wonít have any reservations making a full-length feature film on a mobile imaging device then?
   
A Hmm, I think to a certain extent, mobile imaging has broadened the possibilities of filmmaking. What I believe is most important is to find a form that suits it, itís really a challenge of creativity... nowadays I believe you have to understand the technology properly to be able to tell the story well.
   
Q We understand you participated in Hello Video, a UNICEF project that taught the art of filmmaking to children of tsunami-hit Aceh. How do you think filmmaking can aid recovery efforts?
   
A I always believe that telling story is a form of therapy. I survive through life because of the stories I expressed through film. I enjoy working with the kids and I did some feature films and documentary with children. With the kids in Aceh, I see that they enjoy working with camera and they love to share a piece of their life to us. And we should always remember that children deserve quality education, we try to facilitate this with the program. We manage to produce 14 video diaries; all of them have their own power, beauty and sensitivity. No adults can tell that kind of stories.
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