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VOA Indonesian provides exclusive coverage of Sundance Film Festival

An Egyptian vendor blows bubbles at the Giza Zoo, as the country marks Sham el-Nessim, or “smelling the breeze,” in Giza. The holiday signifies the arrival of Spring, a uniquely Egyptian tradition, practiced since the days of the Pharaohs.
VOA coverage of the Sundance Film Festival created a buzz in Indonesia this year, and audiences couldn’t get enough of the red carpet interviews, tweets and Facebook posts about two critically acclaimed Indonesian films showcased at this year’s event.

It was the first time two big Indonesian films, The Raid 2 and Killers, were screened at the festival and VOA Indonesian reporters Vena Dilianasari, Alam Burhanan, and Rafki Hidayat provided blanket coverage.

“We were the only media outlet with an Indonesian audience covering Sundance,” explained VOA radio producer Ariono Arifin. “Indonesian celebrities from both of the movies were tweeting, retweeting and sharing updates by our reporters, and using the hashtag #VOASundance.”

The VOA team provided Indonesian affiliates with 38 live reports during primetime hours, including interviews with the two films’ stars and directors. The reports were also distributed as podcasts, on VOA Direct, SoundCloud, and social media sites. In addition, VOA Indonesian provided Skype interviews and TV packages for two of Indonesia’s national television stations.

“It was such a great moment to witness how the international audience reacted with such enthusiasm towards the two movies. They were really proud of what these films have achieved in a prestigious International event such as Sundance,” Dilianasari said.

The Raid 2 star Iko Uwais retweeted VOA updates to his 145,000 followers and used #VOAsundance. Over four days the service pulled in thousands of additional Twitter followers.

One social media post that created lots of buzz was Vena Dilianasari’s red-carpet video of Iko showing off his Pencak Silat moves. Pencak Silat is an Indonesian martial art that The Raid 2, and the 2011 film The Raid, helped popularize worldwide.

The Raid 2, which Rolling Stone magazine boasts “redefines action cinema,” is directed by Welsh moviemaker Gareth Evans and features Indonesian action superstar Iko Uwais. Killers is a critically acclaimed Indonesian-Japanese psychological thriller, starring Indonesian actor Oka Antara.