Joko Anwar was a film critic for The Jakarta Post before began his filmmaking career as scriptwriter for the ground-breaking satirical comedy Arisan! (2003), the first Indonesian film which features homosexuality in a positive light.
His directorial debut was the box office and critical smash hit romantic comedy Janji Joni (Joni’s Promise) which earned him several awards here and abroad.
His second film was a fantasy/thriller/horror/film noir genre mash titled Kala (Dead Time, 2009), which reflects the sociopolitical situation in Indonesia. The film received critically-acclaim run at many festivals including in Vancouver, London, Brussels. The movie was listed as one the best films of 2007 in Sight and Sound magazine. Joko Anwar’s third film, Pintu Terlarang (The Forbidden Door, 2009) won Best Film at the prestigious Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and was also named one of the best films of the year by Sight and Sound magazine. The movie also earned rave reviews including from The Hollywood Reporter and TIME magazine.
In 2010, Joko Anwar took a break from filmmaking to do a musical play, the satirical comedy Onrop! which pokes fun at the seemingly more and more narrow-minded society. While being a critical and box office smash, the play also accurately predicted tighter media censorship, the banning of nude statues, and other silly things.
His fourth movie is a psychological thriller Modus Anomali (2012) which premiered in the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas. The film broke into foreign commercial market with a theatrical release in other countries including in France. The film also garnered several awards abroad.
His most recent film is the political romance A Copy of My Mind (2015) which was in competition in the prestigious Venice Film Festival and toured in many festivals including in Toronto, Busan, Vancouver, Rotterdam. The film gave Joko Best Director Piala Citra Awards in 2015. The film is also the commercially successful arthouse film which stayed for over a month in Indonesian cinema.
Joko Anwar is now working on several feature film projects including a horror film titled Impetigore and a political thrillerRemarkable Things During a Killing.
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