Sylviana Hamdani (Jakarta Post)
Wed, November 2, 2022
The Goethe-Institut is screening 17 science films from 10 countries in 55 cities in Indonesia during the Science Film Festival 2022.
Science. Some students love it, while others hate it. And yet, science is crucial because it has made our lives so much easier and better. Thus, it is necessary to arouse in young people the interest to learn and master it to create a better world.
The German cultural center Goethe-Institut organizes the International Science Film Festival (SFF) to encourage children to study and explore science. In the annual program, several scientific films are selected by a panel of judges to be shown to students in elementary, middle and high schools. These film screenings are also accompanied by scientific experiments related to cinema.
Today, the program, first launched in Thailand in 2005, has expanded to 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia, including Indonesia.
The program started in Indonesia in 2010, with film screenings in around 20 cities in the archipelago.
Over the years, the film festival has grown. This year’s festival, which opened at the Goethe-Institut Jakarta on October 18, will feature film screenings in more than 100 schools, science centers and communities in 55 cities across Indonesia.
“The Science Film Festival in Indonesia presents a selection of 17 inspiring international films from 10 countries,” said Stefan Dreyer, Regional Director of the Goethe-Institut Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, at the press conference. “And these films will be accompanied by 13 [scientific] demonstrations or experiments to explain in a little more detail what the films are about.”
This year’s festival is also supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Schools: Partners for the Future initiative ( PASCH), Bildungskooperation Deutsch (BKD), Rolls-Royce, as well as Paramadina University, Atma Jaya Catholic University and Jakarta State University (UNJ).
Film Screening: An excerpt from the film ‘Nine-and-a-Half – Your Reporters: Unimaginable! What Thoughts Can Move’ (2021), in which Jana, the reporter, experiments with an EEG cap to move objects without touching them. (JP/Sylviana Hamdani) (JP/Sylviana Hamdani)
Five Indonesian judges, consisting of a journalist, an academic and elementary, middle and high school students from different cities across the country, selected 17 films from a total of 91 selections for the festival this year.
Hilmar Farid, Director General of the Ministry of Education, praised the film selections for this year’s festival.
“I am delighted that the judges [that selected the movies] also include elementary, middle and high school students,” Hilmar said. “And the films they have selected are also very relevant to the issues we are currently facing, such as garbage, sea surface level rise [and] climate change, seen from a scientific point of view.”
Of the 17 films screened at the festival this year, seven are from Germany and three from Southeast Asia, including Indonesia.
All these movies have been dubbed in Indonesian so that children can understand them better.
The film festival opened with the screening of the German film Nine and a half – Your journalists: Unimaginable! What thoughts can move (2021) The film depicts a young journalist named Jana, experimenting with EEG Cap and Exoskeleton Arm, which allow her to move objects without touching them.
The opening day ended with the press conference speakers and the students attending the event conducting a simple science experiment in which they had to move objects without touching them.
While the lecturers tried to move a cylinder with magnets, the students participating in the science experiment tried to move a can using balloons.
“We want science to be fun,” Dreyer said. “We want it to be interesting for young minds.”
The Indonesian film in the selection is also interesting. Title Let’s make a difference! – SMA Ignatius Global School Palembangthe four-minute film features schoolchildren from Ignatius Global High School in Palembang encouraging their friends and those in their immediate surroundings to minimize plastic waste.
Another film that tackles plastic waste is the 19-minute Austrian film. Title The age of plastic – forever? (2021), the film catapults us to the year 2500, when scientists attempt to remove microplastic fibers from the earth’s soil to make it fertile again.
Equal opportunities for all
As usual, the festival offers a theme each year related to the current situation. The theme of this year’s festival is equal opportunities in science. With the music, the festival hopes to encourage equity in science, in which everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion and other personal background, is treated equally and has equal opportunities in science. pursuit of science in education and in his career.
“In the context and aftermath of the pandemic, diversity and inclusivity matter more than ever,” Dreyer explained. “The Science Film Festival represents our commitment to making these issues visible, to showing that studying and working in science is open to everyone and for the benefit of all sections of society.”
The general management of the Ministry of Education has given its agreement.
“This issue of equality is crucial these days,” said Hilmar Farid. “We all know that the perception that science belongs to certain groups of students persists in Indonesia.”
Hilmar then revealed that it was still common practice to encourage students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to pursue vocational training instead of science so that they could find employment sooner.
“The theme of the festival this year highlights a deeply rooted problem in our society,” he said.
Many families in Indonesia still discourage their daughters from pursuing higher education, especially in science, because they are seen as future wives and mothers who will only take care of their husbands and children.
There is also a perception that children living in remote areas should refrain from learning science and choose vocational studies instead. Vocational skills, such as cooking, sewing and car repair, are seen as immediately applicable to their daily lives and will help them find employment.
“So, I especially welcome the fact that the festival is taking place in 55 cities across Indonesia, some of them are cities that I have never visited,” Hilmar said. “Thus, the festival, in keeping with its theme, gives equal opportunities to those who live in remote areas to access educational content [in the films].”
The films will be screened offline in schools in Greater Jakarta, Bandung, Medan and Sidoarjo (East Java).
Meanwhile, in cities other than those mentioned above, such as Aceh, Bintuni and Fakfak (West Papua), Bombana (South East Sulawesi), Humbang Hasundutan (North Sumatra), Waikabubak (East Nusa Tenggara) and in many other cities, film screenings will be taking place via Zoom.
“We will also host the science experiments for students living in these cities via Zoom,” said Elizabeth Soegiharto, Indonesian program coordinator at the Goethe-Institut and head of SFF Indonesia.
This year’s festival also marks the 70e anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Germany.
“I think diversity in science education is a matter of fairness, but also a matter of reason to push for it,” said Christoph Fischer, head of culture and information for the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany in Indonesia.
“Equity, because, logically, [science education] should not be determined by your background, beliefs, gender or how you choose in life,” Fischer added. “It’s also a matter of reason, because research shows that education systems that are more diverse [and] the more open perform better and succeed in creating excellence in science.”
“And if you look at the big challenges we are currently facing, we need scientific excellence to find solutions,” he concluded.
Try it: Stefan Dreyer (second from left), Hilmar Farid (second from right) and Fatchiah E. Kertamuda (right) engage in a science experiment on the opening day of the Science Film Festival. (JP/Sylviana Hamdani) (JP/Sylviana Hamdani)
Courting the audiovisual generation
Hilmar thinks these film screenings will be an effective way to encourage today’s “audio-visual generation” to love science.
“The time children spend consuming audiovisual content on social media has reached an alarming 4-5 hours a day,” he said. “And most of the content [on social media] is not educational.”
“The way to counter [the impacts of negative audio-visual content] is not by banning them, because children will have 1,001 ways to access them,” Hilmar said. “A more effective way is to deliver educational content the way they like it.
One-minute trailers of all films screened at SFF 2022 are available on the festival’s official Instagram account @sciencefilmfest.
SFF also organizes film screenings for the public at science centers in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Pontianak.
In Jakarta, public film screenings are scheduled to take place at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) Science Center from November 1 to 30. Contact the administrator of the official Instagram account for more information about the schedule.