Joko Anwar

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Joko Anwar
Joko dan Edwin dengan Badge IFFR.jpg
Joko Anwar in 2007 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam
Born (1976-01-03) 3 January 1976 (age 43)
EducationBandung Institute of Technology
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, producer
Years active2003–present
WebsiteOfficial website

Joko Anwar (born 3 January 1976) is an Indonesian filmmaker. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, he worked as a journalist, film critic, and later a writer and actor. He is known for his works in the romantic comedy film Joni's Promise (2005), noir thriller Dead Time: Kala (2007), thriller film The Forbidden Door (2009), drama film A Copy of My Mind (2015), horror film Satan's Slaves (2017), and superhero film Gundala (2019).


Early life[edit]

Anwar was born in Medan, North Sumatera where he grew up watching kung fu movies and horror films.[1] He had also written and directed plays as a student. He went to the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology to study Aerospace Engineering because his family could not afford to send him to a film school. After graduating in 1999, he became a journalist at The Jakarta Post and later a film critic.


During an interview with Nia Dinata for The Jakarta Post, the film producer was impressed and asked him to write for her new project which was later titled Arisan! (2003).[1] The film earned commercial and critical success and won numerous awards including "Best Film" at the 2005 Indonesian Film Festival and "Best Movie" at the 2004 MTV Indonesia Movie Awards. He went on to direct a feature film, the romantic comedy Janji Joni (Joni's Promise) (2005), which he wrote when he was in college in 1998. This feature directorial debut was the #1 box office hit in Indonesia that year and won "Best Movie" at the 2005 MTV Indonesia Movie Awards. SET Foundation which is chaired by renowned Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho gave him a special award for innovative storytelling in a movie. Janji Joni (Joni's Promise) was selected in several prestigious international film festivals including by Sydney Film Festival and Pusan International Film Festival. The film revived the career of Barry Prima, an international cult martial-art actor, who is Anwar's childhood hero.[1]

In 2007, Joko Anwar wrote and directed Kala, Indonesia's first tribute to film noir which won rave reviews from critics. Sight & Sound picked the film as one of the year's best and also named Anwar as one of the smartest filmmakers in Asia.[2] The film was screened in numerous film festivals and won a Jury Prize at the New York Asian Film Festival.[3] The Hollywood Reporter wrote the film as "a sophisticated noir whodunit in homage to Fritz Lang's "M."" [4] The film has also been compared to the works of Alex Proyas and Kiyoshi Kurosawa.[5]

In additions to films that Anwar directed himself, he has also written several screenplays for other directors, including a sex comedy Quickie Express which won Best Film of 2008 at the Jakarta International Film Festival and a cat-and-mouse thriller Jakarta Undercover. Both movies are box-office success. He also wrote Fiksi which won several awards in Indonesia including Best Film and Best Screenplay at the Indonesian Film Festival.

Anwar's next film, The Forbidden Door, was released in 2009 which is a psychological thriller which has also received rave reviews from critics. Richard Corliss of Time wrote that "As slick as it is sick, the movie could be Anwar's calling card for international employment, if only Hollywood moguls wanted something out of their own narrow range". He also mentioned the film as an "example of what movies could be but rarely dare to try".[6] Maggie Lee of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Anwar's film "would make Hitchcock and Almodóvar proud", and mentioned that "Joko Anwar accessorizes his creepy suspense-horror with a dazzling array of auteur-homage".[7] The film has been screened in several film festivals including in The Times BFI London Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, New York Asian Film Festival, and Dead by Dawn.



Year Film Director Producer Writer Note
2003 Joni Be Brave Yes No Yes Short
2003 Arisan! No No Yes
2004 Ajeng Ajeng Yes No No Documentary
2005 Janji Joni Yes No Yes
2007 Jakarta Undercover No No Yes
2007 Dead Time: Kala Yes No Yes
2007 Quickie Express No No Yes
2008 Fiksi. No No Yes
2009 The Forbidden Door Yes No Yes
2012 Ritual Yes No Yes
2012 Grave Torture Yes No Yes Short
2012 Fresh to Move On Yes No Yes Short
2012 Durable Love Yes No Yes Short
2012 Suncatchers Yes No Yes Short
2013 The New Found Yes No Yes Short
2015 A Copy of My Mind Yes Executive Yes
2016 Jenny Yes No No Short
2016 Don't Blink Yes No No Short
2017 Stip & Pensil No No Yes
2017 Satan's Slaves Yes No Yes
2017 Jalanin Aja Yes No Yes Short
2019 Orang Kaya Baru No No Yes
2019 Gundala Yes No Yes
2019 Impetigore Yes No Yes
2019 Ratu Ilmu Hitam No No Yes

Acting roles[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2003 Arisan! Restaurant Manager
2006 Love for Share Producer
2008 Mereka Bilang, Saya Monyet! Manager
2008 Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly Yahya
2009 Macabre Yuppie #3
2010 Madame X Aline
2012 Parts of the Heart Peter (age 35)
2012 Missing The Neighbour Short
2014 Before the Morning Repeated Member of DPR
2015 Nay Pram Voice
2015 Melancholy is a Movement Himself
2016 Three Sassy Sisters Taxi Driver
2017 Galih & Ratna Dedy
2017 My Generation Konji's Dad
2017 The Underdogs Ellie's Dad
2017 Satan's Slaves Dono Budiono
2018 Fly By Night Alan
2018 Daysleepers Tito
2018 27 Steps of May Opponent's Boxer Manager
2018 Ave Maryam Father Martin


Year Title Director Producer Writer Note
2015–16 Halfworlds Yes No Yes Season 1; 8 episodes
2018 Folklore Yes No Yes Episode: "A Mother's Love"



External links[edit]