|Education||Bandung Institute of Technology|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, producer|
Anwar first rose to prominence for co-writing Nia Dinata's 2003 hit Arisan! which won five awards at the 2004 Citra Award. He then made his feature film directorial debut with the romantic comedy Joni's Promise in 2005, gaining a Best Director nomination at the 2005 Citra Award. He has since directed a wide range of genres: the noir thriller Dead Time: Kala (2007), psychological thriller The Forbidden Door (2009), supernatural horror Satan's Slaves (2017), and live-action superhero Gundala (2019).
Anwar has won three Citra Awards out of 13 nominations for directing and screenwriting. He won the Best Director Awards twice: in 2015 for the urban drama A Copy of My Mind and in 2020 for the folk horror Impetigore as well as the Best Screenplay Award in 2008 for co-writing Mouly Surya's Fiksi.. He has also been nominated for a total of 7 Maya Awards, winning Best Director for Satan's Slaves in 2017.
Anwar was born in Medan, North Sumatera where he grew up watching kung fu and horror films. He went to SMA Negeri 1 Medan, a public school, and spent a year in the United States as an exchange student at the Wheeling Park High School in West Virginia. He wrote and directed plays as a student. While he wanted to study filmmaking seriously, he went to enroll at the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) to study Aeronautical Engineering because his family could not afford to send him to a film school. After graduating in 1999, he became a journalist and film critic at The Jakarta Post.
2003–2008: Arisan!, directorial debut, and mainstream success
During an interview with Nia Dinata, who was gaining praise for her 2002 release Ca-bau-kan, for The Jakarta Post, Anwar impressed the filmmaker who in turn asked him to join a project she was working on. The two co-wrote the screenplay for what would be Dinata's biggest hit to date Arisan! released in 2003. The film won rave reviews and snatched multiple Best Film awards at the 2004 Citra Award, the 2004 MTV Indonesia Movie Awards, and the 2004 Bandung Film Festival. Dinata and Anwar also won praise for their screenplay, receiving a Citra Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
In 2005, Anwar made his directorial debut with the romantic comedy Joni's Promise (Janji Joni) with a star-studded cast that includes Nicholas Saputra, Mariana Renata, Rachel Maryam, Surya Saputra, and dozens of celebrity cameos, including Nia Dinata, based on a story he first wrote in 1998. The film propelled Anwar to mainstream success as it became a box office hit and earned 9 nominations at the 2005 Citra Award, including Best Film and Best Director for Anwar, losing to the biographical drama Gie and Hanung Bramantyo (Brownies) respectively. The film was credited with reviving the career of Barry Prima, an international martial artist and actor, who is Anwar's childhood hero.
In 2007, Joko Anwar wrote and directed Dead Time: Kala, Indonesia's first film noir feature film. It won rave reviews from critics with Sight & Sound picking it as one of the year's best while naming Anwar as one of the smartest filmmakers in Asia. The film was screened at numerous film festivals and won a Jury Prize at the 2007 New York Asian Film Festival. The Hollywood Reporter praused the film as "a sophisticated noir whodunit in homage to Fritz Lang's M". In the same year, Anwar wrote the screenplay for two other major releases: Dimas Djayadiningrat's sex comedy Quickie Express and an adaptation of Moammar Emka's best-selling novel, Jakarta Undercover. The former won Best Film at the 2008 Jakarta International Film Festival.
In 2008, Anwar co-wrote the screenplay for psychological thriller fiksi., Mouly Surya's directorial debut. The film was a huge hit and received universal acclaim. At the 2008 Citra Award, it received 10 nominations and won 4, including Best Screenplay, giving Anwar his first Citra Award.
2009–2016: International recognition and Citra Award for Best Director
Anwar explored the psychological thriller genre in his next film, The Forbidden Door (Pintu Terlarang), which was released in 2009. Starring Fachri Albar and Marsha Timothy as a married couple with dark secrets, the film gained notable recognition from the international film community. TIME magazine film critic Richard Corliss wrote that the film could be "Anwar's calling card for international employment, if only Hollywood moguls wanted something out of their own narrow range" and that it is "an example of what movies could be but rarely dare to try". Maggie Lee of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that it "would make [Alfred] Hitchcock and [Pedro] Almodóvar proud" while praising Anwar for "[accessorizing] his creepy suspense-horror with a dazzling array of auteur-homage". The film was screened at several international film festivals, including The Times BFI London Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, where it won the Best of Bucheon award. In the same year, he also played a minor role in Macabre, Timo Tjahjanto's and Kimo Stamboel's breakout slasher hit. In 2013, he appeared as a shady film producer in Sammaria Simanjuntak's satirical comedy Demi Ucok.
Anwar's next release was the horror-thriller Modus Anomali, which premiered in Indonesia in April 2012. Anwar cast rising star Rio Dewanto in the lead role as a man who must rescue his family from a killer who is hunting them. The film was screened at the South by Southwest where it received generally positive reviews including from Richard Kuipers of Variety who called it a "brainteaser" and that "this extreme arthouse entry will leave a lasting impression on many auds". It received theatrical release in France and was retitled as Ritual for its North American release.
In 2015, Anwar released his fifth feature film the urban drama A Copy of My Mind with Chicco Jerikho and Tara Basro in the lead roles. Shot only in 8 days, the film was the only film from Southeast Asia to be screened at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. At the 2015 Citra Award, the film was nominated for 7 awards, including Best Film with Anwar winning Best Director for the first time and Basro winning Best Actress in addition to another win for sound mixing.
2017–2019: Satan's Slaves, Gundala, Impetigore, and second Citra Award for Best Director
In his first supernatural horror effort, Anwar released his sixth feature film Satan's Slaves (Pengabdi Setan) in 2017. A loose remake of the 1980 cult classic of the same name, Satan's Slaves is the highest-grossing Indonesian film of 2017 as well as the highest-grossing horror film of all time in the country with 4.2 million admissions. It also fared well in other territories, including becoming the highest-grossing Indonesian film ever to be released in Malaysia. At the 37th Citra Awards, the film won 7 out of its 13 nominations. At the second Overlook Film Festival, the film won the Feature Film Jury Prize. Anwar also co-wrote the screenplay for Stip & Pensil with Ernest Prakasa and Bene Dion Rajagukguk, for which they were nominated at the 2017 Citra Awards for Best Original Screenplay.
In addition to Satan's Slaves, Anwar appeared in small acting roles in seven films between 2017 and 2018. This includes Galih & Ratna, My Generation, The Underdogs, Daysleepers, 27 Steps of May, and Ave Maryam, and the Malaysian crime thriller Fly by Night.
In 2018, it was announced that Anwar would helm the live-action adaptation of comic book superhero character Gundala. The film was released domestically in August 2019, launching the first phase of a superhero film series that will make up the BumiLangit Cinematic Universe along with other popular Indonesian comic book superhero characters. Internationally, it premiered at the Midnight Madness section of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. At the 2019 Citra Award, Gundala received 9 nominations and won 3 for cinematography, sound mixing, and visual effects. Earlier in January 2019, the comedy drama Orang Kaya Baru was released. Anwar wrote the screenplay for the film and received another Citra Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
In October 2019, Anwar released the folk horror Impetigore (Perempuan Tanah Jahanam) as his eighth feature film, becoming a critical and commercial success. At the 2020 Citra Award, Anwar won his second Citra Award for Best Director as well as a nomination in the Best Original Screenplay category. He also received another nomination in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for writing Kimo Stamboel's remake of Indonesian horror classic The Queen of Black Magic. Impetigore's 17 nominations broke the record for most nominations received by a film which was previously held by Mouly Surya's Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts with 14 nominations in 2018. Internationally, it premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to generally positive reviews. Josh Hurtado of Screen Anarchy praises Anwar for continuing "to carve out a niche for himself as one of the world's leading genre auteurs, going from strength to strength, he's got an incredibly impressive body of work already, and seems to only get better as he becomes more ambitious." In November 2020, Impetigore was announced as Indonesia's official submission for the 2021 Academy Awards.
2020–present: Bumilangit Cinematic Universe and other upcoming projects
Shortly after the release of Gundala, Anwar was announced as the executive producer to oversee the production of several films included in the planned Volume 1 of Bumilangit Cinematic Universesuperhero franchise. The first of these films to follow Gundala will be the Upi Avianto-directed Sri Asih and Ody C. Harahap-directed Patriot Taruna: Virgo and the Sparklings which were originally slated for a 2020 release but were pushed back to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 8 films are planned for the Volume 1 series, all of which will receive treatment from Anwar as the creative producer.
In July 2020, Anwar teased his next project on Instagram by posting a collage of all his previous eight films with a ninth picture presumed to be hinting at his ninth feature, writing "My 9th movie. It's on. After 9 movies, probably a good time to start fresh."
Anwar actively interacts with his fans on social media, especially Twitter. In September 2009, he posted on his Twitter account that he would go into a convenience store fully naked if he gained 3,000 followers within the day. He ended up gaining over 13 thousand followers and fulfilled the promise, causing minor controversies. As of January 2021, he has 1.7 million followers on Twitter.
|Dead Time: Kala||Yes||No||Yes|
|2009||The Forbidden Door||Yes||No||Yes|
|2015||A Copy of My Mind||Yes||Executive||Yes|
|2017||Stip & Pensil||No||No||Yes|
|2019||Orang Kaya Baru||No||No||Yes|
|The Queen of Black Magic||No||No||Yes|
|2003||Joni Be Brave||Yes||No||Yes|
|Fresh to Move On||Yes||No||Yes|
|2013||The New Found||Yes||No||Yes|
|2006||Love for Share||Producer|
|2008||Mereka Bilang, Saya Monyet!||Manager|
|Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly||Yahya||Main role|
|2012||Parts of the Heart||Peter (age 35)|
|2013||Demi Ucok||Film Producer|
|2014||Before the Morning After||Member of DPR|
|Melancholy Is a Movement||Himself|
|2016||Three Sassy Sisters||Taxi Driver|
|2017||Galih & Ratna||Dedy|
|My Generation||Konji's Dad|
|The Underdogs||Ellie's Dad|
|Satan's Slaves||Dono Budiono|
|2018||Fly by Night||Alan|
|27 Steps of May||Opponent's Boxer Manager|
|Ave Maryam||Father Martin|
|2015–16||Halfworlds||Yes||No||Yes||Season 1 (8 episodes)|
|2018||Folklore||Yes||No||Yes||Episode: "A Mother's Love"|
|Actors||Joni's Promise (2005)||Dead Time: Kala (2007)||The Forbidden Door (2009)||Ritual (2012)||A Copy of My Mind (2015)||Satan's Slaves (2017)||Gundala (2019)||Impetigore (2019)|
Awards and nominations
- "6 Most Influential Film Directors in Modern Indonesian Cinema". Indonesia Tatler. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
- "Joko Anwar Profile on The Jakarta Post (2007-)". Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Sight & Sound Films of 2007 (2007)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Twitch.com Report(2008)
- "New Movie Reviews & Film Reviews". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Corliss, Richard (4 July 2009). "Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
- "The Forbidden Door -- Film Review (2009)".
- Kuipers, Richard (14 October 2012). "Modus Anomali". Variety. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
- "Joko Anwar's new film, 'A Copy of My Mind' is the only Southeast Asian film to be selected for the 2015 Venice Film Festival | Coconuts Jakarta". coconuts.co. 31 July 2015.
- "Pengabdi Setan Film Terlaris 2017 | Databoks". databoks.katadata.co.id (in Indonesian). Retrieved 23 January 2021.
- Media, Kompas Cyber. "Pengabdi Setan Jadi Film Terlaris Sepanjang Masa di Malaysia". KOMPAS.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 23 January 2021.
- Aldrich, Ryland (25 April 2018). "Overlook 2018 Awards Wrap: Top Prize for Satan's Slaves, Big Win for All Attendees". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
- Times, I. D. N.; Barus, Ramadani. "Joko Anwar akan Sutradarai "Gundala" –Pahlawan Super Indonesia". IDN Times (in Indonesian). Retrieved 23 January 2021.
- Robinson, Tasha (13 September 2019). "The Indonesian superhero film Gundala is out to launch a vast cinematic universe". The Verge. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
- Indonesia, C. N. N. "Daftar Lengkap Pemenang Piala Citra FFI 2019". hiburan (in Indonesian). Retrieved 23 January 2021.
- Frater, Patrick (24 October 2019). "Joko Anwar's 'Impetigore' Tops Indonesia Box Office Ahead of Film Markets". Variety. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
- Tasikmalaya, Pikiran Rakyat (8 November 2020). "Pecahkan Rekor Nominasi FFI 2020, Joko Anwar Buktikan Tak ada Kasta dalam Film - Pikiran Rakyat Tasikmalaya". tasikmalaya.pikiran-rakyat.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 23 January 2021.
- Hurtado, J (31 January 2020). "Sundance 2020 Review: Impetigore, Indonesia's Pre-Colonial Traditions Terrify In Joko Anwar's Latest". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
- "Indonesia Selects 'Impetigore' for 2021 Oscars". The Hollywood Reporter. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- developer, medcom id (10 September 2019). "Joko Anwar Produseri Seluruh Film Jagat Sinema Bumilangit". medcom.id (in Indonesian). Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- Media, Kompas Cyber. "Biaya Produksi Besar, Joko Anwar: Film-film Bumilangit Sulit Tayang di Layanan Streaming". KOMPAS.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- Media, Kompas Cyber. "Teka-teki Film Kesembilan Joko Anwar Halaman all". KOMPAS.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 5 February 2021.
- Anwar, Joko. "Joko Anwar on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
- Anwar, Joko (22 September 2009). "If I got my 3000th follower today, I'll go into a Circle K naked". Twitter. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
- "7 Kicauan Menarik dan Kontroversi". Tempo. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
Media related to Joko Anwar at Wikimedia Commons