Shekhar Kapur, Director Of Oscar-Winning Film Elizabeth, To Head International Jury Panel Of The 28th Singapore International Film Festival’s Asian Feature Film Competition

  • SGIFF will also celebrate the rich stories and talents from Indonesia with a new Focus series – Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesian Cinema After the New Order
Silver Screen Awards Jury Panel

Singapore, 11 October 2017 – Known to raise awareness and propel the careers of filmmaking talents in Asia, the 28th Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) announced its Silver Screen Awards’ jury panel for both Asian Feature Film Competition and Southeast Asian Short Film Competition today. 

Shekhar Kapur, an established film director with a strong presence in both Indian and Western Cinema, will serve as the head juror for the Asian Feature Film Competition this year. No stranger to a juror’s role at international film festivals, Kapur has previously served on the jury of the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, London Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival. He first gained global recognition with his film Bandit Queen (1994), which won rave reviews after premiering at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. He then introduced Australian actress Cate Blanchett to the world in his two historical biopics of Queen Elizabeth – Elizabeth (1998), which won six BAFTA Awards and seven nominations at the Academy Awards, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) that saw two Academy Award nominations, and walked away with one win. A man of many talents, Kapur went beyond films and collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber to co-create the West End musical Bombay Dreams

Joining Kapur on the jury are Australian-Hong Kong filmmaker Clara Law (Autumn Moon, 1992 and The Goddess of 1967, 2000), Iranian-American screenwriter and director Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, 2014) and Head of Programming at the Locarno Film Festival Mark Peranson.

For the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition, Programming Director of the Asian Future section at Tokyo International Film Festival Kenji Ishizaka will head the jury panel, which also includes Singapore filmmaker K. Rajagopal (A Yellow Bird, 2016) and Indonesian actress Marsha Timothy (Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, 2017).  

In selecting these talents as the jury panel, SGIFF Executive Director Yuni Hadi said, “Our jury members are prominent and dynamic industry leaders in their own right. With their expertise and craftsmanship, we look forward to identifying talent and recognising Asian features and Southeast Asian short films that stand out with their bold artistry and strong storytelling.”

Besides their jury duties for the Silver Screen Awards which will be held on 2 December 2017 at the Marina Bay Sands, some of the jury members such as Shekhar Kapur and Clara Law will also be conducting masterclasses during the Festival to interact and share their experiences with audiences. A series of short films by Ana Lily Amirpour including Six and A Half, her first and only film shot on film on Super 16mm, will also be screened as part of the Cinema Today section of the Festival.

Celebrating Asian storytelling with a new Focus series at the 28th SGIFF

 Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesia Cinema After the New Order

The 28th SGIFF also announced a new Focus series as part of this year’s line-up – Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesian Cinema After the New Order. Through film screenings and a panel discussion during the Festival, the series will showcase filmmaking in Indonesia as an embodiment of its independent and community spirit. The selected films share the common theme as agents of change that engage with social reality through cinema, which rose in prominence after the New Order. To encourage dialogues and foster a stronger audience creator relationship, Indonesian film practitioners including the Co-Curator of the Focus programme, Adrian Jonathan Pasaribu – who is also Editor-in-chief of Cinema Poetica and Member of Indonesian Film Board – will be in town to engage with festival goers through a panel discussion.

Speaking on the new series, Programme Director of 28th SGIFF Pimpaka Towira, shared, “The Indonesian film industry today is rich with provincial colour and this is without doubt a result of the resurgence of Indonesian cinema post-New Order. As a fierce champion of the film talent and cinema of the region, the Festival aims to shed light on this vibrant scene and inspire more with the unique flavour of Southeast Asian storytelling.”

The 28th SGIFF, which runs from 23 November to 3 December 2017, will take place across various venues, including Marina Bay Sands, Shaw Theatres Lido, National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery Singapore, The Arts House, Filmgarde Bugis+, Objectifs and *SCAPE.

The SGIFF is an event of the Singapore Media Festival, hosted by Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA). SGIFF’s Official Sponsors include Presenting Sponsor since 2014, Marina Bay Sands; Official Festival Time Partner, IWC Schaffhausen; Official International Realtor, List Sotheby’s; Official Automobile, BMW and Official Airline, Singapore Airlines.

The full Festival line-up and ticketing details will be announced in end October 2017.


Please refer to the appended annexes for more information.

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About the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)

Founded in 1987, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) is the largest and longest-running film event in Singapore. It has become an iconic event in the local arts calendar that is widely attended by international film critics; and known for its dynamic programming and focus on ground-breaking Asian cinema for Singapore and the region. Committed to nurturing and championing local and regional talent, its competition component, the Silver Screen Awards, brings together emerging filmmakers from Asia and Southeast Asia while paying tribute to acclaimed cinema legends. With its mentorship programmes, masterclasses and dialogues with attending filmmakers, the Festival also serves as a catalyst for igniting public interest, artistic dialogue, and cultural exchanges in the art of filmmaking. The SGIFF is organised by the Singapore International Film Festival Ltd, a non-profit organisation with Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status. For more information, please visit

Annex A: Quotes from Shekhar Kapur, Clara Law, Kenji Ishizaka and Adrian Jonathan Pasaribu

Shekhar Kapur

Head Juror of the Asian Feature Film Competition

“Having served on the Board of ScreenSingapore, I am acutely aware that this is Asia’s century. As an Asian looking for new adventures in storytelling and filmmaking, I once went to Hollywood, however the urge to return to Asia is strong, as I find that the real stories now lie in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Asian filmmakers and storytellers now have the amazing opportunity to ride the tide of Asia’s century and tell their own stories. Therefore, events such as the Singapore International Film Festival are truly important in platforming new emerging Asian talent.”

Clara Law

Jury Member of the Asian Feature Film Competition

““The world has a limited time span but the spirit is timeless.” These words from a Chinese philosopher has been my guiding light, especially in dark times like this. I look forward to sharing this with like-minded fellow filmmakers and to the discovery of the new voices in cinema at the upcoming Singapore International Film Festival.”

Kenji Ishizaka

Head Juror of Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

“I am honoured to serve on the Jury of the Singapore International Film Festival this year. As a teacher of a film school, I am always involved in many productions by our Japanese students. This time I am excited to watch the short films made in Southeast Asian countries, and am looking forward to meeting the ‘next masters’ of filmmaking.”

Adrian Jonathan Pasaribu

Co-Curator of Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesian Cinema After the New Order

“If you want to see the diverse faces of Indonesia as a society, do not look for them in the theatrical releases. Instead, look for them in the grassroots cinema that are free from the censorship board and relatively unburdened by commercial pressures. The film communities are a fertile ground for diverse expressions on local identities and critical voices on social issues.”

Annex B: Chinese translations of key Festival terms

English termsChinese terms
28th Singapore International Film Festival第 28 届新加坡国际电影节
Silver Screen Awards银幕大奖
Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesian Cinema
After The New Order
Asian Feature Films亚洲长片
Southeast Asian Short Film东南亚短片
Yuni Hadi, Executive Director, 28th SGIFF云妮·海迪
Pimpaka Towira, Programme Director, 28th SGIFF萍帕卡·托维拉
Shekhar Kapur谢加·卡普尔
Clara Law罗卓瑶
Ana Lily Amirpour安娜莉莉阿米普尔
Kenji Ishizaka石坂健治
K. Rajagopal拉加歌帕

Annex C: Silver Screen Awards and Biography of Jury Panel

The Silver Screen Awards aims to create awareness of the rich filmmaking talents throughout Asia and Southeast Asia, and pave the way for a Singapore film industry. First introduced in 1991, the Silver Screen Awards was the first such international competition with a specific Asian film category. It charts the rise of Asian cinema and recognises the talents of new and upcoming filmmakers, many of whom were to become some of the most prominent filmmakers of our time.

The films in competition are previewed by an international jury and screened to the public throughout the Festival period, which culminates in the Silver Screen Awards presentation. The international jury of the Asian Feature Film Competition will be judging four categories – Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance and Special Mention; while that of the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition will be judging four categories – Southeast Asian Short Film, Best Singapore Short Film, Best Director and Special Mention.

Asian Feature Film Competition

Shekhar Kapur, Filmmaker

No stranger to a juror’s role at international film festivals, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has previously served on the Jury of the 63rd Cannes Film Festival, London Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival. He first gained global recognition with his film Bandit Queen (1994), which won rave reviews after premiering at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival’s Director’s Fortnight. He then introduced Australian actress Cate Blanchett to the world in his two historical biopics of Queen Elizabeth, which won two Academy Awards and six BAFTA Awards between them. A man of many talents, Kapur went beyond films and collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber to co-create the West Endmusical Bombay Dreams.

Ana Lily Amirpour, Filmmaker

Ana Lily Amirpour’s feature directorial debut A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and was the opening selection for the New Directors/New Films screening series at the MoMA in New York City. The film went on to win the Revelations Prize at the 2014 Deauville Film Festival and the Carnet Jove Jury Award, as well as the Citizen Kane Award for Best Directorial Revelation from the Sitges Film Festival. Amirpour’s sophomore film, The Bad Batch (2016), which stars Jason Momoa, Suki Waterhouse, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey, premiered at the 2016 Venice Film Festival where it took home the Special Jury Prize. 

Clara Law, Filmmaker

Law studied film at the National Film School in England after graduating from the Hong Kong University. She returned to craft a number of internationally acclaimed features including Autumn Moon (Golden Leopard, Locarno 1992; Best Picture, European Art Theatres Association), Temptation of a Monk (competition Venice 1993, Grand Prix Creteil). She moved to Australia in 1995 and continued to work in films that won many international awards including Floating Life (Silver Leopard 1996, Best Film and Best Director Gijon), The Goddess of 1967 (Best Actress Award Venice 2000, nominated Golden Lion Venice, Best Film FIPRESCI Tromso, Best Director Teplice Artfilm). She is currently working on Drifting Petals with her husband and longtime collaborator (producer, writer) Eddie Fong.

Mark Peranson, Head of Programming, Locarno Festival

Mark Peranson is editor and publisher of Cinema Scope magazine, for which he was awarded the 2010 Clyde Gilmour Award for contribution to advancement of film by the Toronto Film Critics Association. Since 2013, he has been Head of Programming for Locarno Festival, having been a member of the Locarno selection committee from 2010 to 2012. His works as a director include Waiting for Sancho (2008) and La última película (2013, co-directed with Raya Martin), both of which played at more than 30 festivals worldwide. His writing has appeared in myriad publications worldwide including The Village Voice, Cahiers du Cinéma, Sight and Sound, Revolver, El Amante, The Globe and Mail, and Film Comment.

Southeast Asian Short Film Competition

Kenji Ishizaka

Asian Future Programming Director, Tokyo International Film Festival and Dean, Japan Institute of Moving Images

Born in 1960 in Tokyo, Ishizaka holds a Master of Arts at the graduate school of Waseda University. From 1990 to 2007, he was the Film Coordinator at the Japan Foundation (JF), and has organized and managed more than 70 projects from Asia and Arab. He then moved on to the Tokyo International Film Festival as Programme Director of Asian Future section in 2007. He has also served as a Professor of Japan Institute of Moving Images since 2011. As a film critic, his recent books include Amidst the Sea of Documentary: Dialogues with Tsuchimoto Noriaki in 2008, and The Forest of the Asian Cinema in 2012. 

K. Rajagopal, Filmmaker

K. Rajagopal won the Singapore International Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize for three consecutive years for his short films I Can’t Sleep Tonight (1995), The Glare (1996) and Absence (1997). His works have travelled internationally including screenings at Hong Kong International Film Festival, Oberhausen Short Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam. His short filmThe Flame was part of the SG50 IMDA commissioned omnibus film 7 Letters which had its Asian premiere at the Busan Film Festival in 2015. Most recently, Rajagopal’s first feature film A Yellow Bird premiered at the International Critics Week at Cannes Film Festival 2016.

Marsha Timothy, Actress

Marsha Timothy first became publicly known through her debut in the film Expedition Madewa (2006). Since then she has participated in 16 film and 21 television productions. She is best known for The Forbidden Door (2009), Khalifah (2011), The Raid 2 (2014) and most recently Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, which premiered at Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. She received the Best Actress and Most Favourite Actress awards at the Indonesia Movie Awards 2015 and Best Actress at the Piala Maya 2015 for her role in Nada Untuk Asa. Marsha also won the Actress of the Year accolade at the Showbiz Award Indonesia in 2015.

Annex D: Histories of Tomorrow: Indonesian Cinema After the New Order

The Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) returns to The Arts House with a Focus series on the practice of filmmaking in Indonesia as an embodiment of the spirit of independence and community. Adopting the post-Suharto Reformasi movement in the late 1990s as a point of departure, the series of films being featured explores diverse trajectories within Indonesian independent cinema as a vibrant agent of change, through the dissemination of knowledge and engagement with social reality.

Focus Features

The Ballads of Cinema Lovers (2017)

Yuda Kurniawan Purbalingga, Indonesia / 118 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia, Javanese

A passionate documentary that shows the power of community-built cinema appreciation and the tireless behind-the-scenes efforts. 

Former journalist Bowo Leksono started the Cinema Lovers Community to facilitate film activities for youths in the small, uneventful town of Purbalingga, Central Java. To keep up with the demands of young filmmakers, Leksono launched screenings in the town hall, only to face restrictions from authorities. In retaliation, he took the screenings to the villages via a film festival. Years later, the Purbalingga Film Festival continues to inspire and highlight talents from new generations of filmmakers in Purbalingga and the surrounding regions. 

Chronicling the humble beginnings and progression of the festival through interviews with Leksono, volunteers and guests, the film is currently the only visible record of the informal film ecosystem in Indonesia, with Purbalingga as the vantage point. This telling feature is the definition of Indonesian cinema, proving that the majority of its builders came from grassroots movements.

Biography of Director

Yuda Kurniawan is a director, producer, cinematographer and scriptwriter from Banyuwangi, East Java. The Ballads of Cinema Lovers is his second feature documentary, after Memory & Hope (2015), about the survivors of sexual violence from Maumere, Flores. He is currently working on a project about Fajar Merah, the son of historical poet activist Widji Thukul.

Ziarah: Tales of the Otherwords (2016)

B. W. Purba Negara Yogyakarta, Indonesia / 85 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia, Javanese

A touching look at an old woman’s journey for love that traces the footsteps of Indonesia’s dark history.

Madam Sri is on the search for the grave of her husband who disappeared during the Indonesian National Revolution. Along the way, her grandson looks for her through various conversations with other villagers he encounters. Stories and accounts of the displaced bleed into one another, offering differing pieces of the same past on which the very land they are traversing was built on. 

In Ziarah, director BW Purba Negara demystifies the role of the “freedom fighters” in Indonesian history, portraying them as cowards, tyrants and cheaters. Oral memoirs play an important role here, reflective of how the nation interprets history differently from the authorities after the New Order. Poetic and aided by stunning views of the Yogyakarta landscape, Ziarah connects the past and the present seamlessly to address the unspoken hurt of the survivors.

Biography of Director

B.W. Purba Negara is an Indonesian director, writer and editor. His films have been screened at prominent international film festivals in Berlin, Germany and South Korea. His short film, Starting from A, won the 2012 Best Short Film Award at the Vladivostok International Film Festival in Russia. Ziarah: Tales of the Otherwords is his first feature film. 

The Talisman (2016)

Hari Suhariyadi Central Java, Indonesia / 90 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia, Javanese

Hailed as “one of the best Indonesian movies of the year”, The Talisman uncovers supernatural mysticism in modern day Java. 

Since childhood, Bejo was always in the company of his grandmother and the mysterious Rohman. The moment he falls in love, he discovers that his grandmother is dying. Through his childhood dealings with the occult, Bejo must make the ultimate sacrifice to show his devotion to his family. 

The Talisman proposes an interesting take on the alternative spirituality of Indonesia, particularly of Java. Though known and apparent, these otherworldly examples of Indonesian beliefs were denied from representation in cinema due to the government’s recognition of only six “official” religions during the New Order. Yielding enchanting imagery with ethereal rhythm, director Hari Suhariyadi highlights a much more authentic side of Indonesian culture, conveying a surreal horror that deserves to be seen and identified with.

Biography of Director

Hari Suhariyadi, a graduate of the Jakarta Arts Institute, is among the first generation of filmmakers in Post-Reformation Indonesia. Since Pachinko & Everyone’s Happy (2000), his first feature, he has directed six feature films, ranging from children’s films to horror flicks, with The Talisman being his latest. 

Masean’s Messages (2016)

Dwitra J. Ariana  Bali, Indonesia / 70 minutes / Balinese

Old wounds from Indonesia’s traumatic political history are brought back to the fore when mysterious events throw a village into unease

Strange things have been happening in the Masean neighbourhood in Batuagung village – all inextricably linked but with no direct connection to one another. As the villagers seek answers to the questions brought about by these incidents, there is only one way to prevent them from ever happening again. They must dismantle the mass graves of the victims from the massacres in the ‘60s to appease the curse of the unrested dead.  

Previously banned during the New Order regime, director Dwitra J. Ariana’s riveting PostReformation observation looks at the religious traditions of a predominantly Hindu island. Employing a non-conventional fly-on-the-wall style, weaving in and out of his subjects with dynamic camera movements, the recollections and testimonies from survivors of the mass slaughter intensify to a climactic finish, providing the people with reconciliation and liberation from their haunting ordeal.

 Biography of Director

Dwitra J. Ariana is a filmmaker and farmer. Focusing on multiculturalism and agriculture, his previous works have been screened at various documentary festivals in Indonesia since 2011. Two of his films, The Last Farmer and Masean’s Messages, were nominated at the Citra Fitra Indonesia Film Festival 2016.

Focus Shorts Programme 1: Redefining Togetherness

Focus Shorts Programme 1: Redefining Togetherness seeks to expand on the idea of collective gatherings, from revolutionary groups to the public observer, the people in unity. 

Along The One Way (2016)

Bani Nasution Jakarta, Indonesia / 16 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia, Javanese 

The Election Day is nigh and the future leadership of Surakarta is at stake, especially with religion issues being propagated in certain circles. A man must choose between his mother and himself.

Biography of Director

Bani Nasution, born in Surakarta on 1989, graduated from the Art Institute of Surakarta, Central Java. At the moment he is finishing his first feature, Setyowati: The Invisible Wife, a documentary about the marriage between human and supernatural beings in order to restore the values of natural conservation in Java. 

The Silent Mob (2016)

Harvan Agustriansyah Jakarta, Solo, Indonesia / 17 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia

A driver arrives at a remote rural area to recruit mobs for a demonstration. What begins as a simple transaction soon spirals into a test of his own humanity.

Biography of Director

Harvan Agustriansyah, born in Jakarta on 1980, studied directing at the Film and Television Department of the Jakarta Arts Institute. His thesis film, Orde (2007), has travelled to various national and international film festivals. Currently, he has produced seven short films.

The Nameless Boy (2017) 

Diego Batara Mahameru Jakarta, Indonesia / 5 minutes 17 seconds / Bahasa Indonesia 

For many, the demonstration is a holy fight against unbelievers. For a boy, it is a free buffet. This film was shot during one of the biggest demonstrations against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Jakarta’s former governor who was charged for blasphemy.

Biography of Director

Diego Batara Mahameru is a professional videographer. For him, cinema plays an important role for future generations to understand the past. 

A Goat (2017)

Tunggul Banjaransari Solo, Indonesia / 20 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia, Javanese

Somewhere in the future, a water trader becomes entangled in a plot against the military and martial artists, both whom he suspected are responsible for his neighbors’ missing goats.

Biography of Director

Tunggul Banjaransari, born in Solo in 1989, is the only member in his family who is unable to play any musical instrument. He decided to watch films and made some of his own instead. To support himself financially, he works as a lecturer and researcher. 

Terra Machine (2016)

Wimar Herdanto Jatiwangi, Indonesia / 16 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia, Sundanese

This film is a project of Village Video Festival, which invites urban artists to create art projects in Jatiwangi, a village in Majalengka well known for producing clay roof tiles. The film serves as a parody of the whole process.

Biography of Director

Wimar Herdanto, born in Surabaya in 1986, is active in the film communities in his hometown. His previous film, Gundah Gundala (2013), is a tribute to Indonesia’s long forgotten superheroes and a playful study on the cultural imperialism of the West.

Focus Shorts Programme 2: Grassroots Cinema

Focus Shorts Programme 2: Grassroots Cinema showcases the building of the film community, empowering youths and telling the stories of the people. 

Trading Places (2014)

Eka Susilawati Purbalingga, Indonesia / 7 minutes / Javanese

Nur and Ratih are identical twins. Nur, unlike her sister, is born mute. Ratih asks Nur to take her place at their school’s math test in exchange for extra pocket money.

Biography of Director

Eka Susilawati, born in Purbalingga in 1999, has been making films since middle school. She practiced her craft through extracurricular activities in SMPN 4 Satu Atap Karangmoncol Purbalingga, Central Java.

Mirror (2015)

Sarah Adilah Palu, Indonesia / 3 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia

A story of a mirror and a conflict which revolves around a dropout and a truant. Social mobility becomes a myth that haunts a society.

Biography of Director

Sarah Adilah, born in Palu in 1998, graduated from SMA Al-Azhar Mandiri Palu, Central Sulawesi. She wants to be the first woman filmmaker from Palu. Her works as a student filmmaker earned her a scholarship in the Film Department of Universitas Multimedia Nusantara, Tangerang.

The Tale of Urut Sewu (2016)

Dewi Nur Aeni Kebumen, Indonesia / 20 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia

For years, the farmers’ lives in Urut Sewu, Central Java, have been disturbed by the presence of the Indonesian National Armed Forces in their village. The army not only took over the farmers’ lands, but also acted arrogantly toward the people of Urut Sewu. This film documented the people’s struggle.

Biography of Director

Dewi Nur Aeni is a student of SMK N 1 Kebumen, Central Java. Her first film, The Tale of Urut Sewu, won best documentary at Festival Film Purbalingga 2017.

Drowned Eyes (2016)

Feranda Aries  Makassar, Indonesia / 7 minutes 24 seconds / Bahasa Indonesia  

Every city is a conflict of gazes between what could be seen and what should have been. Two teenagers in Makassar found themselves stuck right in the middle – in between images of the future and silenced wishes of the people.

Biography of Director

Feranda Aries Monica is active in the film communities in Makassar, South Sulawesi. In 2017, she graduated from the Film and Television Department of Institut Seni Makassar.

Dewi Comes Home (2016)

Candra Aditya  Jakarta, Indonesia / 18 minutes / Bahasa Indonesia and Javanese

A girl must face the nightmare of her own mother and old family traditions when her father passes away.

Biography of Director

Candra Aditya graduated from the Film Department of Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta. He has produced nine shorts since then. Other than making films, he regularly writes about Indonesian cinema for various publications.

The Call of the Crater (2014)

Ignasius Loyola WS Flores, Indonesia / 29 minutes 57 seconds / Bajawanese

In 2010, a girl mysteriously jumped into Kelimutu Crater, Flores. The case was a sensation among the local press. Four years later, burdened by agony and longing, her mother decides to retrace her daughter’s steps through photographs, video footages and mystic rituals.

Biography of Director

Ignasius Somalinggi graduated from the Film Department of Universitas Multimedia Nusantara, Tangerang. Through his thesis film The Call of the Crater, he sought to explore the meaning of death in the Bajawa tribe through archival footages.