Indonesia Expat
Arts/Entertainment Education

HiFFest 2020 “Self-Identity”: Seeing Change as a Source of Opportunity

Hiffest 2020
Poster Film Cha(lle)nge HiFFest 2020

HighScope Film Festival (HiFFest), an annual short film competition for junior high school students organised by OSIS SMP Sekolah HighScope Indonesia TB. Simatupang, returned!

HiFFest 2020 was held virtually for the animated film genre, namely mixed media 2D animation or stop motion in order to facilitate students’ interest in film during the COVID-19 pandemic ensuring the safety and health of all participants.

This is a special annual event for junior high school students who follow a different theme each year. This year’s theme is “Self-Identity”, with the motto “Change is an Opportunity” in light of raising a message about the current pandemic that has caused students to undergo online learning and its impact on students because of limited socialisation. Students are inspired to face a pandemic that has challenged them to discover creative strategies to adapt to it and use this opportunity for innovation.

This event was open to all junior high school students, either from HighScope Indonesia Schools or from other schools. There were seven short film titles from six participating schools, namely:

  1. Hiraeth – Sekolah HighScope Indonesia TB Simatupang Team 1
  2. Got Talent – Mentari Intercultural School
  3. Layu – Dian Didaktika Islamic Junior High School
  4.  Metanoia – Sekolah HighScope Indonesia Bali
  5.  Ipseity – Noah’s School
  6.  Guiding Lights – Al Ikhlas Islamic Middle School
  7.  Cha (lle) nge – Sekolah HighScope Indonesia TB Simatupang Team 2
Poster Film Metanoia Hiffest 2020

The HiFFest competition has been held for 15 years and is a benchmark for young aspiring Indonesian filmmakers in expressing their creativity, interests and talents in film media. Every year, HiFFest has a different theme as the foundation for the participants to develop their ideas through the medium of short films.

The series of HiFFest 2020 activities consisted of two stages, namely a workshop (Movie Workshop) and the Awarding Day.


Activities took place in November 2020, during which participants received guidance from online mentors conducting various classes.

Agung Cahyandaru, the teaching staff of the animation study program from the SAE Institute – Creative Media School, covered the pre-production process (scriptwriting and story concepts). This was followed by a production class (animation and character creation) with Aditya Prabaswara, Head of the Animation Study Program from the SAE Institute – Creative Media School. The post-production (rendering and compositing) class was led by Wu Chintya, Compositor of Animonsta Studio. The workshop ended with a soundtrack class led by Apri Mela, musician and member of the music group White Shoes and the Couple Company.

Awarding Day
Performances by Asila Maisa and Noire.

Enlivened by performances from Asila Maisa and Noire, the seven films titled above were assessed by three judges.

HiFFest 2020 Judges

These judges are practitioners and experts in their fields, namely Donny Dhirgantoro (Screenwriter, Author of 5cm, 2014 Citra Award Winner for the category Best Adapted Screenplay: Sinking of the Van Der Wijck Ship), Wu Chintya (Compositor of Animonsta Studio; one of his works is the animated film Boboiboy) and Ridho Hafiedz (Musician, Guitarist of Slank).

The following are the HiFFest 2020 winners for each category:

  • Best movie: Cha (lle) nge – Sekolah HighScope Indonesia TB Simatupang Team 2
  • Best soundtrack: Ipseity – Noah’s School
  • Best storyboard: Guiding Lights – Al Ikhlas Islamic Middle School
  • Best compositions: Layu – Dian Didaktika Islamic Junior High School
  • Best editing: Cha (lle) nge – Sekolah HighScope Indonesia TB Simatupang Team 2
  • Best character animation: Hiraeth – Sekolah HighScope Indonesia TB Simatupang Team 1
  • Favorite Movie: Hiraeth – Sekolah HighScope Indonesia TB Simatupang Team 1

The judges showed high appreciation. Donny Dhirgantoro admired the theme and motto. He was impressed with the extraordinary ideas of junior high school students.

“The films were beyond my expectations. The stories are mind-blowing.”

As a representative of the art of animation, Wu Chintya was moved by this event.

“The students’ works are really cool. Especially with this year’s focus on animation and mixed media. Congratulations to the contestants – awesome work” You all have put in so much effort, to share good messages with others. I am delighted that there is an Animation Competition; hopefully, more people will be interested in it. Imagination is the key to the success of an animation,” she said.

Moreover, Ridho Hafiedz, who is back as mentor and jury, continues to support Hiffest. “Seeing all this, it’s like a flashback to the good old school days. But now we use technology and lots of usable software which are good for quality recordings. In the pandemic era, creating must be unlimited. Don’t break creativity. If you look at everything at the festival, the material is cool.”

Congratulations to the winners; hopefully you will continue to be enthusiastic about positive values.

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