Subject: AFP: Indonesia govt bans Aceh, Timor films from festival: organisers

Agence France Presse

November 24, 2006

Indonesia govt bans Aceh, Timor films from festival: organisers

JAKARTA, Nov 24 2006

The Indonesian government has banned four films on Aceh and East Timor from an international film festival on the grounds they could "disturb security," organisers said Friday.

The banned films are all internationally produced and were due to be screened at next month's Jakarta International Film Festival (JiFFest).

The state censorship agency in a letter to JiFFest organisers recently said that the films "could disturb security and order in the otherwise 'conducive' situation in the Aceh province and (bilateral relations with) East Timor," JiFFest program manager Lalu Roisamri told AFP.

The agency was not immediately available for comment.

The four films were also banned last year, JiFFest founder and chairwoman Shanty Harmayn told AFP.

However, a Singapore production titled "A Hero's Journey" about the life of East Timorese President Xanana Gusamo was passed and will be shown, Roisamri said.

The 80-minute documentary by Grace Phan is narrated by Gusmao, who led East Timor's fight for independence from Indonesia.

The banned films on East Timor are "Tales of Crocodiles" from the Netherlands, "Passabe" from Singapore and a 12-minute animation from Portugal on East Timor's history, titled: "Timor Loro Sae".

A film on Aceh's struggle for independence by American journalist William Nessen was also banned.

Nessen was deported from Indonesia early 2005 after immigration officials accused him violating a ban to enter the country and report on the tsunami disaster in Aceh province.

Aceh rebels and the Indonesian government last year signed a peace agreement to end almost three decades of violent separatist conflict in the resource-rich province.

More than 200 films from over 35 countries are due to be screened at the 8th JiFFest which runs from December 8 to 17.

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