Release date7 October 2011 (2011-10-07)
(Busan International Film Festival)
10 May 2012 (2012-05-10)
Lovely man trailer
Lovely Man is an Indonesian film written and directed by Teddy Soeriaatmadja (Banyu Biru, Ruma Maida). The film had its world premiere at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival to positive reviews on the segment "A Window on Asian Cinema". Donny Damara plays the starring role as Syaiful/Ipuy, a transgender in Jakarta. Actress Raihaanun, who is also Soeriaatmadja's wife, plays the female leading role as Cahaya, Syaiful's long-lost 19-year-old daughter who comes to the city to look for him only to find out that her father is a transgender. This is their second film together after 2007 remake of drama Badai Pasti Berlalu.
The film's release generated controversy in its native Indonesia due to rejections from certain religious group but saw overwhelming receptions abroad; screening for various international film festivals.
Film bioskop indonesia lovely man
Lovely Man tells the story of Cahaya, a 19-year-old girl with strong Islamic values, who discovers that her long lost father is a transvestite working on the streets of Jakarta. The story unfolds over that one night as they walk the streets of Jakarta and explains how the encounter changes their lives, as they learn about love, loss and redemption.
Cahaya arrives in Jakarta from what can be assumed is her small town home just as the sun is setting. Armed with a piece of notepaper and a few rupiah, she’s in the city on a search for the father she hasn’t seen since she was four. Asking neighbors and shopkeepers in the area he lives in for Syaiful gets her blank stares in return. When they finally figure out she means Ipuy, they point her in the right direction and say he’s “working” around Taman Lawang (Jakarta's infamous spot for transgender sex workers). Cahaya, naturally, goes looking for an office building or store.
When she locates Ipuy (Damara), she finds a transvestite prostitute plying her trade on the streets. In the initial minutes after encountering each other, both are shocked at the turn of evens. The innocent Cahaya is crushed at her father’s choices; Ipuy is horrified to see the daughter he willfully left behind.
Donny Damara as Syaiful/Ipuy, Cahaya's transgender father
Raihaanun as Cahaya, a devout 19-year old Muslim girl who is
The film is made with very low budget, which director Soeriaatmadja referred to as the "survival technique."
The film had its world premiere at the 2011 Busan International Film Festival on the segment "A Window on Asian Cinema." The segment also screens Ari Sihasale's Serdadu Kumbang and Salaman Aristo's Jakarta Maghrib.
In October 2013, it was screened for the London Indonesian Film Screenings at the London University School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS). Other films screened were Paul Agusta's Parts of the Heart, Eugene Panji's Cita-Citaku Setinggi Tanah, Rahung Nasution's Mentawai Tattoo Revival, Yosep Anggi Noen's Peculiar Vacation and Other Ilnesses, and Riri Riza's three features: Kuldesak, 3 Hari untuk Selamanya, and Atambua 39 Celcius.
In Indonesia, its release garnered controversy due to rejections from certain religious group but still saw limited release in several theaters throughout the country on 10 May 2012.
The film was screened in the following film festivals:
Official Selection of the 2011 Mumbai Film Festival, India
Official Selection of the 2011 World Film Festival of Bangkok, Thailand
Official Selection of the 2011 Hong Kong International Film Festival
In Competition at the 2011 Asiatica Filmmediale, Rome, Italy
In Competition at the 2011 Bangalore International Film Festival, India
In Competition at the 2011 New Delhi Digital Film Festival, India
In Competition at the 2011 Torino LGBT Film Festival, Italy
In Competition at the 2012 Indonesian Film Festival, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
In Competition at the 2012 Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, Israel
In Competition at the 2012 Osaka Asian Film Festival, Japan
In Competition at the 2012 Tiburon International Film Festival, California, United States
2011 Jogja-Netpac Asia Film Festival, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2011 Hua Hin Film Festival, Bangkok, Thailand
2011 Q! Film Festival, Jakarta, Indonesia
2011 CinemAsia Film Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2012 Melbourne Indonesian Film Festival, Victoria, Australia
2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival, California, United States
Closing Film at the 2012 Balinale International Film Festival, Bali, Indonesia
Opening Film at the 2013 Indonesian Film Mini Festival, Washington D. C., United States
Film critics website Inspire Ground praises Soeriaatmadja's direction in regards to Cahaya and Syaiful's contradicting values for managing to make "both world combined and worked well [...] without having too much fantasy or too depressing." The review singled out Damara's performance as Syaiful/Ipuy, noting that " it was pretty shocking to see [Damara] as a transgender."
In a positive review, Elizabeth Kerr of The Hollywood Reporter also single out Damara's performance; calling it "Damara's show" while adding that "with his square jaw and heavy brow, Damara jettisons excessive mannerisms for little details (playing with his eyelashes, fidgeting with his wig) and stays respectful of Ipuy. He uses words as weapons and comports himself in a way that makes clear the status transgender people hold in the world. When he finally relates to Cahaya as Saiful, his ruggedly handsome features carry a melancholy that speaks to what happens after the film is over. Ipuy is in trouble with some local gangsters and after he sends Cahaya home with a promise never to contact him again, it’s clear how the story truly ends."
The film received many awards and nominations both domestic and international. Donny Damara won rave reviews for his performance as Syaiful/Ipul; resulting in Best Actor accolade from Maya Awards, Asian Film Awards, and the Indonesian Oscar-equivalent Citra Awards. The film has been credited for reviving Damara's career as a film actor.