Though producing music videos, video installations and experimental non-fiction videos, the primary interest of Malkriadu Cinema is to create works of experimental fiction.
The majority of artists both on and off camera are young Timorese. The work is lo-fi and experimental. The aesthetic is surreal pulp.
Our work is consciously lo-fi DIY, for lo-fi work has license to be flawed, strange, bizarre and entertaining in a manner which mainstream cinema cannot. By circumstance our working method is haphazard, guerilla and adaptive. The intention of this model is to promote to an increasingly tech-savvy generation of young artists that there is already the means of making film at hand. If artists develop the ability to create film without expensive equipment, without presenting a message for Government or NGOs, without needing to depend on international support, they will have the means of presenting original stories delivered in an original style. Rather than impose a pre-existing method of production, in which the bulk of artists involved have little to no prior experience, we invent our operating method according to the skills at hand.
We operate on a method which is more suited to the community of artists from which we stem, and is geared to operate in a situation like our one, in which we can’t actually pay people to do the jobs that need doing. The entire operation is run on what we can gain with whatever money we can find. As long as there is petrol, phone credit and food, we are able to make film.
Contemporary film can provide opportunity for new generations of Timorese youth to find voice internationally. We, as a collective, are building the seeds of that voice, and it is a strange surreal voice, Dramatic, romantic, tragic and comic. We are creating a method from whence can come Timor’s future film-makers; independent, confident and versatile.
Simultaneously angry and absurd, Malkriadu Cinema challenges the stereotypes associated with the “third world” which serve to perpetuate the myths of colonialism, in which people of former colonies are incessantly depicted as voiceless victims, impoverished and exotic noble savages, subhuman and under-evolved. Malkriadu Cinema’s work seeks to create an alternative style, an alternative narrative, to promote an alternative perception of Timor internationally.
Hamrook Ba Raan
We’re ankle-deep in a bin full of nappies, rotting fruit and banana leaves. Our vampire is asleep on a motorbike, his head hanging over the back wheel. We’re painting our producer with mud from the sewer because we haven’t got any make up nor another actor. Our sound recordist has abandoned us to do the audio mix at a concert opposite parliament. This is the final scene for the film.
Hamrok ba Raan was made in seven days, from concept to shot, with a forty dollar budget. It has gained a cult following in Timor. It is the only surreal genre film made in the second youngest country on earth.
Hamrok ba Raan was the first in a series of creative collaborations by a predominantly Timorese collective of artists based in Dili. The project served as the groundwork for a system of film-making suited to the unique variety of experience and ability of those involved. The group which formed during the filming has since come to be known as Malkriadu Cinema.