Having dozens of achievements in Film Production field is a joy of its own for Giovanni Junius Rustanto, Alumnus to UPH Visual Design Communication cohort 1999. With all the rejection he’s experienced, being proud of his achievements is natural. But Gio – as he is usually called – decided that he’d be consistent, not give up, and stay mentally strong. To him, rejection and mistakes in filmmaking is the number 1 teacher to help him to grow. Nomination after nomination is after Gio, including Top Indie Film Awards, European Film Festival Mainstream and Underground, Go Debut Film Festival, Bucharest Shortcut Cinefest, Asia South East-Short Film Festival, and many more.
If he had to choose, he would say that ‘Maria’, the movie he made with a small budget from joining a workshop at Prague, Czech Republic gains a nomination at Go Debut Film Festival 2018 at Lithuania as the most memorable nomination. At the time, Gio admits that he hasn’t learnt filmmaking in detail as he is still a graduate student at FIOFA, Ohrid, Macedonia – a small school film under FAMU Prague.
Sadly enough, before Gio could finish his studies, the school closed due to the political situation at Prague. Gio didn’t give up – he kept trying and finally got admitted into Columbia University School of The Arts, New York, America – the most prestigious filmmaking school – for a graduate degree in Film specialized Scriptwriting and Directing. After graduating, Gio is now active in multiple projects. Not only is he now a Writer & Director Film Maker, Gio also has a small class called Sinema5 – a place for those who wanted to create a movie, starting from writing the idea, scriptwriting, to the production of the movie focusing on short movie with small budget.
Furthermore, he is now preparing himself to write both short and longer story. Lily of The Valley, an indie short movie was in fact Gio’s first movie. This movie is now distributed to international film festivals and is not exclusive to the Indonesian market. As a professional filmmaker, Gio admits the importance of formal education to prepare one to go into the professional world. This includes how to act professionally when pitching an idea to get funding from investors and even for scenario writing in a format that works or enjoyable in the viewers eye – these things will be taught at formal education.
“As filmmakers or artists, it is normal to break the rules or innovate when creating work in a format or narration that we know worked. But can we innovate without knowing the ground rules? Can we innovate when we don’t have a strong academic foundation in filmmaking itself? I think it’s impossible. That’s why I believe formal education is important,” Gio specify.
Gio was grateful that he’s experienced his undergrad at DKV UPH. Gio believed that UPH have fulfilled the international standard as UPH is the only university that has a complete package in terms of convenience for their students – whether it be the library, environment, lecturers, and staff to be called as a credible university. UPH also commits to teach one according to what they will face in the creative industry, which is under tight deadline. Most importantly for Gio, he believed that UPH has equipped him to think not merely as an innovator, but as an innovator – this thought is what differentiates him as a promising filmmaker.