Ari Purnama

Ari PurnamaAri Purnama
Assistant Professor
Department of Cinema Studies

265 PLC



Ph.D., Film Studies, University of Groningen, 2019
M.A., Research Master Literary and Cultural Studies (Film and Television Concentration), University of Groningen, 2011
B.A., Communication Studies, Padjajaran University, 2007

Biography and Research Statement

I'm a Dutch national with Austronesian-Indonesian cultural roots and ethnicity. I am passionate about researching and teaching film but also about filmmaking (both documentary and fiction); therefore, with this triangular engagement in the scholarship, pedagogy, and practice of film, I am proud to consider myself a scholar-practitioner hybrid.

My research and teaching interests revolve primarily on the aesthetics of cinema, Southeast Asian film, and film cultures in the Global South. Specifically, my research focuses on the interaction between film style (the handling of cinematic techniques)—notably cinematography, production design/art direction, acting, and sound design—and culturally specific patterns of communication and psycho-social behavior. I am interested in examining how film style functions and means within a film or across several films (analytical stylistics). At the same time, I am interested in investigating how specific cinematic techniques evolve over a certain period (historical stylistics). Essentially, I am interested in analyzing filmmakers' creative choices and how these choices are enabled and influenced by technology, economy, culture, indigenous artistic traditions, and socio-political constraints.

I am currently working on a monograph entitled Film Style in Indonesian Cinema (1939 – 2017) based on my doctoral research work. Apart from this, I am working on building a cinematographic history of Malay-Singaporean and Indonesian films of the 1950s and 1960s, other known as the Golden Age in the region's post-colonial cinematic history.

Please visit ORCID iD for more information on my research, affiliations, awards, and publications.

Recent Citations – Publications – Professional Work

  • “The Video Compact Disc and the Digital Preservation of Indonesian Cinema.” In Exposing the Film Apparatus: The Film Archive as a Research Laboratory, ed. Giovanna Fossati & Annie van den Oever) Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2016): 141-150.
  • “Syndromes of Indirect Communication: A Functional Analysis of the Static Long-take Technique in Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Feature Films.” Asian Cinema, 26: 2 (2015): 205-222.
  • “Review: Workshop on Indonesian Cinema, Royal Asiatic Society, The Centre for South East Asian Studies at SOAS, University of London, 17-18 October, 2013.” Asian Cinema, 25:1 (2013): 103-108.
  • “A Historical Poetics of Independent Fiction Films from Southeast Asia: Toward A Multidisciplinary, Objects-centered and Historically Sensitive Southeast Asian Film Scholarship.” Proceedings of the 8th Annual Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Hong Kong, “Transformations, Development and Culture in Asia: Multidisciplinary Perspectives,” March 8-9, 2013. Hong Kong, China: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Videographic/Filmic Works

"A Conversation with David Bordwell: Poetics of Cinema, Film Stylistics, and Research Valorization"

  • Type: Documentary; interview; videographic film study
  • Credit: Concept; interview; direction; editing
  • Publication date: October 23, 2013

"It's Not a Building, It's a Smart Building"

  • Type: Promotional film for Sustainable Buildings, a start-up software company specializing in making buildings more energy-efficient (
  • Credit: Story idea; script; acting; direction
  • Client: Sustainable Buildings (Groningen)
  • Publication date: May 19, 2016

"H U M B L I F I E D"

  • Type: Short Film
  • Credit: Writer, producer & director
  • Sponsor: 48 Hour Film Project Leeuwarden
  • Publication date: November 2013, premiered at the 48 Hour Film Project Leeuwarden 

"Our Attachment to Rice"

  • Type: Short Film
  • Credit: Writer, producer & director
  • Sponsor & funder: CinemAsia Film Festival Amsterdam
  • Publication date: April 5, 2012, premiered at the CinemAsia Film Festival
  • Amsterdam 2012 


  • CINE 260 Media Aesthetics
  • CINE 399 Film Style and Technology
  • CINE 410/510 Transnational Cinematography
  • CINE 440/540 Introduction to the Cinemas of Southeast Asia