UVU Professor Shares His Cinematic Expertise With Indonesia Universities

UVU Professor Shares His Cinematic Expertise With Indonesia Universities

The world’s fourth-largest country, Indonesia, has a rapidly growing film industry. When it wanted to beef up its education programs for film students, it turned to Alex Nibley, assistant professor of digital cinema at Utah Valley University.

In July, Nibley, a Fulbright Specialist at the Indonesia Film Board, beat out an executive with one of the United States’ largest film studios to fill the program’s three-week residency in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. While there, he taught more than 30 professors in workshops about screenwriting, film production, and film direction. He also worked with the professors to help them create more robust curricula for their film schools.

Nibley said he gained a great appreciation for Indonesia’s incredible diversity. “It has such a rich tapestry of culture, history, and languages. I fell in love,” he said.

He was awakened at 3:30 each morning by Islamic calls to prayer near his hotel. He also reviewed a screenplay centered on a family’s unique journey of grief in Sumatra’s highly matriarchal society.

During his residency, Nibley introduced his Indonesian colleagues to engaged learning, which he implements in his courses at UVU. He explained how he has his screenwriting students work on scripts during the class, along with attending lectures.

“I came back with enormous gratitude for a university that is supportive of experiential learning — it’s part of [UVU’s] DNA,” Nibley said.

Nibley said he is also excited about Indonesia’s huge filmmaking potential and for the country’s rarely told story to be shared with the world.