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Indonesian film industry still faces hurdles, challenges

Masajeng Rahmiasri
Masajeng Rahmiasri

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, March 31, 2017  /  10:03 am
Indonesian film industry still faces hurdles, challenges

One of the discussion's panelists, Iman Brotoseno, director of 3 Srikandi (2016), mentioned a lack of screening times as one of the issues. (Shutterstock/File)

Indonesia's film industry still faces many hurdles and challenges, according to participants of a discussion held on Thursday in Central Jakarta to coincide with National Film Day.

One of the discussion's panelists, Iman Brotoseno, director of 3 Srikandi (2016), mentioned a lack of screening times as one of the issues. “We as filmmakers can keep on making films, that’s easy. But to have a film that we have worked hard on for a year screened for only 4-5 days at the cinemas? How does it feel?” he said at the Indonesian Solidarity Party’s (PSI) headquarters.

Iman suggested the creation of second- and third-class cinemas to rescreen films after they were taken down from big cinemas as one possible solution.

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Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) head Grace Natalie (second left), Iman Brotoseno, Slamet Rahardjo and Angga Dwimas Sasongko take part in a discussion about film at the PSI headquarters in Central Jakarta on March 30.(JP/Masajeng Rahmiasri)

Meanwhile, Angga Dwimas Sasongko, director of 2016's Surat dari Praha (Letters from Prague) and 2015's Filosofi Kopi (Coffee Philosophy) suggested that weak enforcement of copyright laws, a low appreciation for art and the fact that taxes paid by filmmakers did not contribute to funding the industry were some of the problems he had experienced firsthand. “These issues can only be resolved if the government is able to answer whether filmmaking is an important sector or not,” he added.

Senior actor and director Slamet Rahardjo agreed with Angga, saying that the government should “see film as an important cultural tool.” “We should learn from America; about how their government is serious in making film a political and cultural weapon."

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“If Hollywood films are great, that is because the US government has the will to make it a powerful [cultural and political] tool to take over the world," Slamet added.

He also emphasized the importance of unity between Indonesian filmmakers to create a developed film industry and the utilization of films screenings as an opportunity for discussion. "Discussion activities after screenings could benefit the audience more as they would gain more knowledge about the films." (kes)

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