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As Indonesian cinema goes global, subtitlers remain behind the scenes

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta  /  Sun, August 11, 2019  /  09:08 pm
As Indonesian cinema goes global, subtitlers remain behind the scenes

Movie industry representatives join a panel discussion on subtitling at Erasmus Huis in South Jakarta on Saturday. (JP/Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak)

As Indonesian film gets more attention from movie buffs worldwide, so does the need for quality subtitling. The term quality here implies that the subtitle not only translates what is spoken in an accurate and easy-to-read way, but that it also aptly conveys the emotions of the characters and the nuances of the whole movie. That requires skill and extensive experience from the subtitler, but also enough time to complete the task. “In our case, subtitling is often the last thing [on people’s] mind,” said Rizal Iwan, a subtitler whose latest works include Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, which was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and screened in the US and Canada last year. Rizal said that, even though the goal of subtitling was to remain invisible to the viewer so as not to distract from the experience of the move, the job should not be underestim...