The Jakarta Post
Recognition: Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) vice director Osman Semesta Soesilo (right) hands the museum's certificate to "Makmum" movie producer Dheeraj Kalwani (center) on Nov. 19. The film's leading actress Titi Kamal also attended the ceremony in Jakarta. (Courtesy of Dee Company/-)
Indonesian horror movie Makmum has been named the most-viewed Indonesian film in Malaysia in 2018-2019, booking total revenue of 7.15 million Malaysian ringgit (US$1.7 million) in 25 days of screening time since Aug. 15.
To honor the success, producer Dheeraj Kalwani of Dee Company received a certificate from the Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) for outstanding achievement.
"This record proves that Indonesian movies can go global," said MURI vice-director Osman Semesta Soesilo at the awarding event at the Dee Company office in Setiabudi, South Jakarta, on Nov. 19.
Helmed by Hadrah Daeng, the movie was released simultaneously in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.
According to data released by Antenna Entertainment as the film distributor in the three other countries, the revenue booked by the film is a bit lower than Joko Anwar's Pengabdi Setan (Satan's Slave) in 2017 with 7.2 million Malaysian ringgit.
The movie, which is the first horror movie for lead actress Titi Kamal, recorded 825,000 viewers in Indonesia despite public protests that claimed the film would dissuade Muslims from performing their daily prayers alone.
Relatable factor: Indonesian horror movie "Makmum" starring Titi Kamal has become the most-viewed Indonesian film in Malaysia for 2018-2019. (Courtesy of IMDb/-)
An adaptation of the award-winning short movie of the same title by director Riza Pahlevi, Makmum follows Rini (Titi Kamal) who has to deal with an evil spirit that always appears during prayer time.
The title itself is an Arabic word for the congregation that follows the imam (leader) in prayer.
"I previously always refused to get involved in horror films because I was scared of them," said Titi who was surprised that her first horror film received such a good response from the audience.
"I will also appear in the sequel," she added. "And from reading the script, it would seem to be even scarier."
Dheeraj, who was the youngest and the only producer not to come from a family of filmmakers when he started in 2007, felt grateful for the recognition from MURI.
"I've been certain from the start that the movie would be widely accepted because it has relatability for viewers," he said. "This MURI recognition will be my motivation to produce more quality movies."
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