Cinema of Indonesia: Wikis


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Southeast Asian cinema

The cinema of Indonesia has a long history but at present is a small, struggling industry.




Colonial era

The first film made in Indonesia was the 1926 silent film, Loetoeng Kasaroeng, by Dutch directors G. Kruger and L. Heuveldorp. It was made with local actors by the NV Java Film Company in Bandung and premiered on December 31, 1926 at the Elite and Majestic Theatres in Bandung.[1] Since then, more than 2,200 feature films have been produced. After its genesis during the Dutch colonial era, the Indonesian film industry was supported by the Japanese occupiers during the Second World War as a propaganda tool.

After independence

After independence, the Sukarno government used it for nationalistic, anti-Western purposes. Foreign film imports were banned. After the overthrow of Sukarno by Suharto's New Order regime, films were regulated through a censorship code that aimed to maintain the social order.[2] Usmar Ismail, a director from West Sumatra made a major imprint in Indonesian film in the 1950s and 1960s.


The industry reached its peak in the 1980s, with such successful films as Naga Bonar (1987) and Catatan Si Boy (1989). Warkop's comedy films, directed by Arizal also proved to be successful. The industry has also found appeal among teens with such fare as Pintar-pintar Bodoh (1982), and Maju Kena Mundur Kena (1984). Actors during this era included Deddy Mizwar, Eva Arnaz, Lidya Kandou, Onky Alexander, Meriam Bellina, Rano Karno, and Paramitha Rusady.[3]


However, by the 1990s imports of foreign films resumed, and the artistic quality of Indonesian films was reduced due to competition, especially from the US and Hong Kong. The number of movies produced decreased significantly, from 115 movies in 1990 to just 37 in 1993.[4] Rampant counterfeiting and television also contributed to the degradation of Indonesian cinema. In decade, Indonesian cinema dominated by serial electronic cinema (sinetron). Multivision Plus under Raam Punjabi controlled, one of many cinema companies who produced sinetron. The majority of films produced were exploitive, adult-themed B-movies shown in budget cinemas and outdoor screenings or direct-to-video or television.[3].


However, under the Reformasi movement of the post-Suharto era, independent filmmaking has seen a rebirth and films that address such previously prohibited topics as politics, race, religion, class conflict and sexuality are being made.[2]

Recent notable films include What's Up with Love? directed by Rudi Soedjarwo in 2002, Eliana Eliana, directed by Riri Riza, and Arisan! starring Tora Sudiro, which was released in 2005, Beauty and Warrior, Indonesia's first animated feature film was released. That same year Gie (dir. Riri Riza), a biopic of Indonesian activist Soe Hok Gie, was released.

The release of Ayat-ayat Cinta (Verses of Love), directed by Hanung Bramantyo has attracted one segment of audience like never happened before. The melodramatic story did not give many new approach to cinematic storytelling but the crossover between Islam and modern-romance story has succeeded in getting Moslem around the country to lure the cinemas.[5].

In 2009, Infinite FrameWorks released their first full-length animation movie, Sing to the Dawn (Meraih Mimpi in Indonesia). The movie itself is almost Indonesian-made since some of top members are foreigners. However, all artists and dubbers are Indonesian and most of the dubbers are top celebrities (like Gita Gutawa, Surya Saputra, Patton, etc).

Film festivals

The major film festival of Indonesia is the Jakarta International Film Festival (JiFFest) held every year in December since 1998. The eighth festival began on the December 8, 2006 with Babel, a film starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. The 9th JiFFest will be held on December 7 - 16, 2007.

Jakarta will also be hosting an International event, the 52nd Asia Pacific Film Festival (APFF) this coming November 18 - 22, 2008. Twenty one country members of the Asian Film Producers Federation(APF) actively participated in the last APFF will be sending Films to compete and coming to Jakarta and hopefully receive one of the many various prestigious awards.

Another event is the Indonesian Film Festival (Festival Film Indonesia/FFI), which has been held intermittently since 1955. From 1973 to 1992, the festival was held annually and then discontinued until it was revived in 2004. It hosts a competition, which hands out the Citra Award.

In early 2007, some filmmakers protested FFI when one film titled Ekskul was granted the Citra Award for Best Picture. The film was alleged to borrow music from other films (including Taegugki, Munich among others) without proper licensing. The filmmakers who protested returned back their Citra awards that they have received from previous festivals and established Masyarakat Film Indonesia (MFI - Indonesian Film Society) to promote and conduct reform in Indonesian Film Industry, including eliminating regulation on censorship on film.

Notable films


Notable actors include:


Nurman Hakim (left) and Nan Achnas (right) during Vesoul international film festival of Asian cinema, 2009

Notable film directors include:

Movie theaters

The largest movie theater chain in Indonesia is 21 Cineplex, which has cinemas spread throughout twenty-four cities on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Bali and Sulawesi. However, many smaller independent cinemas also exist. Another movie theater chain is the recently-opened Blitzmegaplex, which operates three cineplexes in Jakarta and one in Bandung. Their flagship cineplex, the Blitz Megaplex Grand Indonesia in Jakarta, is dubbed Indonesia's largest cineplex by the MURI (Indonesian Record Museum).


  • A to Z about Indonesian Film, Ekky Imanjaya (Bandung: Mizan, 2006).
  • Katalog Film Indonesia 1926-2005, JB Kristanto (Jakarta: Nalar, 2006). ISBN 9 79993953 4

See also


  1. ^ Robertson, Patrick (September 1993). The Guinness Book of Movie Facts & Feats. Abbeville Press. ISBN 1558596976.  
  2. ^ a b Sen, Krishna; Giecko, Anne Tereska (editor) (2006). Contemporary Asian Cinema, Indonesia: Screening a Nation in the Post-New Order. Oxford/New York: Berg. pp. 96–107. ISBN 1845202376.  
  3. ^ a b Kompas
  4. ^ Kondisi Perfilman di Indonesia
  5. ^ KOMPAS Cetak : Pertemuan Baru Islam dan Cinta

External links


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