Following the dark days of the 1990s, the Indonesian film industry has experienced a revival, with production increasing to an average of 120 films per year over the past decade.
With a huge local market and growing production power, the Indonesian film industry has enormous potential. The domestic industry is largely dominated by horror, teen romance, and Islamic films. At the same time, Indonesian films, directors, actors, and industry professionals are becoming more well known around the world, in part because of a more integrated global distribution network and web-based streaming services like Netflix. The international success of The Raid: Redemption put actors Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim on Hollywood’s radar, and this increased attention has resulted in greater international interest in collaborations and co-productions.
What is the true potential of Indonesian films? Could Indonesia cinema be used as a soft-power tool? What market trends will define the growth of the industry over the coming years?
To discuss recent trends in the Indonesian film industry, I spoke to Associate Professor Thomas Barker, head of film and television at the University of Nottingham Malaysia. His book, Indonesian Cinema after the New Order: Going Mainstream will be published by Hong Kong University Press later this year.
In 2019, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Charlotte Setijadi from Singapore Management University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Deakin University, and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.
Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.