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Cultural protectionism and Big Brother in Indonesian film making law

Source: http://www.indonesiamatters.com/6287/uu-perfilman/

Cultural protectionism and Big Brother in Indonesian film making law, the UU Perfilman.

The highly controversial new bill on Film was passed into law (UU Perfilman) by the parliament on September 8th. These are the articles in the law most commented upon:

  • Article 6: Prohibition of depictions of drug use, violence, gambling, as well as pornography, insulting of religion, and provocative, hateful content.
  • Article 7: Prohibition of the screening of films aimed at over 21 audiences in non-cinema locations or open spaces.
  • Article 18: Film makers are required to inform the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the title, story outline and production plan of any prospective film. The Minister will not approve productions that have the same title and/or story as existing films. There is no charge for this process. If approval is granted film production must begin within three months.
  • Article 32: Cinemas must show 60% local content (of course meaning foreign films may only be shown 40% of the time).
  • Article 42: Foreign films which do not uphold correct religious, ethical, moral, and national cultural values are to be prohibited from import.
  • Article 49 & 51: Films and those who work in the film industry are to uphold correct religious, ethical, moral, and national cultural values.
  • Article 53: Regional governments are responsible for enforcing, developing and implementing locally based film policies, in accordance with national law.

Typical of the many derisory and hostile reactions to the law among performers and film producers came from old acting hand Deddy Mizwar, who cried

This country is doomed, this country is doomed!

while threatening to retire as chairman of the National Film Board (Badan Pertimbangan Perfilman Nasional) in protest.

Culture & Tourism minister Jero Wacik defended the bill in nationalistic terms, saying the Indonesian film industry would be boosted immeasurably by Article 32, the 60% local content rule at cinemas.

The Perfilman law can be viewed on Google Docs, as can the old 1992 law.

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