Jakarta. Multiple production companies in Indonesia and abroad have partnered to produce the upcoming female warrior drama "Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts," by Mouly Surya.
"Marlina" is now a joint project with Indonesia's Cinesurya Pictures and Kaninga Pictures; France’s Shasha & Co Production; Malaysia’s Astro Shaw; Singapore-based video-on-demand service HOOQ; and Thailand’s Purin Pictures.
Rama Adi and Fauzan Zidni of Cinesurya Pictures said all the production companies will share the financial responsibilities for the production, post-production and distribution of the film.
"Having international partners in multiple countries will give us a greater chance to release the film in their respective countries. It's one of the ways to secure distribution of the film," he said.
Shasha & Co Production, Astro Shaw and Purin are film production companies that have shown an interest in co-producing with international filmmakers. Co-producing films have become commonplace in Europe likely due to incentives offered by the European Union.
The interest in international production has gained momentum for filmmakers in Asia as well, who are beginning to see co-production as a new way of reaching out to international markets.
"Most of the time it is not only about the incentives because the experience of working with producers from other countries is really valuable," Fauzan said.
Chief exectuive of Shasha & Co Production, Isabelle Glachant, said in a statement that "Marlina" carries a universal story with elements of a Western film in an Asian setting.
"This combination is executed with a strong personal voice, by a talented director, Mouly Surya. [The combination of] 'Marlina' and Mouly are the best examples of the incredible energy and imagination that comes from Indonesian cinema today,” she said.
Glachant, Najwa Abu Bakar from Astro Shaw and Anocha Suwichakornpong from Purin Pictures said Mouly has a strong presence in Southeast Asian cinema.
As for HOOQ, the partnership marks their second time co-producing an original production, but a first-time venture into Indonesian film.
Chief executive of HOOQ, Peter Bithos, said they previously co-produced a Filipino movie "The Job."
"We are committed to our investments in original productions and will continue to do so. We believe that such stories are what our audience want," he said.
"Marlina," played by Marsha Timothy, follows a young widow from Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara who was attacked and robbed by a gang. Marlina defends herself by killing several men. She then embarks on a journey to seek justice, empowerment and redemption, but the ghost of her headless victim haunts her.
The film is currently in post-production and is expected to be released by the end of 2017.