From left, Fara Fauzana, Ivy Batuta, Zakiah Malek, Cisca Becker and Ajeng Hendarmin on the red carpet at the live Oscars screening at Four Seasons Hotel in South Jakarta on Monday (27/02). (JG Photo/Lisa Siregar)

In Jakarta, the Oscars Celebration Is an Early Morning Affair


FEBRUARY 28, 2017

Jakarta. In Hollywood, the 2017 Academy Awards took place on Sunday night (26/02) and lasted until just over midnight. For audiences in Jakarta, however, the Oscars celebration was an early Monday morning affair.

In previous years, the Monday broadcast event of the Oscars was often a casual occasion at a local movie theater for invited guests who would take a half day off from work to watch the awards ceremony in real time. This year, television network HBO upped the ante.

On Monday morning, the ballroom at Four Seasons Hotel in South Jakarta began receiving guests, all dressed in formal suits and gowns, as early as 6 a.m. for an Oscars gala, Asia edition.

Stars such as Rio Dewanto, Nina Tamam, Aimee Saras, Ferry Salim and Rizna Nyctagina arrived for breakfast and brunch at the hotel, which served guests throughout the course of the broadcast.

Zakiah Malek, vice president of affiliate sales at HBO Asia, said that various venues in Kuala Lumpur had previously played host to an annual red carpet gala for the Oscars viewing party for the past three years.

"This is the first time we're doing this big event in Indonesia, but I was assured that many big-name celebrities will be here. When we were hosting the party in Malaysia, most of [celebrities] woke up earlier than [6 a.m.] to do their makeup, but amazingly they are here," she said.

At first, Malek said there were concerns about the early starting time of the event and the risk of heavy traffic on Monday morning, but the spare two hours before the awarding ceremony, which started at 8 a.m., was enough time for guests to enjoy their croissants and coffee.

Malek said the ballroom space only became available after midnight on Monday morning, so that preparations were completed only hours before the event kicked off at 6.30 a.m.

Presenter Ivy Batuta, a member of the travel video blog Tiga Mami Kece, hosted the Monday event, claiming that she had begun booking stylists and makeup artists weeks in advance. By 6.30 a.m., all three members of the ensemble graced the red carpet at the Four Seasons ballroom, dressed in attention-grabbing jewelry and floor-sweeping black gowns.

"They booked us a room at this hotel in advance, so luckily there was no traffic jam to deal with. Each of us had our own stylist... I began my makeup at 5 a.m. and was finished only an hour later," Ivy said. "My dress is from the designer Monique Lhuillier. This one is from an old collection though."

Ivy said there was no special trick in hosting the incredibly early event other than keeping up with current, Oscar-related news. Weeks prior to the event, she had been discussing Oscar-nominated films with Sisca Becker and Ajeng Hendarmin, the two remaining members of Tiga Mami Kece.

"We could only talk in between pauses from the Oscars host [Jimmy Kimmel], performers and presenters. We wanted to make funny remarks and keep the mood light," she said.

HBO Asia will rerun the Oscars on Wednesday at 9.35 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Jakarta local time.

The 2017 Academy Awards were initially broadcast on the television network ABC in the United States. Reuters reported that the awards show drew its smallest audience since 2008, numbering 32.9 million viewers, despite the fumbled best-picture awarding near the end of the show.