Indonesian Films Need More Screens Outside Java: Manoj Punjabi

Manoj Punjabi (center) at the press conference in Jakarta on Tuesday (9/2). (Photo courtesy of APROFI)

By : Lisa Siregar | on 11:02 AM February 10, 2016
Category : Life & Style, Movies

Jakarta. Producer Manoj Punjabi is among Indonesia's outspoken filmmakers who urged the government to allow foreign investment for local cinemas and film production on Tuesday (09/02).

Manoj said the real market for Indonesian films is located outside the capital city. His latest romantic comedy "Talak Tiga" ("The Final Divorce"), directed by Hanung Bramantyo and Ismail Basbeth, attracted more than 194,000 viewers after five days in the cinemas.

"Jakarta is okay, but some of the strongest areas for our movie are Cikarang, Bekasi, Karawang [all in West Java], Yogyakarta, Solo [Central Java] and Makassar [South Sulawesi]," he said.

He has launched advertisements on television, as well as roadshows to promote the movie, but said he wishes the movie could be shown on more screens.

"Talak Tiga" opened to 85 screens in all 21  Cineplex cinemas in Indonesia, as opposed to his target of a minimum 110 screens.

"I am disappointed. I wasn't asking for 200 screens, because this movie wouldn't get two million viewers, and I think 110 screens seem to be fair enough for our movie. I think we could get 800,000, up to a million viewers. Based on my calculation, we lost 50,000 t0 60,000 viewers in the past five days," he said.

"If only we could get 15 or 20 extra screens, I'm sure there would be people coming to see [the movie]. We approximately get 400 viewers in each cinema, which is great."

On the contrary, CGV Blitz under the new South Korea-owned CJ management, showed the movie in five studios at its Karawang site alone. For Manoj, this is proof that foreign capital does not always have to be feared for crushing off local production.

"We need to change the mindset that foreign investment is bad for our industry," he said. "We shouldn't fear competition."

"Talak Tiga" uses comedy to explore divorce in Islam and stars mega stars Vino G. Bastian, Reza Rahadian and Laudya Cynthia Bella. It is currently showing in theaters.

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