Jakarta. Parfi 56, an organization for Indonesian film actors, celebrated its one-year anniversary on Oct. 24, having conducted various projects for its members and the wider public.
Established in 1956, Parfi was previously known as the Indonesian Screen Actors Association, but rebranded itself last year following the arrest of its chairman for possessing illicit drugs.
Marcella Zalianty, known for her role in horror movie "Tusuk Jelangkung" and for her omnibus "Rectoverso," has helmed the association since, along with Ray Sahetapy, who is now vice chairman, and secretary general Dennis Adhiswara.
Speaking to reporters at Parfi 56’s anniversary celebration on Monday (30/10) at Taman Ismail Marzuki, in Cikini, Central Jakarta, Marcella said that it is not easy to work in an organization whose members have conflicting schedules.
However, Parfi 56 has managed to accomplish much while still in its infancy. For instance, three regional coordinators were selected during the anniversary celebration to assist Parfi 56 members in manners of all kind in South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, and Baubau city in Southeast Sulawesi.
In terms of improving actors’ welfare, Parfi 56 has collaborated with BPJS Ketenagakerjaan for an insurance scheme to cover actors of all ages. Originally, government-provided insurance only covered workers below 56 years of age.
"Actors have no retirement age. You can see senior actor Dedi Sutomo, for instance, whose career is continuing to flourish as he gets older. That’s why we demanded BPJS to remove the age limit for actors, and thank God we secured the deal," Marcella said.
The organization has also given recommendations to the House of Representatives Commission X — which oversees education, sports and history — for the revision of Film Law No. 33/2009 and an upcoming regulation on film that will be issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Marcella refused to disclose the points of recommendations because "everything is still in progress," but one of the key aspects of the changes will center around competency standards for actors' certifications.
Parfi 56 vice secretary general Wanda Hamidah weighed in on the matter, saying that certifications are important to prove actors’ credibility, especially when aiming to go international.
"Imagine if any of our young actors have a callback from Hollywood or other international film industries. They will be asked for their certifications. They will encounter problems if they aren’t certified. We’re here to help them," she said.
She said there have been meetings with government officials to discuss the matter.
"We’ve had discussion forums with the Creative Economy Agency [Bekraf] that lasted for hours and met with the labor minister and home affairs minister. We’re doing this for the future of our actors," she added.
Besides regulatory affairs, Parfi 56 has cooperated with other government bodies and associations in other aspects. The organization, along with KPAI and BNN, launched a joint anti-narcotics, sexual harassment and pornography campaign last year.
In December 2016, it also held a seminar for fellow artists, called "Seni dan Kebudayaan sebagai Esensi Pertahanan Bangsa" ("Arts and Culture as the Essence of the Nation’s Defense") with military chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo as a key speaker.
Privilege for Members
Parfi 56 has made efforts to upskill its members as well as provide them with privileges.
Last September, Marcella and Ray paid a visit to the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) in New York and Los Angeles to learn about maintaining a solid organization and discuss the kinds of regulations needed by Indonesia in the creative industry.
Collaborating with the private sector is also part of the organization's agenda. So far, it has partnered with Cre8 Coworking Space, allowing Parfi’s members to use meeting rooms and event spaces for free. Members can now also use Joumpa, a VIP airport assistance service by Gapura Angkasa, at a discounted rate.
The organization has been equipped with its own Legal Aid Institute (LBH) since May this year. Led by Minola Sebayang, LBH Parfi 56 will provide legal assistance for actors when needed.
Apart from members, Parfi 56 also has programs for the public in the form of events such as acting courses. A recent event featured Ray Sahetapy and Tio Pakusadewo as trainers.
"Acting courses are one of our main programs and are aimed at young people with an interest in acting. It is not just for aspiring actors because the skills can be applied in other professions," Marcella said.
Outside acting, the organization served as one of the initiators for the SiBerkreasi Netizen Fair 2017, an event held on Oct. 27-28 that promoted digital literacy and mindful internet usage.
"Our role as actors is not only to think about our welfare, interests, and success, but also to fight for the rights of other actors out there as well as contribute to the larger part of the society," Marcella said.