25 June 2011

Film (and filming) to look out for

Hollywood comes to Jakarta! We've encountered film crews in LA and London; now we'll be keeping an eye out for them here.

"The Year of Living Dangerously," which I had idly assumed involved location work in Jakarta, was actually filmed in Australia and the Philippines.

From today's Jakarta Globe:

Action! Hollywood Thriller To Start Filming in Jakarta

Lisa Siregar and Stephen Schaber | June 25, 2011
The filming begins on Saturday. 

Jakarta will become part of Hollywood movie history, with the cast and crew of the psychological thriller “The Philosophers” scheduled to begin filming in the Indonesian capital on Saturday.

Producer George Zakk said he believed the upcoming film — starring “Harry Potter” actress Bonnie Wright and “Master and Commander” supporting actor John D’Arcy — was the first Hollywood feature to be shot entirely in Indonesia.

“We will shoot the entire film [here], not any other place,” Zakk said during a press conference on Friday.

The film will also be shot at locations outside of Jakarta, though it was not disclosed where.

Wright, who played Ginny Weasly in the wizard franchise, said the cast had been in the city for a week “acclimatizing themselves to the local conditions to help them get into character.”

Wright disclosed details about the film on the British TV show “Loose Women” late last month, saying she would play a role quite different from the shy Weasly, Harry Potter’s love interest.

“The character I’m playing is outgoing and very outspoken,” she said. “I’m very excited about that because [Ginny Weasly] was always quiet.”

And the movie, which centers on a philosophy class at an international school, also has a local touch in the casting of pop star Cinta Laura as an Indonesian student.

The director, John Huddles, said multiculturalism was a major theme in the movie.

“There will be students from Turkey, Iran, Australia, Africa, Canada, United States and London [in the class],” he said at the press conference.

According to film and TV Web site Baseline, the plot is about a professor who, on the last day of class, challenges 21 graduating seniors to select 10 peers who should take shelter underground and reboot the human race in the event of a nuclear attack.

Huddles previously directed the 1998 film “At Sachem Farm,” starring Minnie Driver, Rufus Sewell and Nigel Hawthorne.

Local station SCTV has worked with the crew for more than a year to arrange the production in the capital.

Syamsul Lussa, the Tourism Ministry’s director of film affairs, said the shooting of films, such as “The Philosophers” and the big-budget Julia Roberts movie “Eat Pray Love,” was significant to the nation’s economic development and international profile.

“It has the direct impact of increasing tourism and adding jobs to the economy,” he said. “It also gives us more opportunities to showcase the country — its values and culture — which increases the world’s understanding of Indonesia.”

An interesting reader comment:
8:19am Jun 25, 2011

Not an apocalyptic film then, about a city of the future that is enveloped by smog, where all resources are scarce, buildings and roads have fallen into disrepair, streets are strewn with garbage, and rusting cars sit, rotting away, forged together in an immovable gridlock; and where haze covered waterways sit motionless, polluted by tons of plastic, human waste and deadly chemicals; where homeless, destitute and desperate people live in dark corners, hiding from the authorities, scavenging to stay alive, while being chased by packs of rabid dogs. A city where law and order has broken down and gangs of armed urban thugs terrorise the population, even controlling the few government officials who still bother to go into work. A place where crime and corruption flourishes and everything has a price attached to it. And there exist fantasy capsules called 'Mall Lands', where those who still have money, and have not taken all their ill-gotten fortunes and set up new homes in a nearby island state, hide out and luxuriate themselves in gross and meaningless pleasures.


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