Last of the big-screen baddies
INDONESIAN cinephiles may be in for a disappointing year. Since February imports of Hollywood films have been on hold, and cinemas are running short of new ones to screen.
The reason is a row over a fairly small amount of tax. Indonesia’s tax authority has started enforcing a long-neglected rule that the royalties on imported films are taxable as well as the physical reels of celluloid. It is demanding 31 billion rupiah ($3.6m) in back taxes for the past two years’ worth of imports.
While the importers appeal against the decision they have stopped bringing new Hollywood blockbusters into the country.
The dispute has brought into the limelight a small but rapidly growing industry that is a vestige of what was once a web of monopolies and cartels that enriched relatives and cronies of the Suharto regime at Indonesians’ expense.