No Harry Potter Film for Indonesia
Indonesian moviegoers are facing a bleak year of second-rate foreign releases and lowbrow local productions as Hollywood studios, the government, and movie importers remain locked in a protracted standoff.
Itâ€™s been four months since major Hollywood studios withdrew films from Indonesia, a nation of 237 million people, in opposition to a new levy on imported movies that was meant to protect local filmmakers.
The government earlier this month announced a revised tax it says will bring back Hollywood, but film buffs remain skeptical.
Another big hurdle must be overcome before blockbusters such as â€œHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2â€ hit Indonesian theaters. The government has banned Indonesiaâ€™s largest film distributors from bringing in new Hollywood movies, pending their payment of more than $30 million in unpaid taxes and related penalties. The film importers are challenging that in court.
â€œUntil I see actual [Hollywood] movies running in the cinemas, I wonâ€™t get my hopes up just yet,â€ said Marvel Sutantio, creator of the blog Indonesian Movie Crisis, which blames â€œgreedyâ€ tax and customs officials for the dearth of new releases.