Slowly but Surely, Harry Potter Is Coming to Town

The Jakarta Globe

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon now appear on the Coming Soon movie list on the Cinema 21 website. Does this mean Hollywood films are back in Indonesia?

Noorca Massardi, a spokesman for Cinema 21, Indonesia’s biggest cinema chain, told the Jakarta Globe on Saturday in a text message that viewers can check the Cinema 21 website to see which Hollywood movies will be playing soon.

But Djonny Sjafruddin, head of the Indonesian Cinema Companies Union (GPBSI), cautioned that the wait may not be over yet. “Although they have appeared on the list of movies coming soon, that does not mean they will come very soon,” he explained.

“It could be one week, two weeks or even one month before the screening,” he said.

“However, as almost all film importation issues are now solved, especially regarding customs, royalties and income tax, we’re now only dealing with technical issues,” he added.

Djonny said Hollywood films might arrive here in as little as 10 days, but he cannot yet give an exact date.

“Our priority is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, because of high demand from the audience,” he said.

Shafiq, a member of Indo Harry Potter, an online fan community with six thousand members across the country, told the Globe he is sure that Harry Potter will be screened in Indonesia.

“The only question now is when exactly will it be shown? We are really curious about it,” he added.

Although all film importation issues were resolved, Ukus Kuswara, director general of culture, arts and film at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, has not been able to confirm when Hollywood films will return to Indonesian cinemas.

“I have not been able to confirm when Hollywood films can be screened, but we will inform the press once everything is really clear,” he said.

Newly registered film importer Omega Film was given a film import license on May 3, but a freeze was imposed as officials sought to clarify its relationship with Indonesian film giant Cineplex 21.

Cineplex 21 is affiliated with Camila and Satrya, two major film importers banned by the Finance Ministry pending payment of Rp 22 billion ($2.6 million) in back taxes and interest.

Omega was the only company given an import license among the six that applied, as four appeared to have the same address as Omega. It was not clear why the fifth was rejected.

Tourism Minister Jero Wacik has said that the Motion Picture Association of America, the umbrella group for six major Hollywood studios that boycotted Indonesia in February over a royalty dispute, only wants to deal with importers it is familiar with, understood to mean Camila, Satrya and the Cineplex group.

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