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Indonesia’s Badan Ekonomi Kreatif (Creative Economy Agency), or Bekraf for short, has visited Pixar Animation Studios on October 29, along with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s visit to the United States. As quoted by the Jakarta Post, the head of Bekraf, Triawan Munaf, said on Tuesday (November 3) that the studio is interested in producing an animated movie based on Indonesian traditional story.

John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Pixar, asked Triawan’s agency to prepare Indonesian folktales to be submitted to Pixar, which would then be selected to be told as an animated film. In response to that, Triawan said that Bekraf will be curating a folklore collection to be submitted in March next year as the agency’s initial project.

“The project is important for putting Indonesian wisdom and culture on the global stage” Triawan said. He also hoped that the project would strengthen the country’s image in the international stage, as well as providing learning opportunities for Indonesian animators and movie creators by taking significant roles in the project.

Pixar was founded by John Lasseter, Ed Catmull, George Lucas and Steve Jobs in 1986. The studio released Toy Story in 1995, the first feature-length fully computer generated animation which transformed the animated movie industry in the United States. In 2006, Pixar was bought by the entertainment giant Disney, which previously has been Pixar’s important partner.

Recently, Pixar has announced a slate of upcoming releases, one of which is a movie titled Coco, a film centered on the Mexican cultural festival Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). This could be a precedent for Pixar to develop more films with diverse influences from the cultures of foreign countries, including from Indonesian folktales.

The Bekraf is a non-ministry government agency of Indonesia that aims to improve the contributions of the creative industries sector to Indonesia’s economy. This agency is formed by President Joko Widodo and took over the responsibility that has previously been held by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (now Ministry of Tourism). The sub-sectors of creative industries that will be handled by the Bekraf includes application and game development, architecture and interior design, visual communication design, product design, fashion, film, animation, and video, photography, handicrafts, culinary, music, publishing, advertising, performing arts, visual arts, as well as television and radio.

Formed in January 2015 with entertainment industry expert Triawan Munaf as its head, the Bekraf initially slated to report directly to the president. However, a more recent Presidential Decree changed it so that the Bekraf now reports to the president through the Minister for Tourism. The Bekraf is also yet to have a permanent office.

The Indonesian Anime Times

2 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting. I hope they do produce a movie based on Indonesian tales – maybe our own people would then appreciate our neglected cultures more. Still kind of sad that other people care more about our cultures and traditions than ourselves.

    • Well, our state agency will be providing research in gathering the tales that would be recommended for adaptation. Though, considering that such topic might be the domain of the Ministry of Education and Culture, I’m wondering how the Agency and the Ministry would be conducting cross-institutional cooperation on this (sectoral ego can be quite a hindrance).

      On the other hand though, improving diversity is something that has a growing significance in US entertainment lately, stemming from criticisms that Western popular culture tend be biased to a white men-centered world view. So, there are initiatives to promote depictions of people from other races and taking influences from other nations’ cultures. It is also part of the ability of American popular culture to broaden their appeal, by adapting elements from other nations’ cultures into their own.

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