• Rangga Saptya Mohamad Permana Faculty of Communication Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran
  • Lilis Puspitasari Faculty of Communication Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran
  • Sri Seti Indriani Faculty of Communication Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran
Keywords: Community Film, Filmmakers, National Film Industry, North Sumatra


The national film industry has nowadays come back on its feet after the downfall in the 1990-ies. The resuscitated of the national film industry started from the film ‘Pertualangan Sherina’ and was followed by ‘Ada Apa Dengan Cinta’ that hit the market with 2.700.000 audience. Other films emerged also such as ‘Jelangkung’, ‘Eiffel I’m in Love’ and ‘Arisan’. These films increased the hopes for national films. Non-commercial films had also arisen such as ‘Daun di Atas Bantal’, ‘Pasir Berbisik’, and others. The enthusiastic of independent films arose and gave birth to filmmakers from outside Java Islands especially North Sumatra. Filmmakers from North Sumatra were born and were triggered to make their own independent movies. Though, it had also become a concern for these filmmakers on how they could penetrate their creation into the national film industry. This concern became interesting to be acknowledged on why they hesitated to promote their films to the national arena. It seemed that they viewed that the national film industry was a hard bargain. This researched focused on the perspective of the North Community filmmakers on how they see the national film industry.

This research was conducted in Medan and Berastagi North Sumatera where most filmmakers that were members of the film community of North Sumatera were actively doing film projects. Method used was a qualitative method, with a descriptive-qualitative method. The data collecting technique used were depth interview, documentation study and observation. More than 10 members of the film community North Sumatera were chosen as informants by purposive sampling techniques. This research was aimed to acknowledge on how the filmmakers that are joined in the film community in North Sumatra view the national film industry.

Results found in this research were divided into four categories: 1) Jakarta-centrist, the community thought that most films produced were mostly using part of Betawi language and accent, such as the way that the actors use the words ‘gue’ to identify him/herself and ‘elu’ to identify someone whom he/she was talking to. They rarely used the standard of Indonesian language. Jakarta way of life was also mostly seen in these national films. Films represented mostly a metropolitan way of lifestyle, such as how they interact with people, how they date, how they live. Artifacts like clothes, houses, malls, parks, traffic, and others seen in the films were also identical on things most found in Jakarta. Javanese people, especially from Jakarta, were recruited more in film productions. Even though the themes of films were about the life of people in other cities or towns, they still used actors or crew films from Java Island. Films rarely recruited local people. 2) Partnership with major production houses. Most informants had a belief that if they wanted to have their films shown on the big screens (theaters), they needed to be partners with a big production house which was from Jakarta. In this case, it would not be easy, because they might need to change their storyline as to become a more commercial theme and would need to agree on any interest that the production house requested. 3) The content film must be more Indonesian. This reason arose as informants admitted that Indonesia was not ready for science-fiction themes. Local wisdom stories should be explored more in films. 4) Broadcast rules had not been implemented well. Informants stated that the policy was still centralistic. This issue was seen in local television content and the watch hours.