Indonesia’s First Twitter-Inspired Movie Released Next Month
The idea of producing a movie about social media popped up during a meetup mid last year among filmmaker Agus Kuntz, prominent scriptwriter E.S Ito, and other colleagues from RupaKata Cinema. The movie was initially conceptualized as a conspiracy film, with the story revolving around a social and political critics. However, in an interview with Boleh.com, Kuntz says Republik Twitter is actually going to be a romantic comedy, with a hefty mix of satire and pop culture. The story will be reminiscent of Train Man and Densha Otoko, while tone and mood will be very much like 500 Days of Summer.
“Tweeting is similar to hanging banners in the street. What you write is what other people see,” is one of the taglines of the movie, which started production October last year, lasting 17 days.
The movie capitalizes on the popularity of Twitter in Indonesia, with nearly 40 million users (around 60% of the microblogging service’s total population), which is the biggest amongst Asian countries and more than a billion tweets sent per day. The movie’s trailers are now making the rounds of social media, including its own website, Twitter and Facebook As such, the film has built up considerable expectations among the movie buffs, Twitter users and the online community in the country. Incidentally, Indonesia is likewise the world’s third largest population on Facebook, with 43 million members.
Starring Laura Basuki and Abimana Aryasatya, the movie is about how the online lives of the young generation translates into real world events. It tells the story of how a teenage boy from Jogjakarta meets a woman from Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, in Twitter. The boy decides to visit Jakarta to meet the woman in person, and finds out how different their face-to-face conversations are, as opposed to their virtual discussions. As he believes the woman is far too classy for a guy like him, he looks for help on Twitter. Yes — he turns to Twitter to improve his self-confidence. Torn between right and wrong, the protagonist finally realizes that he has been sucked into the world of social media.
In the same interview with Boleh.com, Kuntz, who has previously been involved in advertising, short and documentary film projects, explains that they have sought permission from Twitter, Inc to use the Twitter brand in their movie title, and approval was given. “As long as it doesn’t show someone’s original account, they are okay with that. Therefore, we created a number of specific accounts intended for the film.”
Movie-goers, especially those who want to know how Twitter has affected and changed daily lives in Indonesia today, can enjoy the movie in Indonesia’s major theaters starting February 16. The movie relates a key message: what happens on Twitter should stay on Twitter.
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