Java Pacific Film (alternatively, Java Pasific Film) was a short-lived film production company that helped make significant contributions to Indonesian cinema in the 1930s.

Background edit

During 1934 and early 1935, all feature films released in the Dutch East Indies had been directed by The Teng Chun, based on Chinese mythology or martial arts, and targeted at low-class audiences, generally ethnic Chinese.[1] This situation was created by the Great Depression, which had led to the Dutch East Indies government collecting higher taxes, advertisers asking for more money, and cinemas selling tickets at lower prices; this ensured that there was a very low profit margin for local films. During this period cinemas in the country mainly showed Hollywood productions.[2]

History edit

Java Pacific Film was founded in 1934 in Bandoeng,[3] in what was then the Dutch East Indies, by Dutch-Indonesian journalist Albert Balink working with the Wong brothers. Balink, who intended to target high-class audiences, had found financial support for the new company, took control, while the Wongs brought a studio and film equipment to the endeavour. The studio, an old tapioca flour factory, featured simple film editing equipment, several buildings to serve as living quarters for the employees, and a veranda surrounded by trees used for editing.[4] The smokestack had the company's initials, JPF, in large letters.[4] Their first production was a documentary about Mount Merapi, entitled De Merapi Dreight (Mount Merapi Looms), in 1934.[5]

Dutch filmmaker Mannus Franken was brought to the country in 1934 to help make the movie Pareh between 1934 and 1936.[6] Franken had previously had success with documentary filmmaking in the Netherlands.[7] The production cost 75,000 gulden, with its star Rd. Mochtar receiving 250 gulden monthly.[8] A commercial flop which bankrupted the producers and company,[9] Pareh is credited with shifting the focus of Indonesian cinema from Chinese productions and subject matter to a more local industry. The film is also praised for its cinematic quality.[10] and its audio.[11][12]

Successor edit

Balink collected funds from numerous sponsors and established the Dutch Indies Film Syndicate (Algemeen Nederlandsch Indisch Filmsyndicaat, or ANIF) in late 1936.[13] This government-owned[14] company involved all major figures from JPF.[15] Working mostly on newsreels and documentaries,[13] in 1937 it produced the commercial success Terang Boelan.[16] In 1938 it released Franken's documentary Tanah Sabrang and in 1940 closed.[17]

References edit

  1. ^ Biran 2009, pp. 380–381.
  2. ^ Biran 2009, p. 145.
  3. ^ "Java Pacific Film bij Film in Nederland". EYE Film Institute Netherlands. Retrieved 24 July 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ a b Biran 2009, p. 156.
  5. ^ Biran 2009, p. 165.
  6. ^ Roberts, Martin (2000). "Indonesia: The Movie". In Hjort Mette (ed.). Cinema and Nation. Scott MacKenzie. Psychology Press. pp. 162–76. ISBN 9780415208635. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  7. ^ Biran 2009, p. 159.
  8. ^ Biran 2009, p. 162.
  9. ^ Biran 2009, pp. 161–62.
  10. ^ Gray, Gordon (2010). Cinema: A Visual Anthropology. Oxford: Berg. ISBN 978-1-84520-793-9.
  11. ^ "Pareh, een rijstlied van Java". Amsterdam: EYE Film Institute Netherlands. 20 October 2011. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
  12. ^ Prayogo, Wisnu Agung (2009). "Sekilas Perkembangan Perfilman di Indonesia" [An Overview of the Development of Film in Indonesia]. Kebijakan Pemerintahan Orde Baru Terhadap Perfilman Indonesia Tahun 1966–1980 [New Order Policy Towards Indonesian Films (1966–1980)] (Bachelour's of History Thesis) (in Indonesian). University of Indonesia.
  13. ^ a b Biran 2009, pp. 165–166.
  14. ^ Sen, Krishna; Hill, David T. (2006). Media, Culture and Politics in Indonesia. Equinox. p. 138. ISBN 9789793780429. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  15. ^ Biran 2009, pp. 167–168.
  16. ^ Slobin, Mark (2008). Global Soundtracks: Worlds of Film Music. Wesleyan UP. p. 217. ISBN 9780819568823. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  17. ^ "Algemeen Nederlandsch Indisch Filmsyndicaat (ANIF)". Jakarta City Government (in Indonesian). Jakarta City Government. Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.

Bibliography edit