Baliprod brings you all the film production facts and benefits of filming in Indonesia.
Indonesia is already becoming an increasingly popular film production hotspot, establishing a good reputation in the film industry and a well deserved title as a filming location of choice.
Overview and Film Productions
Located in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, with 17,000 islands and over 600 ethnic groups with 700 spoken languages.
Spread between the Indian and Pacific oceans, this part of the world is full of endless film locations and film production opportunities, Indonesia is extremely versatile in terms of what it has to offer with a multitude of incredible ranges of geography, rich culture, architecture and biodiversity.
The diverse filming sceneries in Indonesia include the world-renown tropical island getaway destination of Bali, the pink beaches of Labuan Bajo, and the glamorous bustling city of Jakarta.
It is also home to various unique to Indonesia wildlife, including the Komodo dragons, Kalimantan orangutans, Manta Rays and Cendrawasih also known as “the birds of paradise” all cohabiting in the land of filming opportunities.
The better question is, why not Indonesia?
Combined with low film production costs and endless film production location options, talents and world-class crew readily available to service you for all elements that are involved with film and television productions, Indonesia is quickly becoming the new “has-it-all” production hotspot.
Here’s a quick low down on why Indonesia should be your next filming location:
Think temples, volcanoes, rice fields, palatial ruins, bridges, airports, highways, sky scrapers, colonial buildings, royal water gardens, beaches with every possible color of sand you can think of, lush tropical rainforests, a vast amount of tribal villages, and deep blue oceans. While many might assume Indonesia is all jungles and beaches (of which there are plenty), Indonesia is filled with a wide range of different types of architecture, infrastructure, big and small cities and towns that can be mirrored as backdrops from all over the world, for a fraction of the price of their filming rates. Indonesia challenges the competition offered from other parts of the world, providing an abundance of versatile landscapes and culture-rich scenes for you to tell your story.
Interesting Information – did you know there are snowy mountains in Indonesia?!
Post independence within Indonesia, we have seen the development of new designs for postmodern and contemporary architecture, such as the Suramadu bridge that bares a striking resemblance to the San Francisco bridge, The Jakarta International Stadium (the second largest retractable roof stadium in the world) being a fierce competitor of the AT&T stadium in Texas, or the ultra-modern Soekarno Hatta International Airport in the capital city, Jakarta.
“Ultra-decorative ornaments and colonial design subsided and were replaced with modern and postmodern colours, creating a booming growth of urban and contemporary construction that shapes Indonesia’s city’s skyline today.” (Indonesia Design)
02. Film Production – Indonesia
In 2015, Indonesian President Joko Widodo declared an initiative to boost Indonesia’s “creative economy” and has since lifted all prior restrictions on foreign investment in local film production.
What does this mean for you?
Well, it’s a big huge bonus.
With this initiative, Indonesia is open and welcoming foreign filming activity and investments to take place which means permits are so much easier to obtain than they were in the past!
This creative investment initiative provoked international corporations to start investing in Indonesia’s movie productions, from South Korea’s Lotte Cinema Co. Ltd. to Hollywood’s Twentieth Century Fox.
Then in 2018, “Wiro Sableng 212” became the first collaboration between Fox and a local Indonesian film production house.
Additionally, Disney and Warner Media both have ambitious plans for Indonesia, including production of local-language content.
Disney’s Asia Pacific president, Luke Kang, highlighted Indonesia as a strong contender for a film studio and said strong regional content offering would be added to its Indonesian production service soon.
“Right now, Indonesia is a big consumer of Japanese and Korean content, so we’re excited to bring our investments in those markets to Southeast Asia,” Kang.
03. Perfect Filming Weather (Almost) Year-Round
With the first light at around 5:30 am and sun setting near 7 pm, Indonesia has 12+ hours of daylight. Which means you can get the most out of the day, with the ability to film for much longer than you are able to in other countries.
04. Diverse Talent Pool
Indonesia, particularly Jakarta and Bali, has one of the most unique talent pools in the world and is completely spoiled with diverse cultural backgrounds living in the country.
Every area in the country has a multitude of ethnicities.
Whether you are planning to shoot a scene from Hawaii and searching for talent with sunkissed complexions and pan-asian features or a scene from Scandinavia with talents with lighter complexions and blonde hair, we have a long list of talents available directly from our own talent pool and modeling agency Bali Model Agency.
Famous Film Productions in Indonesia
Here’s a short list with some internationally recognized film productions that have been shot here in Indonesia over the years.
King Kong 2005 – North Sumatra Province
This beloved classic was shot on Mursala Island, South Tapanuli in North Sumatra Indonesia.
Eat, Pray, Love 2010 – Ubud Village, Bali Province
This romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts was filmed in Ubud, Bali showcasing the famous rich verdant rice fields the area is best known for.
Anaconda: The Hunt of Blood Orchid 2004 – Mangrove Forest, Borneo
The thriller released in 2004 took place in the mystical Mangrove Forests of Borneo,Kalimantan.
Savages 2012 – Moyo Island, West Nusa Tenggara Province
Buffalo Boys 2018 – Java, Indonesia
Buffalo Boys is a 2018 Indonesian–Singaporean action Western film directed by Mike Wiluan. The film had its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal on 14 July 2018,and was released theatrically in Indonesia on 19 July. It was selected by Singapore as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
Marco Polo 2014
A Netflix TV series following the story of Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo journeys across Europe and Asia.
Gossip Girl (Indonesia) 2020 – Jakarta, Indonesia
Adapted from the american television series Gossip Girl, Gossip Girl Indonesia is an Indonesian teen drama streaming television series developed by Nia Dinata for GoPlay.
Pretty Little Liars (Indonesia) 2020 – Jakarta, Indonesia
Adapted from the american television series by Marlene King, Pretty Little Liars is an Indonesian teen drama streaming television series directed by Emil Heraldi for Viu.
News and Events in Indonesia
Along with film production, large internationally recognized events with large scale to small scale production in Indonesia include:
Pertamina Grand Prix 
The Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit is located in the Mandalika area of Nusa Tenggara Barat which has been declared as one of the top 5 super priority destinations in Indonesian (aside from Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Likupang in North Sulawesi, Borobudur in Central Java, and Labuan Bajo in Flores Island – East Nusa Tenggara).
Indonesia is a hub for motorcycle enthusiasts and all things automotive. It’s one of the highest motorbike uses in the world with 112 million units used daily and numerous locations to explore, Indonesia serves as the perfect setting for automotive commercials.
G20 SUMMIT 
The Group of Twenty, also known as the G20 summit is an international collective consisting of the world’s major established and emerging economies. The G20 summit will be held in the convention centers in Nusa Dua, Bali. Furthermore, 16 starred hotels and 3 luxury villas with exclusive services and facilities will be accommodating around 21,000 delegates.
Jakarta International ePrix Circuit
The upcoming Jakarta International ePrix located in the capital city of Indonesia would be the first ePrix held in Indonesia and has been reported to be kept permanent for other automotive events in the future.
Location Scouting in Indonesia
As a rapidly emerging market for global film locations, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world stretching over 5,000 km. It can be doubled as any visual location and time period sought after.
From lush tropical rainforests and active volcanoes to snow-covered mountains and long stretches of desert sand dunes, there are endless location options within the country that are readily available for you to create and tell the story you need to be told.
The largest of the islands are Kalimantan, Java, and Sulawesi.
On the island of Sumatra, working plantations with 1900 colonial structures can still be found. The Bukit Barisan Mountain range and Gunung Leuser National park have the most spectacular mountain and equatorial forests in Asia and are home to most of Sumatra’s extensive range of mammals including orangutans, tigers, tapirs and rhinoceroses, and roughly 500 bird species.
Java is an island overflowing with panoramas shrouded by rice fields, palm forests and volcanoes. It is home to Borobudur Temple (built 780-850) – the world’s largest Buddhist monument – situated on a hill on the Kedy Plain, 42 km to the west of Yogyakarta.
The area is best known for the hundreds of stone monuments from the early classic period of Javanese civilization. And to the east is Mount Bromo’s sheer green cliff face which encloses a black sea of sand.
Four small peaks rise to the center of the floor of the caldera, and three of these are lushly overgrown. The fourth and best known is a smoldering mound of ash and ciders.
Kalimantan is claimed to be one of the last great wilderness regions on the planet and (Borneo) is inhabited by 11 million tribal people and wild orangutans.
Surrounded by vast rainforests and enormous mineral wealth, Kalimantan is also home to the city of Banjarmasin otherwise known as “The Venice of the East” where the main mode of transportation is by canoe.
Sumatra has one of Indonesia’s richest oil fields, coalfields and deposits of gold and silver. Most of Indonesia’s rubber and coffee are grown on the island as well as pepper, tea, sugarcanes and oil palms.
It is home to one of the most untouched tribes in the world, the Sumatran pygmy tribe, as well as the biggest crater lake in the world, the majestic Lake Toba.
Filming Permits in Indonesia
With International borders reopening and the quarantine period lifted, there is no better time to shoot your production in Indonesia than now.
At the Cannes Film Festival 2021 it was revealed that Southeast Asian content producer and financier, United Media Asia (UMA), partnered with Hollywood agency CAA Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 2020, plans to build a large-scale film and TV production facility in Bali, Indonesia.
Furthermore, Indonesia’s entertainment market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, if not the fastest, and UMA is strategically positioned to capitalize on the increasing global appetite for local content.
The news is welcomed by Indonesia’s minister of tourism and creative economy, “I am very excited to see UMA’s effort to build and cultivate Bali as a world-class hub for international content.”
The government can see a clear link between filming and tourism, giving positive privileges to make the filming processes as easy as possible.
Our local partners
With our long-standing, deep cultural ties and relationships with the government and communities, we are part of the community here, and make huge efforts to engage with the local community about the logistics of the area and ensure the community will benefit from your project.
Check out our CSR page for our ethos and beliefs.
Working closely alongside the local community means that obtaining film permits is a much simpler process.
Baliprod can help handle all legal logistics including work visas, film permits and location permits for your production.
Crew and Infrastructure
We have professional expert crews with local creatives, that time and time again prove invaluable to film productions. Our production teams are highly skilled to an international standard and can service even the most demanding productions.
With the growth of internationally established film houses operating within the country, equipped with their own set of fully trained staff and high quality, industry standard equipment, we are able to create any type of production (big or small), for a fraction of the price!
Baliprod has a long list of awesome directors and cinematographers who have worked with us over the years.
We are really proud to have a diverse work power house from all over the world, who have worked in all types of advertising from cars, to storytelling, feature films. They all have their own individual creativity that they bring to a production!
Each production feels like working with family.
Travel and Logistics
Indonesia is both internationally and domestically connected, with 29 international airports within the country meaning that you can enter Indonesia easily no matter where you are in the world.
Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia’s state-owned airline, operates to and from Asian destinations including China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, Australia, Middle Eastern destinations such as Saudi Arabia and Dubai and has recommenced services to Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Baliprod has strong ties with the local immigration and can provide a full-service for all your travel requirements.
Main International Airports:
Soekarno Hatta International Airport – Jakarta, Indonesia
45 airlines and 65 destinations
Ngurah Rai International Airport – Bali, Indonesia
33 airlines and 42 destinations
Juanda International Airport – Surabaya,Indonesia
17 airlines and 25 destinations
Hasanuddin International Airport – Ujung Pandang, Celebes Island
8 airlines and 26 destinations
Furthermore, most main cities within the country are extremely modernized and have excellent road and rail infrastructures along with international standard sea transportations if you were to require sea travel.
Now you know why Indonesia should be at the top of your list for your next production
So whether you’re searching for tropical terrains or snow-covered mountains, talent from Europe, Asia or the Middle East. Professional film crew and equipment to attend to your every need, and a straight-forward permit process ALL within a fraction of the budget, Indonesia is the answer to your production needs.
Get in touch with Josh, our Executive Producer, he loves a chat, talking about all things production related.