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Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago. Stretching over 5,000km, there is very little visual background, action or era that cannot be provided for somewhere among Indonesia's 18,110 islands. In this vast, geographically and culturally diverse country, scenes can be set amid literally one of a thousand temples, a trail of extinct and active volcanoes, among ancient and stunningly terraced rice fields, palatial ruins, colonial buildings, royal water gardens, deserted pink, gold and black sand beach islands, lush tropical rainforests packed with unique flora and fauna, tribal villages, ocean cliffs or stone cities.

Combined with low production costs and BFC's ability to get results with a pool of talented and creative people readily available to service the needs of serious film and television producers makes the country an attractive and economical location for filming. Large numbers of extras are available on short notice from 350 different ethnic groups, including people of Polynesian, Central Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Papuan, Melanesian, Aboriginal, Portuguese and Dutch descent, with a large expatriate population from across the globe.


Productions shot in Indonesia include Savages (2013), The Philosophers (2013), Java Heat (2013), Eat Pray Love (2013) and Berandal (2014)


The required documents must be completed and submitted to your local Indonesian Embassy or Consulate. Once the paperwork is submitted, the Bali Film Center office is able to expedite the procedure for issuing the National and Local Provincial Film Permits within 14-21 days. All foreign producers wanting to shoot film/video (either dramatic, non-theatrical, documentary, advertisement or promotional) are required by law to obtain a shooting permit. An application for film/video production must include the following and be submitted at least one month prior to shooting to a local Indonesian Embassy or Consulate:- a letter of request to film on production company letterhead; working title of film/video production; date and complete schedule of shooting; locations and objects to be included in the film/video; synopsis/scenario/script; list of crew and talent names, with passport copies (valid a minimum of six months) plus curriculum vitae for each; equipment list, including serial numbers, value and weight.

An official government escort is required to accompany the crew during all filming and all related expenses including transportation, meals and accommodations are to be borne by the producer. It is the responsibility of the production company to have all permits and documentation with them at all times, failure to do so could result in penalties.

Crew members require a Visiting Journalist visa from an Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Consulate, or representative office and the passport must be valid for six months for entry into Indonesia. Talent (Film) visitors require a Limited Stay visa. For this the requirements are: an application letter and guarantee letter with complete identity of sponsor in Indonesia; curriculum vitae if applicant; photocopy passport with minimum expiry date of 18 months; two 4cm x 6cm colour photographs; recommendation letter from Department of Information and Telematika, Bali. For performers other than Film Artists, a recommendation letter from Department of Tourism, Bali; recommendation letter from Department of Labor, Bali; application letter sent by sponsor to Department of Immigration (Jakarta).


As an emerging market for film locations, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world stretching over 5,000km, so there is very little visual background that cannot be provided for somewhere among the its 18,110 islands. The largest of the islands are Sumatra, 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 about 500 bird species.

Kalimantan (Borneo) is truly one of the last great wilderness regions on the planet. A huge, sparsely populated landmass known as the "River of Diamonds" with vast rainforests and enormous mineral wealth, Kalimantan is home to approximately 11 million inhabitants from tribal people with bones in their noses to 21st century technocrats. Martapura and the Barito River in Banjarmasin known as the "Venice of the East" have Dayak carvings and traditional longhouses with bustling floating vegetable and fruit markets along the banks.

Ujung Pandang is the largest city and communications centre of the remote island of Sulawesi. For centuries the city, formerly Makasar, was the gateway to the fabulous Spice Islands of the Moluccas. Tana Toraja, in the mountainous northern part of South Sulawesi, is the one of the most beautiful regions of Indonesia. Rugged mountains and green terraces form a perfect backdrop for the Toraja Villages with their magnificent traditional houses. Toraja (also known as Torajaland) is where tau-tau effigies of the dead are suspended on high balconies carved into the mountainside. Standing as guards, these effigies are placed in front of cave tombs that hold the remains of ancestor.

Java is an incredibly beautiful island, particularly in the western and central regions, where rice fields, palm forests, plantations and volcanoes shape the land. From the white sand beaches of Carita and Anyer on western Java the ominous smoking cone of Anak Krakatau can be seen looming on the horizon. Central Java is home to Borobudur Temple (built 780-850) - the world largest Buddhist monument - situated on a hill on the Kedu Plain, 42 km to the west of Yogyakarta. The area is the 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 (laut pasir). Four small peaks rise from the centre of the floor of the caldera three of these are lushly overgrown, the fourth and best known, is a smouldering mound of ash and ciders.

Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) Sumbawa and Flores are famous as the home of the largest lizard, a veritable dinosaur known as the Komodo 'Dragon'. Flores is a rugged island with dramatic volcanoes, beautiful mountain lakes, grassy savannahs and mountain forests. Labuan Bajo, Pulau Bidadari has the best views with traditional phinisi sailing vessels anchored in the harbor. Sumba is a dry island south of Komodo, distinguished by spectacular rituals, huge megalithic gravesites, peaked houses and beautiful ikat cloths. East Timor, Dili has Mediterranean aspects with a gleaming white cathedral. 

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