Excerpt from a Report on Indonesia’s Audiovisual Heritage

One of Indonesian Film Center board members, Mrs Atika Makarim, invited the former director of the Australian Film Museum, Ray Edmondson, to Jakarta in 2007 in order to consult on the proposal for an audiovisual centre and film library. A colleague from the Nederlands Filmmuseum, Mr Ad Polle, was also present in Jakarta for the consultations. The following report has been prepared in consultation with, and to complement, Mr Polle’s report.

Indonesia’s existing audiovisual heritage is dispersed across a number of institutions, including radio and television networks. Several non-profit/government institutions have a mandate for collecting and preserving audiovisual documents. These include but are not limited to:
• National Library of Indonesia, which under legal deposit collects consumer format copies (CDs, DVDs, etc) of Indonesian works;
• National Archives, which collects film, videotape and audio recordings as part of its overall mandate for preserving government records;
• Sinematek Indonesia, a department of Pusat Perfilman H. Usmar Ismail, which collects films and research documentation and services a screening program;
• TVRI, the former government television network, which has a large collection of network productions in all videotape formats – current and obsolete.

A detailed assessment of their work, services and collections is needed and is not currently available to me. Therefore as a very general observation I would say that:
• There appears to be little evidence of cooperation among them;
• Under-resourcing and under-equipping is evident, most seriously so in the case of the Sinematek Indonesia;
• The survival of collection material is threatened through inadequate storage and in other ways, and I suspect there have been serious losses in recent years;
• Apart from the National Library, possibilities of general public access to collections appear to be limited;
• It is unclear how the oncoming challenge of digitization is being faced.

These shortcomings notwithstanding, any new institution will need to recognize and respect the mandates of these organisations, seek to cooperate with them and understand their inter-organisational politics.

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