ASEAN Movie Night at the Indonesian Embassy: Creative Economy as Means for Managing Diversity



ISLAMABAD: The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, in collaboration with the ASEAN Committee in Islamabad (ACI) organized an ASEAN Movie Night event featuring the award-winning Indonesian film “Ngeri-Ngeri Sedap” (Missing, directed by the Indonesian Producer Bene Dion Rajagukguk. The event was a delightful fusion of cinema and cuisine, celebrating the rich cultural ties and immense similarities between Indonesia and Pakistan.

On this occasion, the Indonesia Chargé d’ Affaires (CDA) Mr. Rahmat Hindiarta in his welcoming remarks apprised the distinguished guests from diplomatic and Pakistani community that the ASEAN Movie Night reflects the spirit of continuously bolstering friendship among ASEAN family members. “Moreover, I also wish to transfer the spirit of friendship among us to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan and beyond,” he said.

The Indonesian CDA also called Pakistani film makers to ‘Look East’ for further exploring potentials of creative economy in Indonesia and ASEAN region. Elaborating the huge economic potential of Indonesian creative industry he said, “The film industry is currently the fastest-growing sub-sector of Indonesia’s creative economy. The number of moviegoers in the country were more than 55 million in 2023. And in 2023, the local film industry in Indonesia set a new record with 20 movies, attracting over 1 million viewers each. In recent years, the film and entertainment industry in ASEAN countries, have experienced robust growth.”

The event commenced by screening the video on ASEAN Summit 2023 held in the enchanting paradise of Labuan Bajo as one of Indonesian ten new Balis followed by the screening of Indonesian movie that provided a cinematic treat showcasing Indonesia’s perfect blend of humor, mutual respect, ideal parenting, local wisdom and morality, cultural richness, and beauty of the natural landscape.

Released in 2022, “Ngeri-Ngeri Sedap” is a comedy film that tells the story of an elderly couple from the Batak tribal family in Toba Lake, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Known for their rich customs and social structure, the Batak community places a strong emphasis on patriarchal hierarchy and respect for elders. The film portrays the couple’s three sons who have left home to pursue their careers far away from their village. In a humorous twist, the parents pretend to divorce to compel their sons to return home. The movie is picturized in the breathtaking backdrop of Lake Toba—the largest volcanic lake in the world, recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark since 2020.

The audience also savoured a variety of mouth-watering Indonesian dishes, including bakso (meatball soup), chicken satay (sweet saucy BBQ), onde-onde (glutinous rice balls dessert), and much more on this occasion. 

After the movie, all the guests received goodie bags from Indomie, the world’s largest instant noodle brand, which manufactures in Faisalabad with the flavors tailored to the Pakistani market.