Monday, October 24, 2011


       Jakarta, Oct 24, 2011 (ANTARA) - "Eat, Pray and Love", a film version of Elizabeth Gilbert`s best selling memoirs "Eat Pray Love", starring superstar Julia Robert, has been effective in promoting Bali, known as the "Island of the Gods".
       The film tells the story of Liz Gilbert and her year-long journey to Italy, India and Indonesia as she seeks to find balance and fulfillment in her life following the breakdown of her marriage.
       In 2009, filming on "Eat, Pray, Love," took place in several locations including Banjar Bentuyung, Banjar Nyuh Kuning, Pengosekan, the Ubud Art Market, Jimbaran and Monkey Forest Park, Bali.
       The Hollywood movie showcases the spectacular Indonesian landscape and Balinese culture which Ubud is famous for.

Thanks to the film, Ubud has turned into a popular resort for relaxation, and inspiration. Ubud was even voted as The Top City in Asia and The Friendliest City by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

Bali Island has become a destination of spiritually-themed tourism and has been repopulated by tourists looking to develop their spirituality.

The number of foreign tourists visiting Bali Island during January-September 2011 period reached 2,052,083 people, or up 10.36 percent from the 1,859,459 foreign tourists in the same period in 2010.

Witnessing "the power" of the Hollywood film in luring foreign tourists to Bali, new Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu has invited more foreign film producers to make films in Indonesia.

She promised to ease the permit process for foreign film shooting in the country. "In the future, we will apply just a one-door process," Mari, former trade minister, said.

"The government will encourage more international (film) producers to choose Indonesia`s panorama and nature for their films," Minister Pangestu said on Sunday (Oct 23, 2011).

International films using Indonesia`s panorama as their backgrounds will have significant benefit for the national tourism promotion, she said.

The minister visited the shooting location of Hollywood film entitled "I, Alex Cross" which is directed by Rob Cohen, at Jasri village, Karangsem sub district, Bali Province, on Sunday (Oct 23).

She particularly invited Hollywood film directors to shoot films in Bali, the country`s most famous tourist resort. "It will give significant impacts on Indonesia," she said.

Although the shooting duration for "I, Alex Cross" in Bali is just three days, Minister Mari Pangestu is optimistic the film would be effective in promoting Bali`s tourism industry.

"The choosing of Indonesia as a shooting location is a chance to promote the tourism destination. For sure, it gives an opportunity to the film industry, in this chase the creative industry in Indonesia, to participate in the making of this film," Minister Mari Pangestu said.

The minister was flanked by the tourism and creative economic ministry`s Film Affairs Director Syamsul Lussa when visiting the shooting location of "I, Alex Cross" being directed by Rob Cohen, on Pantai Timur isle, Karangasem, Bali.

When the film is released in mid 2012, it will help strengthen the branding or image of Indonesia internationally, she said, adding that the movie, like "Eat, Pray, Love", will also help attract foreign tourists to Indonesia.

Rob Cohen has been known for his films such as "Fast & The Furious", "xXx", "The Mummy", and "Tomb of the Dragon Emperor".

Cohen, a temporary resident of Bali, is very much interested in Bali and therefore he has decided to shoot his film at Karangasem.

The film`s crew members include Photography Director Ricardo Della Rossa ("House of Sand" and "Adrift"), and Executive Producer Ethan Smith ("Diary of a Wimpy Kid"). The crew also consists of 35 locals and 20 production supporting personnel.

The film is starring Tyler Perry, Jean Reno ("Ronin", "Leon: The Professional", "The Da Vinci Code", "Pink Panther", and "Hotel Rwanda"), Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols, and Jessalyn Wanlim.

The filming of "I, Alex Cross" is being facilitated by Bali Film Center and Syzygy Production.

Indonesia is expecting eight million foreign tourist arrivals in 2012, up from this year`s target of seven million.

Until October, 5.3 million foreign tourists had come to the country, Tourism and Creative Economy Deputy Minister Sapta Nirwandar said in Solo, Central Java, on October 22, 2011.

Indonesia had set a higher target for 2012 because the number of foreign tourists to Southeast Asian countries was expected to grow by around five percent due to improving conditions in the region.

"We should receive up to 10 million foreign tourists by 2014 if all tourism stakeholders cooperate. This is our challenge and the existing opportunity must be seized," he said.

"We ask all tourism players including travel bureaus, hotel operators, governments that have tourist objects to work together well to exploit the opportunity. The cooperation has actually run but needs to be made more progressive," he said.

The deputy minister said tourism potentials in the country were large and varied but not all have been developed well. ***5***


(T.F001/A/F001/S012) 24-10-2011 19:46:52

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