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Southeast Asian content producer and financier United Media Asia, which entered into a strategic partnership with Hollywood agency CAA in 2020, unveiled at Cannes on Friday plans to build a large-scale film and TV production facility in Bali, Indonesia.
The company said in a statement that it had explicit support from Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno, a potential successor to Indonesia’s current president Joko Widodo.
“I am very excited to see United Media Asia’s effort to build and cultivate Bali as a world class hub for international content, Uno said in a statement provided by CAA to the international press in Cannes. “UMA is a promising company with an advanced vision to promote Indonesia’s best assets of arts, creativity and culture while at the same time bridging the gap between Asia’s creative with Hollywood’s cinematic universe.”
CAA inked a deal with UMA last year that was described as nonexclusive, involving CAA representing and arranging financing for the company’s film and TV output, as well as advising on its overall entertainment strategy in Southeast Asia.
Founded in 2018 by CEO Michy Gustavia, UMA is backed by a $20 million investment fund and focuses on local-language content for the fast-growing Indonesian market. The company has made clear that much of its growth ambitions are rooted in Indonesia. The country is home to nearly 270 million people, with demographics that skew young. A steady expansion of the country’s film exhibition infrastructure has propelled box office growth into the double-digit percentage range in recent years.
At present, Indonesia is strugglingly through a devastating COVID-19 wave, which threatens to overwhelm the country’s shaky public health systems. The holiday island of Bali has been less hard hit than the main island of Java though.
“Through their productions, UMA will employ thousands of local talent to bolster the Bali economy, which has been severely impacted by the global pandemic,” CAA’s statement said. “Bali is the ideal location to create a production destination; in addition to adhering to strict health protocols, it is an unrivaled destination to produce sustainable content.”
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