Have you ever seen or heard the story of Gundala Putera Petir, Godam Manusia Besi, Saras 008 and Panji Manusia Millenium? Those are Indonesian popular super heroes. Unfortunately, nowadays there are not many children films that highlight Indonesia’s heroes and superheroes.
Indonesian television stations mostly run foreign superheroes such as Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Hulk, Ultraman and Power Rangers that are loved by most children around the world.
Concerned about the condition, Nidia Noviana, student of Electronics and Instrumentation study programme (ELINS) in Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences UGM, was inspired to bring back the Indonesian superheroes. Together with a creative production community, Jogja Tokusatsu Indonesia (JTOKU), Nidia brought back the characters of Indonesian superhero through film, costume and graphic design.
“I was very concerned that Indonesian children mostly saw foreign superheroes such as Spiderman and Batman while Indonesia has actually many superheroes such as Gatotkaca. But not many people have done a serious work to bring back such characters into educational film. So, we tried to re-awaken the superhero with Indonesian local wisdom,” said the student of class 2008 to reporters in Friday (1/2) in Fortakgama UGM room.
Starting in 2007, Nidia realised her dream by making short films with less than 10-minute duration. The first was the hero Satria Baja Amar (fried chicken), recounting the story of the hero who was trying to re-encourage the breeding and consumption of chicken following the Avian Influenza outbreak in almost parts of Indonesia. “The film was a joint work with Yogyakarta Animal Husbandry office to re-encourage the consumption of chicken for people of Jogja after the flu outbreak,” she said.
Next, the Lightening Electrical Cybox that adopted a folklore from West Sumatera, namely Malin Kundang that is cursed to become a robot. The moral of the story is to maintain cleanliness and to respect parents.
A ghost story was made by Nidia with the title Pocongman, also Borneomen who is against illegal logging, Panglima Petir - a sequel of Gundala Putera Petir, Garudaman who is fighting against corruption, Cempaka, a girl that can transform into a robot. “We are also producing a film about Gatotkaca, which has been signed by B-Channel for 13 episodes,” she explained. There will also be Komodo Dragon.
Nidia said all her films are uploaded in youtube so everyone around the world can easily access them. “The public response is good, our films are seen by 1,000-2,000 viewers from various countries everyday. Foreigners turned out to be appreciative of our work,” she said.
Her films made her entitled to be granted the award for Most Innovative Business for Creative category in the Young Entrepeneurs Award (Wirausaha Muda Mandiri or WMM 2012) awarded to her on 17 January 2013 in Jakarta.
The business owner of JTOKU said she also makes superhero costumes and graphic design which are also loved by foreign people. “In the past two years we have exported our products to a number of countries in America, Asia, Australia and Europe,” she explained.
The business she started with 3 friends since 2005 has progressed rapidly. With only 200 thousand rupiah as a starting asset, they produced Naruto costume. Now, the turnover is a fantastic 1 billion a year. She recruited 20 permanent staff and 100 freelancers. “We wanted to sustain Indonesian style superheroes by making easy moving picture but which is educational,” she concluded.