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Police seek suspects in local porn film

September 1, 2004

Police in the West Java capital of Bandung are searching for the makers and stars of a pornographic film called Iulan Madu (Honeymoon) that was apparently filmed in a hotel in the city.

The film, shot with a camcorder and now being sold for up to Rp75,000 a copy on video compact disc (VCD) format, runs for 45 minutes and 7 seconds.

Also being sold under the title ?andung Lautan Asmara Il (Bandung Love Ocean II), the film shows a young man and young woman having sex in various positions in a room - reportedly at the Greenhill Hotel.

Unlike other local porn movies filmed in hotels, the action is confined solely to the bed. Other films of same genre show couples cavorting on beds, sofas and chairs, as well as in bathtubs, showers, swimming pools and on toilets.

Police have been repeatedly scrutinizing the latest movie in an effort to ascertain when it was filmed and to identify and track down the stars.

Bandung Police criminal investigation bureau chief Asep Syahrudin said Tuesday (31/8/04) officers had so far managed to discover the identity of the woman in the film, as her name is mentioned during one scene.

He further said woman has the same name as the owner of a green Suzuki Baleno sedan, the license plate of which appears briefly in another scene in the film.

But he said it was unclear whether the woman in the film is the owner of the car, as the vehicle has changed hands several times.

Central Bandung Police chief Masguntur Laope emphasized that no suspects have been arrested yet. "Several people have already been checked and questioned, but we do not have any suspects yet," she was quoted as saying by detikcom online news portal.

"He said police had impounded the car that appeared in the film. The car has been found and is now being temporarily kept at Central Bandung Police headquarters. We are now investigating whether the present owner had owned or used the car at the time the film was made," she said.

"In my opinion it won't be kept for long. We only want to investigate the ownership of the car; who it has been owned by and what their connection is with the production of the film. In my opinion it will be returned to the owner soon," she added.

Laope said police suspect the film might have been made two years ago, although some local media reports have said one version of the VCD has an onscreen caption shows that it was filmed on August 17, 2004.

"If it really was a long time ago, the investigation of this case will be difficult. But we are continuing based on available clues and information," she said.

Syahrudin said police suspect the film was made before 2002, because the hotel changed ownership that year and underwent extensive renovations. He said the room and the front of the hotel, as they appear in the film, were apparently recorded before the renovations.

Laope was unwilling to say whether police would release sketches or photos of the two stars in an effort to find them. "It will be seen later whether this becomes urgent. Let's hope it won't be a problem later, because we are now gaining a better understanding of the motive. Whether the scenes were filmed by a husband and wife who recorded their activity privately, or whether it was released by another party and circulated in the market for profit. We must be careful."

Reports say the young porn stars are unlikely to be husband and wife, as in one scene the woman asks for a payment of Rp1 million.

Criminal Code
Pornography is illegal in Indonesia but pirated pornographic films - usually Western titles - are widely available due to police corruption and poor law enforcement.

Parliament has for months been sitting on an anti-pornography bill, which carries harsh penalties for the production and distribution of pornographic materials .

The stars, makers and distributors of the recently released Bandung porn film could be charged under Articles 282 and 55 of the Criminal Code, which pertain to indecency and carry a maximum sentence of one to 18 months imprisonment and a fine of Rp4,500.

Candid Camera
South Jakarta District Court in October 2003 sentenced prominent fashion photographer Budi Han to one year in jail over the secret filming of seven models in a changing room at his studio. Two of his assistants were each sentenced to 10 months in prison.

The film, which showed the women in various stages of nudity, was shot back in October 1997 with a handheld video camera through a two-way mirror in the bathroom of Han? studio in Tebet, South Jakarta.

The women had said they were taking part in separate photo sessions for different advertisements and were required to change their outfits several times in the bathroom between shoots.

Copies of the film did not begin to circulate in the public domain until March 2003, when the footage was released on VCD format with the title Artis Ganti Baju. The title literally means Artists Changing Clothes, although it can be more loosely translated as Celebs Strip Off.

So great was demand for the racy VCD that it was initially changing hands for up to Rp150,000 in Jakarta and Bandung. But within a month the 40-minute film was being widely sold for as little as Rp3,000.

The media identified at least five of the women in the film: actresses/models Sarah Azhari, Rachel Maryam, Femmy Permatasari, Yosefany Waas and singer/model/former MTV video jockey Shanty.

Han had initially denied any wrongdoing and insisted he was unaware the women had been secretly filmed at his studio. He claimed to have renovated the studio? bathroom in December 2002 and discovered a hole in the wall where a mirror used to hang.

It wasn't the first time that models have been filmed in Indonesia without their knowledge. In 1999, a video of a woman, who strongly resembled a famous actress/singer, taking a shower and using a toilet in what appeared to be a luxury hotel, was widely circulated over the internet.

In 2002, fans of Indonesian porn eagerly downloaded a video of a naked woman, who strongly resembled another famous actress, receiving a spa treatment.

Kasting Sabun Mandi & Itenas
One of the most talked about VCDs in Indonesia in recent years was called ?asting Sabun Mandi (Shower Soap Casting). The film, released in 2002, showed nine young models - one aged just 14 - being instructed to remove their clothing and massage their bodies for what they thought was a legitimate casting shoot for a brand of soap.

Indonesia's most controversial VCD of 2001 was called Itenas and showed two university students from Bandung filming themselves having sex in a Jakarta hotel.

It was back in July 2001 that Bandung National Institute of Technology (Itenas) student Adi Amed (then 20) and his girlfriend Nanda (then 19), a communications student at Bandunga Padjadjaran University, decided to film themselves making love in various positions.

The occasion for celebration was the 23rd month of their relationship. The film shows the couple involved in various sexual acts on a sofa, a bed, in a bathtub and on a toilet.

Film critics commented that Nanda was clearly the star performer 'often taking the initiative' while Amed at times seemed to be uncertain of what to do.

Several days after their steamy sex session, Amed took the handycam film to a VCD rental store in Bandung and asked for it to be transferred to disc. A staff member called Yayan was happy to offer the duplication service for Rp40,000. He also saved a copy of the 45-minute film for himself. He then duplicated the copy seven times and passed the copies on to his boss and friends.

Among those who ended up with copies were two men Hadi Darmanto and Sri Rama. They reportedly titled the film Itenas and released it on the black market. A single copy of the steamy skin flick cost anywhere from Rp4,500 to Rp50,000 at shopping malls, markets and universities. By September 2001 it had become the most widely copied and talked about porno VCD in Indonesia. The film and stills from it were also put on the internet and can still be downloaded today.

Bootleg copies of the VCD reportedly ended up in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Australia and Europe.

In April 2002, Bandung District Court sentenced Darmanto and Rama to nine months in jail for copying and circulating the infamous pornographic film.

Amed and Nanda had been declared suspects in October 2001, but were never brought to trial, after their lawyer successfully argued they were victims.

Amed had been briefly detained for questioning and was later released after his family posted bail; while Nanda never complied with a police summons for questioning, because she was apparently too ill to be interrogated.

Nanda, who had reportedly accompanied her parents on the haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2000, became a virtual recluse as a result of the explicit VCD. She was suspended from university for two semesters, while Amed was expelled from his college.

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