Crew member of Indonesian film ‘Penyalin Cahaya’ accused of sexual harassment, has name scrubbed from credits

Production companies Kaninga Pictures and Rekata Studio issued a statement three days before the decorated film’s streaming premiere on Netflix

A crew member of decorated Indonesian film Penyalin Cahaya (Photocopier) has been accused of sexual harassment and had their name removed from the movie’s credits, three days ahead of its streaming premiere on Netflix.

Kaninga Pictures and Rekata Studio, the companies who produced the award-winning film, announced the news in a statement issued today (January 10) via the film’s Instagram account.

The statement, which was written in Indonesian, did not name the accused, nor detail the allegations that were made against them. Both companies claimed that the filming of Penyalin Cahaya that took place in January 2021 for 20 days “went safely”, and that they had learned of the allegations “with regards to an act that took place in [the accused’s] past” via “a certain community that manages reports on sexual harassment”.

“We Rekata Studio and Kaninga Pictures are committed to provide a safe space that is free from sexual harassment and we will always be on the side of survivors,” the statement began. “Maintaining a filming environment that is free from sexual harassment is our paramount mission as well.”

The name of the accused has been removed from the credits of the film and other publication materials, both companies said, and the accused “is no longer a part of the film Penyalin Cahaya and Rekata Studio”.

The statement concluded: “Rekata Studio and Kaninga Pictures are very serious in dealing with this issue and we hope that the process that will take place after the reporting of this issue will move forward with the survivor’s well-being in mind and find resolution in accordance with the right path.”

See the statement, which was also shared by Penyalin Cahaya director Wregas Bhanuteja on social media, below:

In November, it was announced that Penyalin Cahaya would make its streaming premiere on Netflix on January 13. The show will premiere on the platform as previously planned, Netflix told NME.

“We take allegations of this nature extremely seriously, and are committed to a safe and respectful work environment,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to NME. “We appreciate the steps that Rekata Studio and Kaninga have taken. The individual is no longer part of the project and his name has been removed from the film.”

Directed and co-written by Wregas Bhanuteja as his debut feature, Penyalin Cahaya centres around a student named Sur (played by Shenina Cinnamon), whose world is thrown into disarray after a drunk selfie of hers circulates online.

But Sur does not recall taking the picture, having blacked out at a college party that night. She then enlists the help of a friend, Amin (Chicco Kurniawan), to uncover what happened.

Penyalin Cahaya addresses the issue of sexual violence in Indonesia, Bhanuteja had previously said.

“There are so many survivors who don’t get justice, who hide their stories because of an unsupportive environment, such as family,” the director said in a press conference in September 2021, per CNN Indonesia.

Bhanuteja reportedly took a year to research the issue before filming, gathering stories from victims and talking to anti-rape advocates.

Penyalin Cahaya first premiered at the 26th Busan International Film Festival in October 2021. The next month, the film won 12 Citra Awards at the 2021 Indonesian Film Festival, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Translation assistance by Felix Martua

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