Twitter-mad Indonesia is set to take its passion for 140 characters to another level with a new Twitter-inspired film, Republik Twitter, coming to the big screen in the country next month.
The film is romantic comedy that looks at how young people use Twitter and social media in general. We should point out that this isn’t a look at its founding story — as The Social Network loosely was for Facebook — so I’m afraid you’ll have to put thoughts of seeing a young Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone scampering around building Twittr, as it was originally named, to the back of your head.
The film is slated for release date on February 16, just after Valentine’s Day, and it will be in Bahasa Indonesia and not English, as is almost all of the promotional materials.
Republik Twitter isn’t the first Indonesian film to pin itself around the country’s interest in social media, however titles like I Know What You Did On Facebook received largely negative responses. To make more sense of the release, The Next Web spoke to Aulia Masna, who is responsible for content development at Indonesian tech site Daily Social.
Initially, I was skeptical of the intention and the idea, but after a while it began to make sense. It’s a pretty accurate look at how Twitter has transformed the minds of online Indonesians. The trailer hits home on a lot of aspects.
Twitter has changed modern days communication in Indonesia, and the film is focused on reflecting this, as Masna explains:
Most Indonesians use Twitter as a conversation platform regardless of what Jack Dorsey wants it to be. We’re a very chatty bunch. Dorsey says it’s an information network? Try telling that to the hundreds of thousands of Indonesians who chat on Twitter every day.
The movie itself tries to capture the larger picture of what is going on across the local Twitterverse.
The film features a range characters that use the microblogging service — including a politician building an election campaign, a journalist investigating the politician, a schoolgirl, a branding agency and others — and as the films unfolds, so the audience discovers that everyone is connected through the service.
According to Masna, that’s not just storytelling as that is “exactly how it is” in Indonesia, as Twitter brings people together from across the country.
Without further ado, here’s the trailer for the film, which — like the final release — is in Bahasa:
Twitter and Facebook have certainly changed how people connect in today’s world. While references to status updates and tweets are increasingly to be found in today’s films and TV shows, the concept of Republik Twitter is an interesting one, if a little niche given that it’s a romcom.
We have the feeling that a similar idea could do well in the West, given the success of The Social Network, but it does feel a little gimmicky to tie a movie around Twitter. Masna is not optimistic of its potential, though, as “it’s very difficult for local films to do well” in the country, but he does feel that those who use the social network will get the insider jokes and references, and may appreciate the title in general.