Tim Bui (Prison Team) is the story of a football team at Lawang Betung, a fictional prison on the island of Java. The prisoners that live there are a reflection of Indonesia – they come from diverse socioeconomic, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Moreover, they have been accused of variety of criminal acts, from terrorism to drug trafficking. Most prisoners fall into one of two gangs – the Javanese gang (led by Joko) and the Batak gang (led by Togar). Over the course of the series, the violent, antagonistic relationship between the gangs is transformed into one of cooperation and mutual benefit. Through the formation of the football team, Tim Bui explores how entrenched differences can be overcome and conflicts transformed within Indonesian society.
The 13-episode first season of the series is produced by non-government organisation Search for Common Ground (SFCG). Being aired on Metro TV from February, 19, 2012, Tim Bui also confronts important social issues in contemporary Indonesia, such as intolerance toward minorities, corruption, institutional reform, women’s leadership and the de-radicalisation of convicted terrorists and disengagement with violence. Much of SFCG’s work in Indonesia is focused within these fields.
SFCG is conducting outreach activities that will accompany the broadcast and promote key messages about tolerance, teamwork and conflict transformation. These activities include the establishment of soccer teams, leagues, and competitions, as well as the hosting of conflict transformation workshops, and will take place at pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) and prisons across Indonesia.
“The work that Search for Common Ground is doing with the groundbreaking television project, The Team, matches our aims. Football (soccer) is a remarkable tool which can break down barriers, foster understanding, and teach people valuable lessons on a wide range of social issues.”– Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League
Nothing quite unites people throughout the world like sport. The global passion for soccer is driving the success of Search for Common Ground’s (SFCG) flagship TV and radio soap series: The Team. The drama series addresses very real divisive issues facing societies by using sport as a unifier in overcoming barriers to help transform social attitudes and diminish violent behaviour.
The Team has taken to the air, or is in production, in 16 countries with deeply rooted conflicts across Africa to Asia, and the Middle East. Each series focuses on characters of a fictional team – and in the case of Pakistan, a cricket team – who must overcome differences and work together in order to succeed. SFCG also carries out extensive outreach activities in each country to increase the impact of the program. Tim Bui is Indonesia’s version of the The Team, and was produced by SET Production.
Utilising television and radio dramas such as this is one of the ways SFCG engages societies through media to transform the way the world deals with conflict – away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. In each country, The Team portrays alternative models, shows how ethnic, religious, and social differences can be peacefully resolved, demonstrates how governmental institutions can function more effectively, and focuses attention on such subjects as accountability and responsiveness.
The Team first premiered in Kenya during 2009 in response to devastating post-election violence, becoming one of the top ten ranked programs in that country with a viewership of 2.8 million. It was the first time that tribal stereotypes and conflicts had been dealt with on Kenyan television. For more information, visit www.sfcg.org/programmes/cgp/the-team
Search for Common Ground works to transform the way the world deals with conflict – away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. We work with local partners in 29 countries to find culturally appropriate means to strengthen societies’ capacity to deal with conflicts constructively: to understand the differences and act on the commonalities.
Our toolbox includes media production – radio, TV, film and print – mediation and facilitation, training, community organizing, sports, theatre and music.
For more information, visit the SFCG global and Indonesian homepages
Prisons or correctional facilities are realms rarely visited by Indonesian cinema and film industry. Character diversity grows within confined cells along with their intertwining problems.
Football presents itself as a medium to achieving mutual objectives and unity. Football is one-third luck, one-third skill and one-third friendship.
Telling a story of diversity in the form of citizenship education in a correctional facility is a challenge that is difficult to say “no” to.
Sugeng Wahyudi, director
Executive Producer’s Notes
Drama series have become daily consumption that is popular for the public. And this drama series is more than just a story. It brings values such as heroism and empathy to the audience, as well as other human feelings like joy, compassion, and the like. Therefore, drama has become an essential form of entertainment in the midst of democratization, dealing with various social issues that face a country in democratic transition.
Phenomena such as flourishing individual or mass acts of extremism, violence, and spatial anomalies, are a consequence of social imbalances that arise due to changes brought by the transformation. This series is of particular interest since prisons have traditionally been the source of values that seemingly contradict democratization.
That is precisely why this series is interesting and relevant. An important point from this drama series is that there are many diverse and essential values for the audience to take in, especially in the area of conflict resolution – namely, coming together as a group and channelling violent urges, etc.
Consequently, this series is a must-watch, right in the midst of a democratic transition which is filled with violent conflict, economical imbalance and legal dilemmas.
Garin Nugroho, executive producer
AGUS KUNCORO (AGUNG)
Agus began his debut in the world of film and television in 1991. His name skyrocketed through his part as Azzam in a religious serial “Para Pencari Tuhan” (The God Seekers). He also starred in several popular serials including “Tutur Tinular” as Raden Wijaya, the TV movie “Sayekti dan Hanafi” as Hanafi, “Dunia Tanpa Koma” (A World Without Commas) as Andar Manik, “Maharani” and ,,“Debu Tertiup Angin” (Dust In The Wind).
Apart from serials, he was also involved in several big screen movies such as “Be Happy Di Pinggir Kali” (Be Happy by The River) with Kristina and “Kun Fa Yakuun” (What Must Be Must Become) which is directed by Guntur Novaris, and his last film in 2011, “Tendangan Dari Langit” (Kick from The Sky) directed by Hanung Bramantyo.
ERLY ARSHYLA (NINA)
Erly is an actress with tons of experience, acting in many hit films in Indonesian market. “The Perfect House”, “Tarix Jabrix 2”, “Janji Joni” (Joni’s Promise), “Ca Bau Kan”, “Ada Apa Dengan Cinta” (What Is With Cinta) and “Dealova”, are some of her career highlights in the country’s film industry.
She also has a new movie, released this year, called “Republik Twitter” (Twitter Republic). According to Erly, Tim Bui has a strongly characterized storyline. She said depicting life in prison would have a positive impact in helping to educate our society not look down on prisons.
DAFFI ARIAGA (JOKO)
Daffi, the Javanese gang leader in Tim Bui, had felt challenged and afraid to be playing a character that was contradictory to his true nature and personality. He thinks that the message of peace conveyed in the series shows that conflicts don’t always have to be resolved through violence .
According to Daffi, Indonesia is an archipelago with various races, ethnicities and religions, but should not let itself be divided by any of those. It is no longer appropriate to say “I am Batak or I am Java”, but rather how “I” can be substituted by “we” to become “We are Indonesian”. Apart from the valuable personal experience and lessons he learned from the story itself, Daffi thinks there is still much to be explored about Tim Bui.
RICHARD ALINO (TOGAR)
Richard thought the Tim Bui theme, itself, was interesting and well-crafted. He enjoyed the cosy atmosphere on set during shooting. And, according to him, the crew and the cast worked together in harmony. Richard said he found the character of Togar interesting to play, given that he used a fierce exterior to hide a sentimental side and who he really was –a loving family man. Richard hoped that Tim Bui will be made into a movie.
RIO ALBA (IWAN)
This Lubang Buaya-born man plays the role of the antagonist guard, Iwan Wahyudi, the Chief of Security of the Lawang Betung Prison, in Tim Bui. Previously, he performed in threatre with the famous director Arifin C Noer in Umang Umang in 1998, and in 2009 was nominated as best actor at the Jakarta Film Festival for his role in Bianglala.
So far in his acting career, he considers Tim Bui as the most meaningful role he has played. He said: “Tim Bui gives large space to develop the character that I played. For that, I’m thankful to SET Film and all the crew.” He hopes that the drama series will one day become a movie on the big screen.
GALABBY THAHIRA P (SARAH)
For Abby, born in 1990, acting as a young woman who falls in love with an inmate was an exciting new experience for her. She is the real-life daughter of her on-screen mother Nina, played by Erly Arshyla. Abby has previously acted in several films such as “Tusuk Jalangkung” (The Poltergeist Stake), “Dealova” and “Benci Disco” (I Hate Disco).
According to her, a unique experience from playing Sarah was of being involved in several conflict scenes with her real-life mother. She said: “Filming Tim Bui was exciting and it was fun to work as a team. Hopefully, there is a going to be a following season.”