Indonesia probes director over Bali `gigolo` film: Police

Indonesian police said on Thursday an Indian filmmaker is under investigation over a documentary exposing alleged male prostitution on the resort island of Bali.

Updated: Apr 29, 2010, 22:07 PM IST

Jakarta: Indonesian police said on Thursday an
Indian filmmaker is under investigation over a documentary
exposing alleged male prostitution on the resort island of
Bali.

The probe came as police released 28 "beach boys" who
had been detained earlier in the week on suspicion of
prostitution with foreign female tourists, after clips from
the documentary went viral on the Internet.
The documentary, "Cowboys in Paradise" by
Singapore-based writer and director Amit Virmani, sparked
outrage among Bali tourism officials when it was released at a
film festival in South Korea earlier this month.

Police said they were checking whether Virmani
violated immigration rules when he made the film, which
officials have angrily condemned as an attack on Bali`s image
as a family-orientated, "spiritual" tourism destination.

"We`re now gathering evidence to see if the filmmaker
broke any of the country`s laws," Bali police spokesman Gede
Sugianyar said.

"We`ll check if he used a working visa or a tourist
visa to enter Bali and if he had obtained a permit from the
Bali authorities to make the film."

If convicted Virmani could face a year in jail and a
fine of USD 4,440 for breaching the country`s Law on Films.

Three of the so-called "beach cowboys" interviewed in
the documentary about their liaisons with foreign tourists had
complained to police that they had been "cheated" about the
purpose of the film, Sugianyar said.
"The filmmaker said he was making clips for his
personal collection, not a documentary," Sugianyar said.

He added that police could find "no indications" that
the detained men were "gigolos", and had released them with a
warning not to harass tourists.

Filmmaker Virmani could not be reached for comment.

PTI