On 25 September, Viu announced at a virtual press conference the release of the Viu Original comedy series Star Stealer, which was the winning entry of the Viu Pitching Forum 2019.

Conceptualised by up-and-coming Indonesian filmmakers Aaron Timothy Soeharto and Audry Dayes Wangko, the pair beat over 250 entries at the Viu Pitching Forum and won the opportunity to further develop their story and bring it to life as a 10-episode Viu Original series.

Shahana Kamath, Head of Original Production for Viu Indonesia and Malaysia said that the main reason they chose Star Stealer was that it is an original and fresh concept unlike anything seen in Indonesia.

“We love the freshness of Star Stealer across the board,” Shahana said. “The fact that the story has the ability to go 10 or more episodes and the characters are designed that way, even before Aaron and Audry pitched it in the forum. Another one is the relatability of the show in the celebrity-crazed culture that is kind of tongue-in-cheek is very relatable to the Indonesian audience and it travels well that we have, what we say, is an obsession with celebrities,” Shahana noted.

Star Stealer tells the story of a daughter of a recently bankrupt mall owner who finds herself waitressing at a bubble tea shop. She then brings an unlikely assortment of talented retail workers to form an underground organisation. The group’s mission is to make money by conducting a series of daring heists to steal items from celebrities and sell them to the highest bidder.

‘Star Stealer’ virtual press conference. (Top row, L-R) Myra Suraryo, SVP Marketing at Viu Indonesia; Andibachtira Yusuf, Star Stealer director; (Middle row, L-R) Claudy Putri; Clairine Clay; Varun Mehta, Country Manager for Viu Indonesia; (Bottom row, L-R) Roy Sungkono and Shahana Kamath, Head of Original Productions Indonesia and Malaysia, Viu. Courtesy of Viu.

Star Stealer is headlined by a young, all-Indonesia ensemble cast including Syafira Haddad, Roy Sungkono, Clairine Clay, Shenina Cinnamon, Claudy Putri, and Rekki Illahi together with veteran actors Totos Rasiti, Dayu Wijanto, and Willem Bevers.

Varun Mehta, the Country Manager of Viu Indonesia said, “The idea for Viu is to continuously tell stories that have been relatively underexposed locally, to make them travel from these countries across the rest of Asia. We have both the responsibility to tell the story and the ability to tell the stories and we look forward to that.”

“The underlying premise of the Viu Pitching Forum is to attract talent to come in and pitch their stories and fund their first dream, is to kind of enable the creativity of the land that we operate in is paramount. The second aspect of this is to get love from consumers. Each story has two elements: drive the set of audience that will attach themselves to the story,” Varun noted.

“[Star Stealer] is intended for a much younger audience who are feeling the pain of the COVID situation,” Varun added. “Relatable at a story level, we want to cater to a larger audience and have that pool of different sets of content that will appeal to a different set of people and it’s a foray into that direction. It’s an aim to get the local creators to enable to a level where the local stories of Indonesia are now being told across Asia and the Middle East and Africa, as well as to get newer audiences to attach themselves to a bright, young, happy feeling, which is Viu,” Varun concluded.

Star Stealer is now streaming on the Viu platform which can be downloaded for free on App Store, Google Play, and select Smart TVs and on the web at www.viu.com.