The Arts

Nia Dinata

An internationally celebrated, award-winning film director, Nia Dinata thrives on telling difficult stories that tackle complex social issues


With some of the films most widely talked about in Indonesia under her belt, Nia Dinata is known for her progressive take on controversial topics like migrant workers, polygamy, and gender and sexual identity. Her works are considered thought-provoking and brave despite tackling complicated social issues.

Born in Jakarta, Dinata took a film-making course at New York University and made her debut in film directing in 1998 with the short film Mencari Pelangi (Looking for the Rainbow). Though criticised by some locally, she went on to be celebrated all over the world, with two of the films she directed submitted for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

One of them, Berbagi Suami (Love for Share), was also screened internationally at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. Another of her films, Arisan! (The Gathering), was awarded Best Film at CinemAsia Film Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands. For these two films, Dinata was nominated for the Citra Award for Best Director at the Indonesian Film Festival in 2004 and 2006.

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Did you know?

Dinata is a fan of Woody Allen. In 2012, she directed a dystopian film called A World Without which is available on Netflix.

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