Nan Triveni Achnas

1963 –
Airing The Photograph (2007) on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 10:30 AM on TCM

As part of a new generation of filmmakers revitalizing Indonesian cinema, producer-director-writer Nan Triveni Achnas pioneered in developing new funding sources and mentoring new talent while developing her own distinctly feminist voice. She was born in Singapore in 1963 but raised in Malaysia, where her father encouraged her independence. After making her mark with the documentary short The Little Gayo Singer (1995), she joined other young filmmakers to create I-Sinema, a collective designed to foster independent film production in Indonesia. 

With no government support for film production, Achnas was the first Indonesian filmmaker to seek outside funding, which she obtained for her award-winning film Whispering Sands (2001), a sensitive tale of a mother trying to protect her daughter from sexual abuse while they flee political unrest. She followed that with The Photograph (2007), about a prostitute who finds a new focus in life by helping an aging, reclusive photographer complete his life’s work. As a producer, she mentored director Nurman Hakim on his first two features, Pesantren: 3 Wishes 3 Loves (2008) and Khalifah (2011). She currently teaches film and new media at the Jakarta Institute of the Arts.

Select Filmography

The Little Gayo Singer (1995)
Kuldesak (1998)
Whispering Sands (2001)
Bendera (2002)
The Photograph (2007)