Usmar Ismail

Usmar Ismail

Ismail, c. 1955
Born 20 March 1921
Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Dutch East Indies
Died 2 January 1971(1971-01-02) (aged 49)
Nationality Indonesian
Occupation Director, film producer, writer
Years active 1950 - 1970

Usmar Ismail (20 March 1921 – 2 January 1971) was a prominent Indonesian film director. He was of a Minangkabau descent. He was widely regarded as the native Indonesian pioneer of the Cinema of Indonesia although films made by the Dutch date back to around 1926.

He was perhaps best known internationally for his 1961 film Fighters for Freedom which documented Indonesian independence from the Dutch and French. The film was entered into the 2nd Moscow International Film Festival.[2]

Ismail initially served in the army during the Dutch occupation. Later, following his dream of becoming a film director, he established "Perfini Studios", Indonesia's first film studios, in the early fifties.

A concert hall known as the Usmar Ismail Hall, which gives musical, opera and theatrical performances, was established in his name in Jakarta.[3]


Usmar Ismail on a 1997 stamp


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