Misbach Yusa Biran

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Misbach Yusa Biran (September 11, 1933 – April 11, 2012) was an Indonesian writer, director and columnist who pioneered the Indonesian film archives.[1]

Personal Life[edit]

Biran was born in Rangkasbitung, in the Lebak Regency, to a Minangkabau father and a Bantenese mother.[2] In 1969, he married actress Nani Widjaja. They had six children, two of whom (Cahya Kamila and Sukma Ayu) also went into the film industry.


Early Life[edit]

Biran graduated from Taman Madya Bagian B, in Jakarta. He first began directing plays in the early 1950s, whilst at school, whilst he additionally wrote film reviews, and produced literature works. However, after his graduation, he chose a career in film.


From 1954-1956, Biran worked for the Indonesian National Film Company (PERFINI) under Usmar Ismail. He began as a script recorder, and later became Assistant Director and member of the Writers’ Board.[3] He rose to the position of Director of National Film Centre H. Usmar Ismail Jakarta, member of the National Film Council, and Chairman of the Film and Television Employees from (1987-1991).[4]

In 1955, Biran wrote his first screenplay from a short story by Sjumandjaja, titled Kerontjong Kemajoran, which was later turned into a film titled Saodah by Persari Film.

From 1957 to 1960, he directed short films and documentaries. In 1967, Biran won the Citra Award for Best Director for his film Dibalik Tjahaja Gemerlapan. He also received an award for Best Script, for his film Menjusuri Djedjak Berdarah, and for Ayahku (1987), directed by Agus Elias.[3]

Biran ceased directing films in 1971, as a way to show his distate for the film industry which was, at the time, flourishing with pornographic films.

What is considered his most important contribution to the national film industry was in establishing Sinematek Indonesia in 1975. It was an institution that independently archived the national films. Biran led Sinematek Indonesia until 2001, and became synonymous with the institution.


Biran was an active journalist: he was the Chief Editor of Minggu Abadi (1958-1959), Purnama (1962-1963), and later as an Editor of Duta Masjarakat (1965-1966), Abad Muslimin (1966), and Gelanggang (1967).[5] His literary works were, among others, Bung Besar (Drama, 1958), which was awarded Second Prize in a Screenwriting Competition by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 1958; Setengah Djam Mendjelang Maut (Drama, 1968); Menjusuri Djedjak Berdarah (Novel, 1969); Keajaiban di Pasar Senen (Anthology of Short Stories, 1971); and Oh, Film (Anthology of Short Stories, 1973). The latter two collection of short stories were bound and reprinted under the title Keajaiban di Pasar Senen in 1996.[5]

Biran launched a book on Teknik Menulis Skenario Film Cerita on January 30, 2007.[6]


Biran received an award from Forum Film Bandung for his dedication and contribution in the film industry.

He continues to write screenplays, and believes that film is a means to teach, and raise, the quality of human lives, particularly the lives of Indonesians.

In 2010, he received Fellowships from the Southeast Asia-Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA) in Bangkok, Thailand.[7]



  • Pesta Musik La Bana (1960)
  • Holiday in Bali (1962)
  • Bintang Ketjil (1963)
  • Panggilan Nabi Ibrahim (1964)
  • Apa Jang Kautangisi (1965)
  • Dibalik Tjahaja Gemerlapan (1966)
  • Menjusuri Djedjak Berdarah (1967)
  • Operasi X (1968)
  • Honey Money and Djakarta Fair (1970)

Screenplay writing[edit]

  • Menyusuri Jejak Berdarah (1967)
  • Ayahku (1987)



  1. ^ "Movie director Misbach Yusa Biran passes away". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  2. ^ (Indonesian) Biran, Misbach (2008). Kenang-Kenangan Orang Bandel. Depok: Komunitas Bambu. ISBN 979-3731-43-5.  Hal 1.
  3. ^ a b (Indonesian) [www.sinematekindonesia.com/index.php/insan_perfilman/detail/id/27 Profil Misbach Yusan Biran] Diakses tanggal 17 November 2011.
  4. ^ (Indonesian) Rampan, Korrie (2000). Leksikon Susastra Indonesia. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka. ISBN 979-666-358-9.  Hal 291.
  5. ^ a b Damono, Sapardi Djoko (2006). Antologi Drama Indonesia. Jakarta: Amanah Lontar. ISBN 979-99858-4-6.  Hal 529.
  6. ^ (Indonesian) [www.rumahdunia.net/wmview.php?ArtID=784 Undangan Peluncuran buku "Teknik Menulis Skenario Film Cerita].
  7. ^ (Indonesian)[www.tempointeraktif.com/hg/film/2010/08/04/brk,20100804-268829,id.html Misbach Yusa Biran Raih Penghargaan SEAPAVAA. Berita Tempointeraktif.com. Diakses 28 Okotober 2011].

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Bachtiar Siagian
Film :


Best Director
(Festival Film Indonesia)

Film : Dibalik Tjahaja Gemerlapan
Succeeded by
Wim Umboh
Film :