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Sjumandjaja

The meaning of «sjumandjaja»

Sjumandjaja (Perfected Spelling: Syumanjaya; 5 August 1934[a] – 19 July 1985) was an Indonesian director, screenwriter, and actor. During his career he wrote numerous films, directed fourteen, acted in ten, and produced nine; he also won five Citra Awards from the Indonesian Film Festival. His films reflected social realism.

Sjumandjaja was born in Batavia (modern day Jakarta), Dutch East Indies, and grew up there. During high school, he became interested in creative writing and acting, eventually joining the Senen Artists' Group. In 1956, when one of his short stories was adapted into a film, Sjumandjaja became active in the filmmaking industry, writing two films for the production company Persari. After receiving a government scholarship, he moved to Moscow and attended the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography. Upon returning to Indonesia in 1965, Sjumandjaja took a job at the Ministry of Information and continued writing screenplays. In 1971, after leaving the ministry, he directed his first feature film, Lewat Tengah Malam (Past Midnight). He continued to write and direct films until his death from a heart attack on 19 July 1985.

Reportedly a strict director, Sjumandjaja valued creative value over receiving a director's fee. He married three times and had three children, two with his first wife and one with his second. His son, Sri Aksana, is the former drummer of Dewa 19, and his daughter Djenar Maesa Ayu is also a Citra Award-winning director.

Sjumandjaja was born in Batavia on 5 August 1934. The fifth of eight children, Sjumandjaja was ethnically Javanese but soon became accustomed to the local Betawi culture.[2] He studied Quran reading for a period of three days, but stopped after numerous disagreements with the teacher.[3] When he was ten years old, his father died, leaving Sjumandjaja to be raised by his mother.[4] During the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies from 1942 to 1945, he witnessed several forced labourers being beaten to death near his home during the construction of Kemayoran Airport.[3]

While attending high school at Taman Siswa, Sjumandjaja became interested in drama. Together with his schoolmates S. M. Ardan and Savitri (daughter of dramatist Sanusi Pane), he put on a production of Utuy Tatang Sontani's play "Awal dan Mira" ("Awal and Mira"); another schoolmate, Misbach Yusa Biran, directed. During this period, Sjumandjaja was also a member of the Senen Artists' Group, named after its meeting place in Senen, together with his former classmates and several others such as future Minister of Information Harmoko.[2] With the group he wrote short stories, poems, and works of literary criticism.[4]

In 1956, Sjumandjaja played a role in Terang Bulan Terang di Tengah Kali (Moon Shining Light in the Middle of the Stream), written by Ardan and directed by Wim Umboh. That same year, his short story "Kerontjong Kemajoran" ("Keroncong from Kemayoran") was adapted into a film by the production company Persari under the title Saodah. The following year, another of Sjumandjaja's short stories, "Anakku Sajang" ("My Dear Child") was adapted by the company; he took on the role of assistant director for the film. Sjumandjaja became an employee of Persari in 1958,[2] under the leadership of Asrul Sani.[4]

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