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Jakarta Post

Nan Achnas: A life immersed in cinema

  • Cynthia Webb


Brisbane, Australia   /   Tue, October 26 2010   /  10:37 am

JP/Cynthia WebbNan Achnas’ first job was as a young reporter at The Jakarta Post during the paper’s early years.

However, as a young woman with strong opinions, being told to “kill a story” did not sit well with her.Nan was sent to cover a demonstration by schoolgirls who wanted to wear hijabs at a time when it was forbidden. Her editors later received a phone call from the State Secretariat telling them that nothing could be published about the demonstration.“How things have changed,” said Nan. “I realized that during the Soeharto era we couldn’t really do any glamorous investigative journalism.”She resigned after only about a year at the Post and she enrolled in film school, where she hoped she could express herself more freely.Even now, as an experienced film producer and the director of four films of her own, she still finds herself battling bureaucrats — ...