Three Sassy Sisters
Ini Kisah Tiga Dara
Directed by Nia Dinata
Nia Dinata in attendance!
Longtime Film Festival fave Nia Dinata (ARISAN!, Festival 2004; CHANTS OF LOTUS, Festival 2008) channels the spirit of legendary Indonesian director Usmar Ismail’s 1957 THREE MAIDENS (Tiga Dara) and updates the story of three sisters and their romantic entanglements into a modern-day musical comedy foregrounding the lives of modern women and social attitudes. This new iteration of the classic story finds the sisters Gendis (pop singer Shanty Paredes), Ella (Tara Basrol) and Bebe (Tatyana Akman) oblivious to traditional romance — they’re a trio of career women too busy running the family’s beachfront boutique hotel in Maumere to be tied up in relationships, much less marriage. Of course, the trio’s resistance to settling down is nettlesome to their grandmother Oma, who has served as a surrogate mother to them all. One day, Gendis encounters a handsome stranger (Rio Dewanto), a hotel guest with ulterior motives for visiting Maumere. Seeing an opportunity, grandma Oma plays matchmaker in an effort to get eldest granddaughter Gendis married off. After all, once one child is married off, the others will eventually walk down the aisle too.
A uniquely women-centric take on modern-day love, romance, and responsibility, THREE SASSY SISTERS has the unfortunate luck of coming to the Film Festival in the wake of that recent force-of-nature, Damien Chazelle’s LA LA LAND, a similarly brassy musical that similarly aimed to celebrate the possibilities of romance in the big city. But don’t let that deter you from investing your time in this timeless tale. As per the bulk of her career, director Dinata aims her gaze squarely on the aspirations and struggles of women — well okay, on the surface Gendis, Ella, and Bebe don’t seem to be struggling. Yet the loss of a mother figure puts a perceived burden on grandma Oma to insure that the three granddaughters are taken care of. In Dinata’s world, however, these three grown women have their own ideas about career and how men fit into their individual plans. THREE SASSY SISTERS may be cheesy, but it is an engaging wimmin’s empowerment tale that doesn’t play by the rulebook. And that, in the end, is a satisfying relief.
— Abraham Ferrer
Community Partner: Los Angeles Indonesian Film Festival
Born in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1970, Nia graduated with a mass communications degree from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. She then participated in special programs on film production at New York University. While her works are awarded at various national and international festivals, she was also an Eisenhower Fellow in 2008 and Young Global Leaders member in 2009.
Executive Producer: Yoki P Soufyan
Producers: Nia Dinata, Melissa Karim
Director: Nia Dinata
Writers: Nia Dinata, Lucky Kuswandi
Cinematographer: Yudi Datau
Production Designer: Eros Eflin
Choreographer: Adella Fauzi
Costume: Tania Soeprapto
Make-Up: Stella Gracia
Sound: Khikmawan Santosa, Indrasetno Vyantratra
Music: Aghi Narottama, Bemby Gusti
Editor: Aline Jusria