Mira Lesmana (born 8 August 1964) is an Indonesian songwriter, film director and producer.
The daughter of musician Jack Lesmana and sister to jazz pianist Indra Lesmana, Mira Lesmana wrote her first song at age 16, which helped secure her brother a scholarship to study in Australia. She became interested in film while in Australia with her family. After returning to Indonesia and graduating from the Jakarta Art Institute, she made her first film work, a public service announcement. After a period of songwriting in the 1990s, as well as directing a documentary serial in 1996, in 1999 Lesmana made her feature film debut as co-director of Kuldesak. Since then, she has produced several critically and commercially successful films, including Petualangan Sherina (Sherina's Adventure; 2000), Ada Apa dengan Cinta? (What's Up with Love?; 2002), Gie (2005), and Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troops; 2008). Many of her works have been in collaboration with director Riri Riza, who also co-manages her productions company Miles Productions.
Lesmana was born in Jakarta on 8 August 1964 to musician Jack Lesmana and his wife Nien. Her younger brother is jazz pianist Indra Lesmana. At the age of five, Lesmana entered kindergarten at Cikini Islamic School; her elementary and junior high school studies were conducted in the same institution. As a child she wanted to be either a scientist or detective, and was often at the top of her class. She later recalled that seeing George Lucas' Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) "blew [her] off [her] feet" and may have inspired her to go into film making.
At the age of 16, Lesmana wrote her first song, which her brother Indra used to gain a scholarship to a music school in Australia. As Indra was still a teenager, the family moved to Australia with him in 1979. Lesmana continued her education there; although she had previously studied English in Indonesia, she found difficulty with the Australian accent. She also began watching films regularly. After her second year in Australia, she transferred from a public school to the Australian International Independence School. After Mira's graduation, the Lesmana family moved back to Indonesia. Mira Lesmana began studying at the Jakarta Art Institute in 1983, graduating in 1985. Her first experience with film directing was a public service announcement produced at the request of Garin Nugroho.
On 14 February 1990, Lesmana married former teen idol, actor Mathias Muchus; as of 2008 the couple have three children. Throughout the early 1990s Lesmana continued writing songs, including some for her brother and one for Chrisye's 1993 album Sendiri Lagi (Alone Again). In 1995 she established a film production company, Miles Productions. In 1996 she directed a successful documentary serial entitled Anak Seribu Pulau (Children of a Thousand Islands).
In 1999 Lesmana made her feature film debut with Kuldesak, which she co-directed with Riza Mantovani, Riri Riza and Nan Triveni. The following year she produced Petualangan Sherina (Sherina's Adventure). At the time, the Indonesian film industry was in decline, and several filmmakers ridiculed the efforts, saying that the films could not be profitable; both were nevertheless successful. In 2002 Lesmana released Ada Apa dengan Cinta? (What's Up with Love?), serving as co-producer with Riza. Iwan Setiawan, writing in The Jakarta Post, describes these films as having jump-started the industry's recovery.
Lesmana produced Gie, a biopic of activist Soe Hok Gie, in 2005. Although a critical success, it did not break even. The following year Lesmana was a founding member of the Indonesian Film Society (Masyarakat Film Indonesia), which worked to change censorship laws in the country. The group's petitions were ultimately unsuccessful. Also in 2006 she produced Garasi (Garage), a film starring Aries Budiman, Ayu Ratna, and Fedi Nuril. The cast reunited to form the band Garasi in 2007, which was one of the first acts signed to Lesmana's new recording company Miles Music. That year she produced 3 Hari Untuk Selamanya (3 Days for Forever); the film's soundtrack was produced by Float, another band on Miles Music.
In 2008 Lesmana produced the film Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Troops), an adaptation of Andrea Hirata's 2007 novel of the same name. That same year she continued to pressure for new film censorship laws, which ended with the government passing a new law in 2009. The following year she produced Sang Pemimpi (The Dreamer), a sequel to Laskar Pelangi based on the novel of the same name. In 2010 Lesmana wrote twenty songs for a musical stage adaptation of Laskar Pelangi, a project that also involved Erwin Gutawa, Jay Subiyakto, and Hartandi.
Atambua 39° Celsius a film about refugees who live in Atambua, commenced filming in 2012. The film's world premiere will be at the Tokyo International Film Festival.